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2014

How many brands does a community bank need?

How many brands does a community bank need? There is no doubt that well conceived and well-executed brand strategies can be beneficial to community banks. And operational critical mass can be the key to profitability and growth. But sometimes banks create chaos on the brand side, through merger and acquisitions or brand expansion, in order to achieve critical mass on the operations side. This can so complicate the life of folks concerned with bank marketing, that they find themselves using valuable time and money, just trying to make all the brands work together. As M&A activity heats up, this is…

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When is a community bank an expert?

When is a community bank an expert? Community bank branding is about personalities and relationships. If you look into your own history—what has made you successful over the years—you’ll probably be able to identify relationships among certain individuals within your bank culture, and between members of your team and best-case prospects and customers. More than other types of brands, community institutions are built on connections—very much like friendships and families. For you, bank marketing is a lot more than advertising, signage, collateral, and promotions. These are elements that support the brand. They are not the brand. One way you can…

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It’s called “Inbound” (among other things).

It’s called “Inbound” (among other things). A couple of months ago we entered into a partnership with Hubspot to implement an automated inbound marketing program for Gibbons | Peck (and eventually for our clients). It’s pretty exciting. Here’s how it works … We like to express cool ideas with words and visuals. We have a website. And we like to make friends. The kinds of friends we like to make are interested in stuff like brand personalities, systematic branding, building long-term relationships with the right advertising agency. In particular, we like making friends who share our passion for community banks…

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Something just doesn’t smell right about your community bank’s brand.

Something just doesn’t smell right about your community bank’s brand. We’ve talked in previous posts about the importance of seeing your brand as a person. The reason this is so important is that your customers, clients, prospects, competitors, and employees all think (feel) about your brand the way they think or feel about people. They use the same data receptors—eyes, ears, fingers, tongue, and nose—to gather information about your bank as they use to form attachments to their spouse, children, parents, and others. As you develop your brand, it’s important to begin by establishing strategic elements springing from the business…

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3 reasons community bank branding builds customer loyalty.

3 reasons community bank branding builds customer loyalty. Every business wants to grow. And there are a limited number of ways for a community bank to do so—gain more customers, expand your footprint, or onboard the customers you have. By far, the least costly of these is onboarding. And yet, bank marketers do relatively little to expand the cross-sell ratio. This may be because much of what you do to build multiple-service relationships is invisible. The things that get you talked about around town are splashy billboards, televisions commercials, radio spots, and sponsorships. But the things that impact loyalty are…

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6 business benefits of branding a community bank.

6 business benefits of branding a community bank. Community banks are special. Each is a unique, organic organization, with its own strengths, people, relationships, and ties to it’s customers and community. Their executives are comfortable with the idea of building a scalable, portable business around people and relationships. Capturing this people | relationship idea in a unique brand, and executing it as part of your business strategy is key to a long-lasting and profitable brand. Sometimes community banks fall into the trap of viewing building a brand as window dressing. When this happens, it is difficult to engage the entire…

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Acrimonious.

Acrimonious. Businesspeople killed “synergy.” The food industry killed “pumpkin spice.” Hipsters killed “curate.” And now advertisers are here to claim one more victim—“artisan.” There’s technically nothing wrong with the word “artisan.” It has lived for centuries as a perfectly reasonable noun. artisan: [ahr-tuh-zuh n] noun 1. a person skilled in an applied art; a craftsperson. 2. a person or company that makes a high-quality or distinctive product in small quantities, usually by hand or using traditional methods There’s even a nice adjective variant of “artisan” called “artisanal.” Bowls, cheese, bread—all can rightfully be described as “artisanal.” So, why do advertisers…

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There’s no substitute for research.

There’s no substitute for research. When you’re doing branding, campaign development, or marketing strategy, there’s no substitute for good information. Now, there are several ways to get that information. And sometimes, you get surprises you didn’t expect. But those happy accidents are usually the results of hard work. A few years ago, we did some comprehensive research with alumni of a community college in Tennessee. The response was enthusiastic and generous. And the respondents gave us great insights into both language and expectations…and led us to the campaign, “We’re here to get you there.” Another time, we were working for…

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It’s one big thing: Integrated Media.

It’s one big thing: Integrated Media. Lately, there has been a flurry of very exciting technology…advanced, proactive database management, retargeting (which lets you follow a prospect around your site…and around the web), and breakthroughs in pay-per-click strategies and search engine optimization, as well as a rising tide of social media channels. These provide a great punch to existing media vehicles. By focusing on each client’s assets and opportunities—owned media (website, collateral, service mix…physical location), earned media (press coverage, social media responses, search engine optimization…direct selling), and bought media (print, television, radio, outdoor, direct mail, online “click through” advertising, and pay-per-click…

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Your “things” are talking to each other.

Your “things” are talking to each other. By 2020, the Earth will be populated with 7,600,000,000 people (give or take a half billion or so) and something like 50,000,000,000 sensor-equipped objects. These objects are devices that are networked via the Internet—creating what has been called the Internet of Things. They can talk to each other in order to automate certain functions of everyday life on earth. And by 2020, they will outnumber us by about six-to-one. So, I guess we need to make friends with the whole idea. Here’s how it works. The sensors constantly collect data from physical objects…

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4 Hurdles for community bank marketers. READ BLOG >

8 Bank Marketing Priorities—in order. READ BLOG >

“What does the data say? READ BLOG >