Branding ROI – What Is It? How To Measure It?

The ROI of Branding – What Is It, and How To Measure It? Seems like an age old question, which is why with great excitement we began reading Notably Quotable: The ROI of Branding, a guest post by Mark Arnold on The Financial Brand asking 9 experts to answer the above two questions. Sadly, our feeling of excitement very quickly turned to disbelief, sadness, and frustration.

Before we delve into the meat of the discussion, let’s first define ROI:
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The ROI of Branding in Banking

The synaptic tissue connecting consumers’ brains, Neanderthal Man, and brand differentiation in the banking industry. This is an excerpt of the opening remarks delivered by Jeffry Pilcher, publisher of The Financial Brand, to 418 attendees at The Forum 2014 in Las Vegas.
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What Banks Can Learn About Branding From Nike’s Air Jordan

Winning the attention and loyalty of today’s disengaged banking consumers is no simple task. While most financial institutions continue to rely on old marketing strategies to grow, there are lessons we can learn from the sports marketing industry, where even gym sneakers and soda pop have been transformed into high-priced symbols of brand loyalty.
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Why Most Banks Waste Their Time On ‘Branding’

Do you confuse “brand building” with “bank building?” Slick logos and pretty fonts aren’t enough to build a powerful brand.

Let’s be honest about the dark art of “branding” in the financial industry: it’s usually a big waste of time.

Now I can hear graphic designers, ad agencies and marketing directors screaming about that comment.

But it’s the truth — at least the way most financial institutions approach branding.

Typical branding campaigns focus on the graphic identity — logos, fonts, design and colors. Sometimes it’s a labored, lengthy pursuit of the just-right image, the perfect Pantone shade and just the ideal brand typeface. Other times, it’s a tweak here, a refresh there… and viola! You’ve got yourself an exciting “new brand” for the bank.
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It’s so easy for bank marketing to take a wrong turn

Yesterday I came home to a strange voicemail from ING Direct Canada. I decided to phone back right away because I noted the following 3 things about the message:

  • The toll free number provided was nowhere to be found on the bank’s web site
  • The message left was with regards to “my profile and information”
  • The reference number left on the voicemail was my online banking user ID

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Marketing Gurus And Marketing Morons

Dr. John Dawes nails it. In a white paper titled Marketing Gurus and Fads – how to avoid them, Dawes writes:

“Marketing abounds with ‘fads’ – which over-promise and under-deliver. These messages are sometimes presented as the ‘secrets’ of companies that are supposedly fantastically successful at the moment. The sad fact is that most of these messages are incredibly over-optimistic and at worst, downright deceitful.”

Dawes defines some of the techniques that marketing gurus use, like:
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Going Local With Branch Marketing…

Here’s how financial institutions can translate sophisticated branch data into hyper-local programming through digital signage.

Bank marketers have always known the profile, interests and needs of their customers can differ wildly even between a pair of branches on the same city street.

But they’ve struggled to figure out how to effectively communicate with those different crowds, at that level of granularity. Delivering locally relevant messaging can get very complicated, very quickly.
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