Banks have a unique opportunity to capitalize on the vast amounts of customer insight they hold to go beyond simply facilitating payments. They can reinvent themselves as an Everyday Bank, helping customers reach decisions about what to buy, when and where to purchase, and even helping to negotiate the best deals in a ubiquitous format.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Over the past decade, the lens through which customers view their bank and through which banks view their customers has shifted considerably. What once was a channel-dominant view of the customer (“Suzie uses the branch most often, so let’s make sure her branch experience is stellar.”) shifted to a more complex multichannel view (“Suzie interacts with us across many channels, how can we make the various experiences seamless?”), and then to the current focus on enabling a true omnichannel experience (“We need to engage Suzie positively wherever she is, whenever that is, by whatever communication methods she is using.”).
There are two popular misconceptions that are legacy from last decade: customer relationships and customer demographics. These do not apply to Digital Banks, but incumbent banks still use them.
On the relationship side, most banks talk about relationship banking. They want to have a relationship with the customer. They need to engage the customer in a great customer experience and all that. It’s all very needy or worthy, dependent upon your view, but again it is misguided.
The key thing here is that I’ve heard this relationship thing for a long time too. It started when banks started discussing share of wallet and lifetime financial management. The whole idea is that the longer you could keep a customer and cross-sell to them, the greater the share of wallet you got and hence the more profitable you became.