When it comes to positioning a brand, many community banks tout their higher level of customer service. Yet, almost all community banks make the same claim. Here’s how to build a service-based brand that is truly differentiated.
POST-ECONOMIC-CRISIS, the focus of management has hifted from survival to sustainable earnings growth. Consensus has built around the idea that this can best be achieved by going back to a business model that centers
on customers and their individual needs, rather than product
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The spotlight in management team meetings has therefore moved toward discussion
of the challenge of revenue growth. Low interest rates coupled with weak demand for
many banking products have created a situation in which there simply is not enough
revenue to go around. This then begs the question: How do you make your bank
stand out from the competition and convince both consumers and businesses that
they should do business with you rather than your competition?
At least in part, the answer lies in your brand strategy. A well-developed brand
communicates the ways in which your company is different from others in your industry and creates a connection that motivates customers to bring more business to
your company. Yet bank brands tend to send the same message over and over: Large
banks focus on product line breadth and often lower prices; community banks tout
higher levels of customer service.
There were just over 7,000 FDIC-insured institutions with total assets of less than
$3 billion in operation as of March 31, 2012. Are all of these banks competing on
essentially the same brand positioning?