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Articles worth reading: 2 | Habza.pl

Articles worth reading: 2

Motion-sensing retail window from Citizens Bank

There’s a lot of photos and a video how this nice thing works under the above link. Very good idea on an interaction with current and potential Clients, literally any pedestrian. Unique ideas like that always attract attention of the general public. It reminds me described on this website bus-stop-scale (and similar solutions, not yet described ;-)).

This common financial tagline equates to a “life” sentence

“It makes logical sense for a bank or credit union to use this phrase, “…For Life.” It has a nice double meaning. On the one hand, it means, “for everyday living.” On the other, it means, “forever.” Who doesn’t think that feels good?”

Banks do love that word, some good examples of slogans are there.

Credit union gets snarky with ‘greeting card’ for banks

“Coast Capital Savings, a credit union in British Columbia, is asking people to add their signatures and messages to an 8′x10′ greeting card that “congratulates” big banks for the $3 billion in fees that they charge Canadians annually.”
“…is part of a wider campaign from Coast Capital Savings highlighting “ridiculous bank transaction costs.””
“Ads use satirical statements such as “Banking fees are like paying rent on my own money,” and “Banking fees are exciting because you never see them coming.””
“Bushore thinks it’s outrageous that the big banks are charging people fees for the ‘privilege’ of accessing their money. “It’s your money,” he says. “It doesn’t make sense that you have to pay to get at it.””

I do like the ‘I love fees’ (supported by a website) series, like an old man saying: ‘Finding all those fees in my bank statements keeps my mind active., and at my age that’s important’. Videos are placed in the article, ‘Free research’ series is also good.

Miami banker gives $60 million of his own to employees

”After selling a majority stake in Miami-based City National Bancshares last November, all he did was take $60 million of the proceeds — $60 million out of his own pocket — and hand it to his tellers, bookkeepers, clerks, everyone on the payroll. All 399 workers on the staff received bonuses, and he even tracked down 72 former employees so they could share in the windfall.”

What a decent man.

Trend alert: Financial makeover reality contests

”“…savings challenges,” reality-based contests in which selected finalists compete to achieve specific savings and debt reduction goals…”
“…a mix of reality television, online interaction and individual planning to encourage members to reduce debt, increase savings and get control of their financial lives.”
““Layoffs, bankruptcies, foreclosures — it’s all around us. People are afraid and they need help, they need advice, they need someone they can trust,””
“A savings challenge can be a good strategy if you want to build your brand around financial counseling and “advice you can trust.” But if those aren’t part of your strategic plan or components of your core brand, this kind of campaign probably isn’t right for you.”

What times do we live in. People voluntarily are getting rid of their privacy, and all to the glory of the financial institution… Disregarding morals, ethics, and credulousness his is a good concept. Institution is there to help you, and you will feel better in a community of people with similar worries. That’s what the social buzz is all about right now (and will be in predictable future).

PR now completely overshadows ads in financial crisis

”People don’t want to hear what most financial institutions have to say right now…that is, unless they are apologizing.”
““Not many financial institutions are ‘doing,’ most are just ‘saying,’” Stull observed. “Your message needs to be real and show what you are doing.””
“Financial institutions have zero credibility (see the UPDATE in the comments below), so you need a credible messenger if what you want to say is to have any impact.”

Creative Showcase for March 2009
A bunch of nice promotional ideas. BECU ‘Can do’ spot is especially worth recommending:
‘We’re finding ways to help people’
‘Can-DO attitude’

Datahead: Research from around the financial industry
Some really scary figures, like i.e.:

”8% – Percentage of those who feel fully confident in banks,
down from 31% who reported full confidence in 2006.”


”35% – Percentage of people who are less likely to trust their bank.”


Q&A: An interview about financial branding

”…common branding mistake organizations make is obsessing over the brand’s visual identity. The look-and-feel of an organization is only one small part of an overall brand.”
“…assuming that it’s their “service” that differentiates them. When I ask a financial institution what differentiates them, 9 times out of 10 they’ll say, “It’s our service.” If everyone is saying the same thing, then (1) it isn’t helping differentiate anyone, and (2) in all likelihood, many of them are lying.”
“It’s the same problem with mission statements, and why everyone’s reads exactly the same: “Our mission is to be the premier provider of quality financial solutions by earning people’s trust in the most friendly and professional manner possible.” Scratch out the common clichés and what are you left with? Not much.”
“A good place to start is to get rid of any pictures of shiny, happy people in your marketing materials. I’ve got drawers full of brochures from banks across North America that are brimming with lifestyle photos. Avoid these like the plague and you’re well on your way to creating a distinct brand identity.”

I do not want to copy all of it here, so I do really recommend visiting the link. Creating a distinct brand identity should be the ultimate goal of all financial institutions. Services, procedures, rates etc. that all can be copied, but our IDENTITY defines who we are. This is the one thing that ca not be copied – not only because strict copyright/intellectual property laws, but because of people who create it.

Barclays has fun with ‘Water Slides’
Description of the Barclays campaign, to which I made some remarks here.

Banks and Credit Unions on Twitter

”Participating in Twitter is a low-cost entry into social media that can actually help save a customer relationship or three. Compared to blogging, it is much less labor intensive. It’s also less of a marketing platform given the 140-character limit in posts.”

I must getting old, as the Twitter hype really bypasses me, but I do see its potential. Also, it s rather serious business, as some might pay for it 700 000 000 $… It reminds me the $15 billion Facebook evaluation some time ago, but never mind that. If something is free to use, and give an opportunity to contact with your Clients, it would be a shame not to use it. But in the other hand, being too much wide open for communication is not a good idea in times of crisis. ABA Banking Journal deals with some issues here.

” The objective of a bank blog may be to educate customers about financial topics, or provide the institution’s perspective on current events. Blogs could, however, morph into advertisements, intentionally or unintentionally. A blog-turned-advertisement is subject to all of the advertising compliance rules.”

Choosing the right ad agency

” Here are 13 tips and things to consider when picking an ad agency partner for your financial institution.”
“2. “Funny” Does Not Always Mean “Money”
Don’t fall in love with an ad agency just because they show you a bunch of funny spots. Just because a campaign is funny doesn’t mean it got any results. It’s always easier to make funny ads than ads that really work. An agency’s portfolio could be full of humor without ever having one piece that was on-strategy and achieved the intended results.”

Rescued dog stars in FAB&T kids marketing program

”This account had a huge dollar bill (named “Buck”) for a mascot. The idea was that every time a child made a deposit, they would receive some trinket — pencil, crayons, activity sheet, etc. The problem was that branches would run out of items to give to kids, or the kids would wind up receiving the same item over and over again. How many times can getting a pencil be fun, right?”
“They soon realized they had a new financial superhero to replace FAB&T’s “Buck.” They wanted a dog. After all, dogs personify many of the bank’s values: loyalty, compassion, trust.”
“When kids open an account, they receive a plush Cash dog and a card that is stamped at each subsequent deposit. After the appropriate number of deposits, their card can be redeemed for an item.”
“The hope is to create a ‘Happy Meal’ type of excitement,”

I like the idea of card stamped during every deposit. Kids love to collect such stuff, maybe they should’ve evolve the concept into more-like Pokemon style ;-). That’s a joke, but if you’re planning to deal with kids, it is always good to have a fluffy animal mascot around.

ING stacks your finances against peers

”A new, free web-tool from ING, INGCompareMe.com, uses peer data to let people see where they stand on a wide range financial matters including savings, spending, investing, debt and planning.”

It is always a good idea to give people an opportunity to compare themselves with other people anonymously. It is said, that people want to be special. I disagree, in terms of financial issues they do want to follow the crowd, they want to be average, as thanks to that they feel safe. This tool gives them an opportunity to do so.

The myths, facts and hardcore realities of social media marketing for financial institutions

What’s on TV? Ads for financial institutions
A collection of TV spots, I believe the ‘St. George Bank – “Lullaby”’ is the best one

”A huge crowd of St. George Bank employees gathers outside an average Australian man’s house as he retires for bed. They hum him a lullaby. The announcer explains, “At St. George, every single one of us is working to make sure that the things that keep you up at night no longer do.” The man sleeps blissfully.”

LEED gold branch for a true-green credit union

”To meet strict LEED standards, 75% of construction waste must be diverted from landfills. Builders must carefully separate scrap metal, wood and concrete for transport to certified recyclers in the nearby area. Construction sites must also be contained to protect drainage systems from soil runoff. Builders and subcontractors have to review material lists to ensure supplies contain the right percentage of post-consumer recycled content. For example, the recycled metals that makes up the siding on the Washougal branch may have come from recycled soda cans or automobiles.”

Green mania strikes again.

Yes Bank to identify you at the door

”The next time you visit a bank branch and the relationship manager addresses you by your name even before you could introduce yourself, do not be surprised. It’s not that the executive remembers your face; it’s the technology that transmits relevant customer information to relationship managers when a customer enters the branch.”
“The technology allows for personal identification of customers at the branch by inserting an RFID microchip into their debit cards.”
“…only two customers out of 100 enter a bank branch to buy…”

It’s been a part of a branch of the future concept for a long time, the only concern is how it and similar solutions will inflict into Clients privacy. What is their acceptance level? Client is not interested in a benefit for the bank, he always asks what are the benefits for him, so unless such privacy invading solutions will be properly supported by improvements in convenience/quality of services, I see a misty future for them.

More proof that PR overpowers financial ads

”The truth is that people are hyper-sensitive to news about financial institutions right now. They are tuned-in. Whereas they may have never noticed an ad from their financial institution(s) before, they now pay attention with keen interest. “What are they saying?” This applies to all media, marketing and communications channels — not just advertising.”

AIG Corporate Security’s Tips for Surviving an Angry Mob

I do especially like this one: ‘Avoid wearing any AIG apparel (bags, shirts, umbrella, etc.) with the company insignia

Series of articles about WaMu-Chase merger, not a positive tone, but notice new channels influence on communication:

Why Chase is killing WaMu’s retail concept (a very good concept by the way)
How the Chase/WaMu merger is playing out on Twitter
The post-WaMu blues: Chase has lost ‘that lovin’ feeling’

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