Last week we ran a blog with the concept on an idea for a new relationship account and a New Year’s countdown promotion to go with it (HERE). In response, many bankers asked our ideas for a summer promotion to gain new customers. The timing is appropriate as July 7th through August 15th is one of the best times to market bank products, as banks usually see an above average return on deposits (Data HERE). While there are several that we like, today we highlight one of our favorites because of the level of press and community involvement it generates.
Becoming A Kidrepreneur
Pioneered back in 2007, when Umpqua Bank came up with the idea and it went viral (HERE), the “Lemonaire”-stand promotion has worked for many other banks. The concept is to promote your classic American, kid-run lemonade stand except that is wrapped in an educational and small business wrapper. Umpqua introduced Jonathan, as seven-year-old that recounts his charming tale of how over summer he was CEO of his own lemonade stand startup whose duties also included product testing, marketing, finance and sales. The Bank gave kids $10 of start-up capital and a lemonade stand kit that talks about finer points of running a stand.
The brilliance of the program is that it is really a heartwarming allegory that every small business owner can relate to. While seemingly teaching kids about entrepreneurship and savings, it is really an emotional appeal to the small business. As such, it is the perfect story to engage parents, kids, the media and the community.
To support the campaign, banks usually do an email campaign to current and potential customers supported by both print and drive-time radio. Umpqua executed near-perfectly by not only promoting the Lemonaire concept, but also doing a meta campaign where referenced the Lemonaire campaign to prove that it supports small businesses no matter what their size.
Does It Pay Off?
Umpqua sold out of the kits, generated huge amounts of free publicity, increased the value of its brand and reported a 30% lift in new accounts generating $100mm in new deposits. That sounds like a clear success and while we don’t have other bank’s numbers, anecdotally we have always heard of a positive response.
Get Your Kit Template Here
For those financial institutions that are interested in a similar campaign or are just intellectually curious, we have created our own version of the campaign complete with business plan template and parent’s guide. The template is in draft graphical form, but it should save you time as you can clean up, add your logo, disclaimers and brand elements as you see fit. To download the Template, go HERE.
Submitted by Chris Nichols on June 23, 2015