In this day and age, political issues are coming fast and furious. A new skill for bank management is the ability to deftly answer questions by the media on social issues. While commenting on tax reform or your community’s infrastructure needs may be a safe area, bank management is more frequently being asked about transgender, racial and immigration. Some bank CEOs would rather climb out a window to avoid talking to the press while others make it part of their brand. Consider Eastern Bank ($10B, MA) with their “Join Us For Good” campaign (below).
It has been said that community banks are not doing enough to differentiate themselves and are not properly segmenting their markets. Furthermore, it has been pointed out that almost all community banks claim to compete on service, but the reality is that most banks do not measure their service delivery, do not reward employees on the service delivered, and are providing about the same level of service as most of their competit
When is the last time you updated your logo? Chances are you developed your bank’s logo long before really considering your current growth plan, customer targets, use on social media or application to digital advertising. While your logo may work well for your current customer base, banks now turn their attention to the historic wealth transfer that is on the verge of taking place and must decide on best ways to attract a younger demographic.
Banks that fancy themselves as “customer-centric” should consider the latest trend of offering discounts or specials in order to lend a helping hand in difficult times or to support shared values. Banks claim they care about customer’s everyday challenges, but what exactly do they do to care? Countless surveys, reports and statistics point in the same direction that when it comes to truly caring about the customer, few banks get it. It may be time for banks to get more “human.”
Every January, we advocate taking another look at your value proposition to see if there are any changes that need to be made.
Part of the problem with the current state of banking is that it is hard to tell one community bank from another. Because of this fact, loans, deposits and other bank services have largely turned into commoditized products. In some cases, bank margins are lower than they are for bottled water. If retailers can charge up to $6.00 for water, surely a bank can differentiate itself.