Branding Strategies When Marketing for Banks

Developing a successful set of branding strategies is absolutely crucial when marketing for banks. In fact, it’s highly possible that branding strategies play a more important role in banking than in any other industry. Why? The answer is relatively simple. Although price plays an important role no matter what the product, it’s rarely the only factor a consumer considers when making purchasing decisions. In the case of computers, for instance, consumers don’t simply select the cheapest computer they can find; they also take into consideration the computer’s components and features. This gives computer producers some leeway with their marketing. If their computer is expensive, they can downplay that fact by instead focusing on the computer’s capabilities.

When it comes to something like an auto loan, however, it’s a different story entirely. Most individuals looking for an auto loan will simply choose the bank with the lowest rate and base their decision on that factor alone – giving marketers little chance to influence their decision (aside from appealing to their sense of brand loyalty). After all, if they can buy the same vehicle no matter what loan provider they choose, why not go with the cheapest option?

All this may lead you to wonder: “Why bother with branding strategies at all? Why not just give up now?” But don’t lose hope if your bank happens to have higher rates than some of its competitors. Abundant proof exists that brand loyalty can – and does – trump price for many consumers. Just look at the jewelry powerhouse, Tiffany & Co. Thanks to the company’s branding strategies, women continue to clamor after their jewelry even when other companies may be offering similar items at lower prices. Their branding strategies have, in fact, become so successful that today it almost seems as if Tiffany’s renowned blue boxes are even more sought-after than the jewelry itself.

So when it comes to marketing for banks, what can you do to develop a set of branding strategies that will successfully differentiate your institution from the competition? First and foremost, you must understand that branding strategies do not simply refer to your logo, colors or other design elements. Rather, your branding strategies should influence the entire experience a customer has when dealing with your bank and should align with your business model. Consistency is key, so make sure every single member of your bank’s staff – from the president to the tellers – has a clear understanding of your brand and how to convey those brand elements to consumers.

Secondly, don’t be afraid to bring emotions into the equation. If your bank prides itself on having a family-like atmosphere, tout that emotional benefit in your marketing – and be sure to follow through and deliver on your promise when customers visit your bank.

Finally, remember to be flexible when marketing for banks. Branding strategies that may have worked well twenty years ago might not necessarily work well today. For instance, a bank that focuses on convenience may once have promoted this fact by advertising its many branches and drive-through locations. Nowadays, banks with a branding strategy built around convenience should instead advertise services like online and mobile banking. While your brand values themselves may not change, the way you market them should.

Ultimately, by following the steps above and creating branding strategies that resonate with consumers, you’ll set yourself up for better customer retention, increased loyalty and higher profits. And you can take that to the bank!

Developing a Brand Strategy With Your Blog

If you are blogging to make money it is important to have some type of brand strategy on your site. This will help to boost the clarity of who you are and what you do which will result in an increase your marketing effectiveness. Brand building is a relatively simple process that is most effective when your efforts are consistent and repetitive. On your blog there are 4 simple branding strategies you need to implement and most especially if you are intent on earning an income.

Here are 4 easy to implement strategies you can use when blogging to make money that will increase your marketing effectiveness.

Mission Statement

Stating your reasons for why you blog is something commonly recommended and should be place either within the ‘about author’ section or on a separate page. Your mission statement will set the tempo of things to come on your site and makes visitors aware of what they can expect. This can be considered the cornerstone of your brand building strategy on the site since it clearly conveys your intentions.

Content

The content you place on your blogging platform needs to conform with the ‘intentions’ of your mission statement. The success you achieve will be very dependent upon the quality and consistency of your postings. As far as the consistency is concerned, branding strategies are all reliant upon continually reinforcing the image being developed. The entries published on the site will be a significant ‘tool’ in helping to continually reinforce your brand!

Layout

Calling upon your creative talents here is where you can ‘artfully’ reinforce any image you are wanting to develop. One of the more subtle branding strategies you can use is in the design or layout you choose for your blogging platform. Creating an environment or theme consistent with your image is a terrific subliminal approach to brand building but yet a very important component of your overall strategy. You want the layout to give the ‘look and feel’ of the brand you want to establish!

Logo

Once again a little creativity is needed here by choosing some type of logo, symbol or even a picture that best represents what it is you stand for or how you want to be perceived. The use of your selection here is not limited to the blog itself but can also be used in ‘off site’ branding strategies as well. Email, signature files, newsletters or even viral reports can all be identified with your logo!

The need for a brand strategy when you are blogging is especially important if you intent to earn an income. Brand building is important because it makes you more easily identifiable online and leaves little question as to what you do or who you are. By boosting your profile in this way it will also help to boost your marketing effectiveness as well while decreasing your efforts, sweet deal! The 4 branding strategies reviewed above are very easy to implement and downright essential if you are blogging to make money. It makes little sense to invest the time and effort to generate traffic for your business without first letting people know who you are and what you do! Brand building can and will do just that for you while making your name a more familiar one on the internet.

The Best Branding Strategy – Make a Real Connection

What is it that makes some brands connect so well with their audiences? We could learn something about building brands for organizations by also asking, What is it that makes some people connect so well with other people? In many ways, organizations are like individuals. Each has its own specific “fingerprint” — strengths, character, and personality — that makes it unique and recognizable. It’s how we get to know our friends and understand what it is about them that we like. In a world where no one has time to carefully weigh all available brand options, this fingerprint acts as shorthand to help us sort through the maze, a very real point of value at a time when it is increasingly difficult to tell one product or service from another. When an organization’s brand fingerprint is clearly defined and articulated so that customers, shareholders, distributors, employees, and partners consistently feel they “know” the organization and know what to expect from it, magic happens.

This is when high emotional engagement occurs. This is when “raving fans” and customer loyalty are created. This is when organizations gain sustainable competitive advantage. Discovering and communicating this brand fingerprint helps organizations bring strategic focus to the power of their brand — giving brands a meaningful and recognizable shorthand that helps cut through the noise and clutter to connect with people.

Brand fingerprint process

Following a process to help uncover the organization’s brand fingerprint will ensure that the intangible attributes assigned to the brand — assets like integrity and innovation — are translated into a visual, tangible representation to which audiences can relate. The process has two phases, strategy and visual translation. It works like this:

Phase I. Strategy

Step 1. Finding your brand values, character, and personality
Step 2. Understanding the competitive landscape
Step 3. Determining your position in the marketplace
Step 4. Developing your value proposition

Phase II. Visual Translation

Step 1. Developing the brand mood
Step 2. Determining the key brand elements
Step 3. Developing the brand roadmap

Phase I. Strategy

The strategy phase can be compared to traditional methods of brand development and is based on core values. The difference here is that the exercises used in the facilitated sessions with company decision makers are designed not only to uncover brand values and attributes, but to gather information in a way that it will be useful for development of the visual translation of the brand. Pairing the creative team with decision makers at the very beginning of brand strategy development is essential in gathering input that will be critical to visual translation.

This is important since experts say that 80% of what we learn comes to us visually, and customers will most likely see brands long before they understand the strategy. There are many benefits of considering how the brand will be communicated visually at the strategy stage. Some of these benefits include: – translation of intangible company assets and attributes into tangible representations that truly reflect the company’s core values – avoidance of possible disconnects when logos, websites, and print materials are developed – development of marketing materials that really communicate key messages – deeper understanding and long-term recall of brand messages by customer audiences – consistency of brand messages over time

Phase II: Visual Translation

The visual translation phase takes all of the information gathered in the strategy phase and translates it into a visual form that people can see and relate to — the visible brand fingerprint. A clear and accurate brand fingerprint can communicate assets like integrity, zero defects, and innovation and make them palpable. Visible. Understandable. Audiences will know at a glance “who” the organization is, what it is saying to them, and why they should buy, react, or be moved. And it will be real, it will be authentic, and it will stand the test of time — because what people see represents the synthesis of the brand strategy.

The benefits of developing the visual components of the brand directly from strategy exercises include:

– a brand mood that will communicate to customers on an emotional level, because the design is based on authentic aspects of the brand’s character and personality – because the mood is a direct translation of strategy jointly developed by company decision makers and creative team, there are no unpleasant surprises at the design stage – the main visual components of the brand will look and feel “real” and will become the pillars upon which other marketing materials will be built – there will be no need for new themes, visual approaches, or deviations from the established visual translation. Brand equity builds with consistency. This is a cost-effective benefit.

Brand communication

Being true to the organization’s authentic brand is how trust, loyalty, and sustainable relationships are developed between the organization and its audiences. Great graphics and cool animation aren’t effective if they don’t accurately communicate the company’s character or brand. Something’s amiss if the organization is not clear and consistent about how it is presenting itself in front of its publics. If the organization’s brand and its image are not aligned, “brand schizophrenia” occurs, which significantly affects the quality of the relationship and level of trust with valued audiences, including customers and employees. Both lose trust in companies when they don’t know what to expect. With brand strategy and visuals clearly articulated in a unique brand “fingerprint,” organizations can make a real connection with their audiences. Once established, this connection enables them to communicate compelling value, promote long-term recall of brand messages, and foster the trust, loyalty, and emotional attachment that sustain relationships.