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Branding Blog

  • Do you have a credo? How having a heart matters.

    Martha heart painting croppedWhile many organizations say they have heart, rare are those who have created a culture that truly inspires passion. The word ‘credo’ (I believe) comes from ‘cor do’ (I give my heart).

    Do employees, customers and community give their heart to your brand? Here are some things to seriously consider:

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  • Is your brand as appreciated as an extra button?

    ButtonWhy should you be an “extra button” brand? The extra button brand is the one who gets a customer by when he’s in a pinch. It's the brand that helps a customer save face. It's the brand that has your back.

    Deliver that kind of service, and you’re the life saver that builds unquestionable loyalty.

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  • There's no excuse for "nobody told me."

    orange cross sick brandI recently heard someone in the c-suite of a company say that a key business development strategy hadn’t been launched because nobody told him to do it. I was shocked.

    Why is he waiting—and by whom—to be told? Is this laziness or a symptom of something else?

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  • Don't talk out of both sides of your mouth: an 11 point audit for your internal brand

    Zipped lips hurt brandsKeeping your brand aligned means paying attention to the messaging and stories you tell inside your organization, not just what you say in public.

    Why? Because without an intentional internal brand, your public-facing messages will never be truly authentic.

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  • 10 things that are often overlooked during a brand audit

    Brand Audit Checklist MB PilandKeeping your brand aligned means regularly auditing everything that tells your story. When you evaluate advertising and PR messages, you should never overlook the many other things that speak loud and clear.

    Here’s a starting checklist of additional things to monitor for your public-facing brand:

     

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  • Foosball tables are no substitute for culture

    Foosball table is not cultureWatch any company’s recruitment video these days and you’re likely to see a foosball table, an espresso bar and a workout room. You may be wondering if you need those to attract great employees, too.

    While games and fancy coffee are nice “extras,” they’re not the foundation of your culture. There are better ways to cultivate a winning internal brand.

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  • Don't let dirty laundry soil your brand

    Dirty laundry dirty brandYou may think that because your website is updated and your new video takes your customers’ breath away that your brand refresh is spotless.

    Employee behavior contrary to your brand promise will soil your brand overnight.

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  • What won't you do for your brand?

    What will you NOT do for your brandMany organizations have spent a significant amount of time thinking—and talking—about what they will do.

    “We will deliver excellent service every time,” or “we will always be at the forefront of innovation.”

    But what won’t you do?

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  • Stop talking about a sales funnel and think of it as a chain instead

    old school sales process bad for businessOld school sales guys will tell you sales is just a numbers game. Get enough prospects into the funnel and they’ll dump out X% of customers at the bottom. Easy.

    News flash, Herb Tarlek: your lack of a system is as outdated as your plaid polyester coat.

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Financial Blog

  • Do you live your slogan, or are you a "me too" bank?

    me too bank brand signNearly every financial institution has a slogan. They believe it helps set them apart from competitors. And they think it’s a key part of their brand. While that may be so, we see two big problems with a majority of these slogans: 1) they don't truly differentiate, and 2) there’s no real support behind the promise.

    That's a big, bland problem.

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  • Blending cultures in a merger–3 lessons from the Brady Bunch

    Brady Bunch is like blending bank cultures; Photo from Wikipedia and ParamountMergers and acquisitions are increasingly commonplace in the financial industry. So if your institution is joining or acquiring another, what do you do to ensure a perfectly blended culture that leads to consistent brand and customer experience at all branches?

    Look no further than the '70s-era TV show, the Brady Bunch for inspiration. Here are 3 takeaways you can use to get started.

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  • Strategic alliances can multiply your reach—and your value—to customers

    ripple effect of alliances

    When was the last time you thought about putting your well-known contacts and customers together to bring more value to everyone? As a banker, you know lots of people. Are you using that knowledge to expand your reach?

    It's time to step back and think about how you can help others with more innovation and less "banking as usual."

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  • What bankers can learn from Girl Scouts about customer experience

    Girl Scout Cookie for bankersSoon, Girl Scout Cookie Time will return. Over the years you’ve come to expect—and thoroughly enjoy—your purchase experience. Whether your favorite is Thin Mints or Samoas, you might think the cookies are a little pricey. And you also think they’re worth every indulgent bite.

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  • Make your customers look good to their customers and win at customer loyalty

    block and tackle for your brandMany community financial institutions say they’re customer-centric, yet have a brand promise too focused on the bank. What if your brand difference is about helping your customers win with their customers?

    That would merit some roaring fans. Here's how:

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  • Stop hiring tellers—you need listeners

    Stop hiring tellers—you need listeners

    The moniker “teller” has been around in banking since time immemorial. And while it may feel comfortable to you, it sends unintended messages. It positions banker relationships as one-sided—with the bankers holding all the power—and the customer taking what’s doled out.

    You can be better. Here are 3 ways to get started:

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  • Shhhh! Stop using the *S* word.

    Stop using the S word bankersMany community bankers struggle with getting all of their staffers to feel confident with business development. That’s because staffers are afraid of the *S* word.

    Don’t tell them to SELL, teach them to LISTEN.

    Use our “Business and Baby” rule as your internal rallying cry.

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  • Don't "nice" your institution out of profitability

    nice piggy bank no fees A bank president recently told me he lets safe deposit box rent renewal notices slide because he hates to bug people over something so small, and he wants to be nice.

    It made me wonder whether he’s nice or just afraid to risk irritating a customer over a relatively small fee.

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  • How a hound dog and a handshake bred enduring loyalty

    hound dog loyalty bankingMy 92-year-old father-in-law Ralph is a WWII veteran and serial entrepreneur. Over the years, he’s owned a night club, a dry cleaning shop, a demolition business—and more. He’s an excellent negotiator and he knows how to lead and inspire a team.

    And he knows first-hand the value of a strong banking relationship.

    Read More
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MB Piland Advertising + Marketing: Culture Quiz
MB Piland Advertising + Marketing: Health Check