marketing strategy

  • 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:

     

  • MM sweeten your brandAre you making yourself indispensable to your business customers? Treat them like rock stars and they’ll have little reason to consider doing business with other institutions.

    You don't have to stock their offices with M&M's (minus a certain color) and a special brand of sparkling water.

  • hoarding hurts brandsLook into the proverbial closet of your organization. Chances are, there are a few habits or tactics you know you need to give up—but for some reason, just can’t. Worst case scenario: you have a vast store house that needs to be purged.

    What’s still hanging around is weighing you down. It's a sign of sickness that needs immediate intervention.

  • dollar devalued brand mb piland croppedI recently asked a variety of C-level people how often they were called on by a banker trying to get their business. I heard one thing that surprised me—and it’s not what you think.

    Several said they don’t really need a loan, so they weren’t that interested in talking to a banker. Wait. What?!

  • Solve their brand heartburnWhen a bank's business development team gets charged up and ready to call on prospects, they’re often so eager to talk, they forget to find out about what’s keeping the prospect up at night. "Me, me, me!", they say. Don't be that guy.

  • Groucho knows brand strategy inside and outGroucho Marx is famously quoted as resigning from the Delaney Club quipping "I wouldn't belong to any club that would have me as a member."

    Whether or not the story is actually true, it leads us to wonder why some brands are so eager to accept just anyone.

  • Groucho knows brand strategy inside and outGroucho Marx is famously quoted as resigning from the Delaney Club quipping "I wouldn't belong to any club that would have me as a member."

    Whether or not the story is actually true, it leads us to wonder why some brands are so eager to accept just anyone.

  • 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.

     

  • open door webEveryone is busy. Like many high-performing employees, your people may be running as fast as they can. The problem: somewhere along the line, they’ve been taught to mind their own book of business, not the business of the entire bank. They're in the dark.

  • 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.

  • MBPiland Brand Touchpoint Infographic.Cropped2You work very hard to craft a consistent brand message. That only takes you so far.

    The real power brokers of the brand are employees. Read more for just a glimpse of all the ways they can help build the brand—or torpedo it.

  • big eye seen through magnifying glassSometimes when you’re working in the business instead of on the business, you lose sight of the big picture. You become so embedded in the details, the view is myopic. You’re dealing with trees when you should be managing the forest.

  • First National Bank of No BrandWhen I was a new college freshman, a classmate who was also from out of town attempted to make a deposit in the local “first national bank.” It wasn’t the same “first national” that she had at home, but she hadn’t realized that. Some big confusion about her account ensued. 

  • 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:

  • pond rippleDoing the minimum.

    This has such a negative connotation in our culture, but what if you embraced that concept? What’s the minimum you need to do in order to create the desired impact or change?

  • brand is more than clean restroomsToo many institutions tout fast, local loan decisions and personal service like they're the only ones who have it. Guess what: that's as effective as a sign saying "clean restrooms."

    Here are 3 ways to make sure you’re presenting a better and—yes, unique—brand to your customers and prospects.

  • 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.

  • Casablanca title 2Lots of community banks have an advisory board of 8-10 local movers and shakers. Some of these boards have diverse representation. Unfortunately, many are filled the usual suspects. If you want to stand the test of time, you must attract and retain the next generation of movers and shakers.

  • 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:

  • sweet 16 for your brand thumbnailThough this week heralds the arrival of a brand new year, we’ll be making resolutions for 2017 before we know it.

    Don't let 2016 slip away because you were too busy.

    Here are 16 strategies for a stronger, more profitable brand.

  • sweet 16 for your brand thumbnailThough this week heralds the arrival of a brand new year, we’ll be making resolutions for 2017 before we know it.

    Don't let 2016 slip away because you were busy.

    Here are 16 strategies for a stronger, more profitable brand.

  • banker gift certificateI recently had trouble with a community bank’s technology and emailed a banker there to complain in what I hope was a polite—but very frustrated—manner. The response was swift and unexpected.

     She thanked 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?

  • Wet naps for sticky brandsI was a tourist in Branson, MO recently and as to be expected, had some sub-par experiences in the crowded restaurants. Many seemed perfectly happy offering mediocre food and sticky seats. They know I probably won’t be back, because some other stranger will take my place. They're just in it for today's dollar.

    On the flip side, you actually want stickiness in your institution. You're in it for today's and tomorrow's dollars.

  • Blending bank board culturesYour first answer might conjure playground riddles from first grade: a frog in a blender. But it also might be the answer to a common struggle for merging institutions: their advisory boards.

    Without proper planning and an intentional effort, blending cultures of two advisory boards may cause things to “go round all day.”

  • Bad sales program is a fail for bankersYou have new marketing brochures, a fantastic iPad sales presentation and you’re ready to turn your bankers loose. You're certain this is the time they’ll get out there and land some shiny new relationships.

    Will they do it? Or are you going to be disappointed again? Here are 3 reasons your campaign is destined to fail—and how to fix it.

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