Revelations on Bank Branding
IN THIS ISSUE:
FEATURE ARTICLE: Community Bank Branding
The reality is, most people choose their bank based on location
and convenience, and they remain there based on relationships
– not relationships with the bank, as much as the men and women
who service their account on a daily basis.
As a recent graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette,
Stephen is a dynamic part of the Russo creative team.
A RUSSO RESULTS CASE STUDY: No. 00420-09
Horseshoe Casino, Bossier City, LA
GALLERY R DOWNTOWN SPOTLIGHT
Gallery R, located in the Russo building in the heart of downtown Lafayette,
is committed to the work of both emerging and established local artists
throughout South Louisiana.
This month’s featured artist – Downtown Alive! Retrospective
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RevelationThe Russo Group is a branding and in t egra t ed mar ket ing agenc y focused on RE SULTS.
THE NEWSLETTER OF
THE RUSSO GROUP
VOLUME ONE - NUMBER EIGHT
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Standing out when everyone looks the same –
Free Checking, check. Online Banking, check. Excellent Customer Service, check. Personal Banking, check. Business Banking, check.
Community Banking, check. Congratulations, now you’re just like every other bank on the planet – so, now what?
Well, it’s a common problem these days as local and regional banks struggle to differentiate themselves from the pack. The problem is,
there is little differentiation to speak of – each providing similar, if not exactly the same products and services, and each making the same
claim as their area’s “community bank.” It’s a challenge to say the least, but not an impossible one.
The reality is, most people choose their bank based on location and convenience, and they remain there based on relationships – not
relationships with the bank, as much as the men and women who service their account on a daily basis. In many ways, these front line
employees are the true face of the bank, helping to create positive experiences that promote loyalty and advocacy for the brand.
The following are just a few branding philosophies and initiatives that can help elevate and define your bank’s brand. The
following are based on Russo’s RAZOR BRANDING™ process that applies Focus, Harmony and Connection to the brand.
Continued Next Page
C O M M U N I T Y B A N K B R A N D I N G
Illustrating the Essence of a Brand:
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1. What is a Brand? First, we have to define what a brand is – and for those of you just joining us, a brand is not a logo.
A Brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, organization or place. Brands are defined by individuals, not
companies or markets. It’s a gut feeling because people are emotional, intuitive beings. In other words... IT’S NOT WHAT
YOU SAY IT IS. IT’S WHAT THEY SAY IT IS. Their answer comes from a brand promise, whether it is intentional or not.
2. People Build Brands. A Bank’s promise means little if the employees aren’t drinking the Kool-Aid. Their appearance,
what they say, how they say it and everything in between effects a customer’s brand experience. They must have “ownership”
in their actions that are based on pride for what they do and who they work for. This is achieved by ensuring they are
properly trained and motivated with a core message that resonates internally. Only then can they speak with a unified voice
that supports the brand promise with every interaction they participate in.
3. Your Touchpoints Tell Your Story. It only makes sense – if your bank offers the same products and services as
every other bank on the planet, perhaps you should find something else to talk about. Changing the conversation improves
top of mind awareness, providing an opportunity to connect with your audience on an emotional level – which in the end
means more than any price point or feature ever will. Touchpoints can be anything and everything that your audience comes
in contact with in relation to the bank. Ads, brochures, media, employees and environment each play a crucial role in the
complete brand experience.
Obviously, these are just a few examples of how a bank or financial institution can evolve its brand. They are based on the
same branding philosophies utilized in any industry that requires consumer loyalty and advocacy. The problem is, most
industries feel they are exclusive to specialized marketing strategies that are unique to their category. This mentality results
in an entire category looking and feeling exactly the same.
Visit our website to learn more about RAZOR BRANDING™ and The 5 R’s of Branding.
Community Bank Branding... CONTINUED
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BROWN BAGGING IT BECOMES FASHIONABLE
“Clearly, more people are looking to prepare meals that are easier on their budgets.” said Greg Hughes, marketing director at Kraft’s
sandwich cheese division. “We’re seeing an increased interest in brown-bag lunches and sandwiches as affordable lunch options.” Soup
maker Campbell has teamed with Kraft for a joint FSI promotion dropping this November that pairs the two companies’ staple products.
(Click here to read more)
ECONOMY MAY BE ROTTEN, BUT IT’S RIPE FOR PACKAGE FOOD
The average grocery bill has risen 5% from a year ago, according to the Food Marketing Institute, as consumers increasingly trade
Outback steaks for Hamburger Helper. Cheesecake Factory reported same-store sales down 4% for the second quarter, and Ruby
Tuesday reported same-store sales down 10% at company-run locations.
Of course, there’s a bit of a catch: Package-foods companies’ sales increases can also be credited to their hiking prices to offset
swinging ingredient costs. And that’s taking a toll on profits. Despite its sales gains, General Mills’ first-quarter net income declined 4%
due to commodity hedging. Some ingredient prices fell sharply during the quarter. (Click here to read more)
I’M A PC ... AND I LOVE MY IPHONE!
Windows may have 1 billion users, but how faithful are they to the Microsoft brand? (Click here to read more)
I N S I D E - R N E W S
R U S S O P R O F I L E
Stephen Bardwell, Designer
As a recent graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Stephen is a dynamic part of
the Russo creative team.
Stephen began work at Russo as an intern in the creative department. Under the guidance of
Art Director, Gary LoBue Jr., he was soon ready for a permanent role on the team. Stephen is
developing into a first rate ad designer, and Russo is proud to call him one of their own.
How would you describe your transition from school to agency life?
Well, the transition from the classroom to the workplace has been an interesting one. When doing work in school, if the logo or the ad is not
your best, or you’re just having an off day, then you get a lower grade and move on. You are the only one effected by your efforts. Now, when
doing work at Russo, if my work is not my best every single time, then it not only effects me, but it effects the client and the entire agency as a
whole. So I would say that there is a bit more pressure in the workplace, and a lot more responsibility. However these are the very things that
I thrive upon and are the main things that truly make any designer better.
What is your favorite thing about working at Russo?
My favorite thing about working here is the fact that I am given the opportunity to not only be a part of the Creative team, but also be a part of
any other aspect of the business that I am interested in. If I am interested in how an Account Executive builds a great relationship with a client,
or how we seek out new business, or even how we go about communicating with vendors to ensure the best possible quality for our clients; all
of these areas are available for me to learn about, to experience, and in the end, it is what makes me a more well rounded designer.
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