Who Owns Your Brand And What Is It, Really?

Did you know that you don’t own your brand? It’s the marketplace that owns what and how they think of you – you do not.

You do, however, influence it by the things you say and do through the image you project, your marketing efforts, and all sales and customer service interactions. The actions and attitudes of your employees and Directors outside of the bank also influence how others think about you. And let’s not forget about the media and the stories they cover about banking and your people and institution.

So is there value in a strong brand? Absolutely – a strong brand builds trust which is a huge driver in why people buy. A strong brand contributes to a bank’s bottom line and specifically influences success in the following areas:

  • Asset quality – helps you attract and keep strong credits
  • Deposit mix – builds loyalty so you keep more of your core deposit customers and do not have to rely on high rate promotions to attract new customers
  • Profitability – helps you keep your profitable customers so you are not constantly churning

So what is a brand? Here’s a definition that I find easy to understand – and it should be no surprise that it’s much more than your logo or colors:

Brand = Reputation + Expectations + Experience

Your brand is the sum of how your stakeholders think about your bank, which sets their expectations on what they should experience when they interact with you. They will unconsciously compare what they expect to what they experience – so all three components must be consistent for you to have a strong brand.

The best example of a strong brand and brand image, frankly, are these guys:



You got it – pirates! Their reputation is well known. If you are unfortunate enough to encounter them, you will expect to be robbed and probably harmed, and you will be. Perfect branding!

Our advice – be proactive in influencing your brand. Define the reputation you want to be known by – make sure all your outgoing communications and image are well thought out, consistent and set the right expectations – and then deliver the right experience.

If you find yourself wondering what this means for your brand – give us a call – we’d love to help.

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