Everyone has a bank. But no one wants to switch.
This is just one of the complex marketing challenges that banks face in the financial marketplace. Banks are up against:
Crowded Marketplace– While there’s been lots of big bank consolidation in recent years, there is still a large number of national, regional and community banks to compete with. Most industries are competitive, but the banking industry is one of the most crowded with over 4,900 FDIC insurance commercial banks in the US and 31 bank branches per 100,000 adults.
Matching Products– The fact is, most banks have the exact same products. Mortgage, checking, loans, mobile banking. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. And it’s not just the big banks that have the technology anymore, everyone has mobile banking and everyone has an app. There’s rarely a clear difference in products, features and benefits from one bank to another.
High Barrier to Entry– Banks don’t have the luxury of asking consumers to choose them for an impulse buy like a fast casual dinner or a low cost retail item. Every banking product, from mortgage to checking accounts, is a high involvement decision that automatically includes both time and money from the consumer. Let’s face it, banking is not fun and it’s not something consumers want to spend time on.
In a marketplace where everyone has the same products and consumers are often complacent, how does a bank stand out? The solution comes down to the brand. And we’re not talking about just having and marketing a unique selling proposition (USP). Everyone is already doing basic branding and they all look the same. Banks have to be willing to do something truly out of the box with their brand. Simply saying “We’re a local bank, we value customers more than big banks.” Is not enough. Every other community bank is saying that. So the brand needs to be over-the-top, dramatic either in the execution of the USP or in the message itself. It’s easier said than done. But in a sea of banks using stock photos of handshakes and smiling tellers, it’s the only way to cut through the clutter.
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