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Is It Time For You to Rebrand?

What’s the biggest warning sign it’s time for a financial institution to rebrand? Here are 8 perspectives from around the banking industry.

chris_ledererAsk any of your employees ‘what is this organization all about?’ and if the response is anything but consistent, enthusiastic recitals of your core values, it might be time to address your brand. The best branding elements in the world mean nothing if your employees don’t live them on a daily basis. Brand disconnects spell trouble for your overall brand.

Chris Lederer, VP/Marketing + Brand Management at Credit Union of Texas

chris_pollardIt’s time to rebrand when a financial institution finds itself spending more time explaining what it does rather than showing it. Brand isn’t defined by your website or the sign you put over your door, or even what you say about yourself. Brand is defined by what people in the community understand about you, what they’ve accepted as truth.

Christopher Pollard, Principal at RATIO Architecture

andy_ravensSometimes, a company’s brand does not align with its actions. Let’s say your institution is all about supporting the community. But what if your support — whether it’s dollars or volunteers — has significantly dwindled? A shift in organizational priorities is an ideal opportunity to make a case for rebranding.

Andy Ravens, VP/Director of Public Relations + Social Media at Eastern Bank

amy_eckerDon’t wait for the warning signs! Take a proactive approach to your brand. Position your brand where you want to be strategically in 5+ years. Your brand should be evolving and building up to something better while maintaining the basic premise. If you wait until you see the warning signs, you’ve probably waited too long.

Amy Ecker, VP/Marketing at Southwest Airlines FCU

Alogent | Software Innovations for Banks & Credit Unions

eric_gaglianoIt’s almost like a Jeff Foxworthy joke: If your staff has no idea how they’re supposed to act … you might need to rebrand. If your members experience something different at every single touchpoint, you might need to rebrand. If who you say you are doesn’t align with your target’s needs, you might need to rebrand. If you can look at your brand promise and insert ANY bank or credit union name, you might need to rebrand.

Eric Gagliano, EVP at MarketMatch

kent_dickenFirst warning sign is when the average age of your members/customers is within ten years of the ancient directors sitting on your board. Another is when you start using an acronym instead of your name.

Kent Dicken, CEO of iDiz Incorporated

matt_mongeIf you’re receiving neither fan mail nor hate mail, it might be time for a rebrand. You want your brand to stand for something, to elicit something. The last thing you want it to do is produce an apathetic response in the consumer. If there’s a disconnect between your culture and brand, it might be time for a rebrand. Brand and culture are two sides of the same coin.

Matt Monge, Chief Culture + Brand Officer at Mazuma Credit Union

mark_arnoldA big sign it is time to rebrand is if you fail the “3C Test.” The three Cs of a strong brand are: clarity, consistency and constancy. You must be clear about what you are and what you are not. Then you must be consistent with that brand in all delivery channels (bricks and clicks). Once the message is clear and consistent, then you constantly communicate those messages. If any of these elements aren’t in place, it is past time to rebrand.

 Mark Arnold, Founder and President of On The Mark Strategies

Mark ArnoldMark Arnold is an acclaimed speaker, brand expert and strategic planner. He is also president of On the Mark Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in branding and strategic planning. Some of the services Mark provides include strategic planning, brand planning, leadership/management training, marketing planning and staff training. You can find his blog here. Contact Mark at 214-538-4147 or mark@markarnold.com.

All content © 2017 by The Financial Brand and may not be reproduced by any means without permission.

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  1. Brand and Culture are two sides of the same coin, for modern brand strategists, at least.
    If you are at that level, then you should know that rebranding is the toughest exercise in branding and it should happen only if you are heavily challenged at your core values and how you deliver the experience to customer and employee.

    You need to rebrand if your greater purpose is unclear, you can’t call the key value you deliver or how you improve people’s lives. A brand is rooted in how it makes people feel and how it closes the gap between their possibilities today and self-fullfillment.

    Estela Vazquez Perez, Director Global Employment Brand at RBC | rbc.com

  2. Great insights Estela. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Estela,

    Thanks for joining the conversation.You are absolutely correct that branding and culture are linked together. Branding is about improving people’s lives (as you noted).


  4. Great conversation. Too often, we turn to “re-branding”, e.g. re-crafted icons, logos, tag-lines color pallets, etc., when the real brand deficiency is the human element. After all, it mush easier to outsource re-branding than to build an all-in culture where everyone (or nearly everyone!) is pulling in the same direction. So our organizations and our vendors do a good job on the “art project of brand”. Meanwhile the culture of the organization–or to put a finer point on it, the behavior of the staff–fails to demonstrate or animate the promises that the brand makes. The art project isn’t the brand. It is a short-hand for the meaning of the brand. And the meaning of the brand comes from the interaction that the consumer has with all organizational touch-points, but most powerfully from the one-on-one interaction with staff.

  5. Best practices and branding science aside, a very simple question that will indicate if a brand is stale: Are employees proud to hand out their business cards?

  6. One consideration when re-branding is the impact it has on your local on-line presence.
    It’s relatively easy to change your branding on your own website, however if you have a local branch network, your old brand will be listed in potentially hundreds of local on-line directories.
    You need to ensure your local branch details are correctly branded too. Without this, you can find that your old branding will continue to appear in search results, which will undermine your re-branding exercise and potentially confuse customers. Worst case, if your re-brand includes a name change, you can end up with duplicate information pointing to your old brand as well as the new one.
    I know of several high-profile re-brands that have ignored their local on-line presence and now have multiple local business listings with the wrong brand details. This compromises their brand as well as their local search performance.

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