Notably Quotable: The ROI of Branding

The Financial Brand’s contributor-at-large, Mark Arnold, asked marketing experts from across the bank and credit union industry what they think the ROI of branding is and how it can be calculated? Here’s what nine of them had to say.

By Mark Arnold, President On the Mark Strategies


madeline_anderson“Branding saves you money. Branding is recognition in the community. The return is your positive reputation. It is consistency in and understanding of what you are selling. Your ROI is recognition in the community and a constant building of your reputation. You can’t grow without either one.”

Madeline Anderson-Balmer, Marketing Manager
Bellwether Community Credit Union ($388 million)


katie_stacks“Investing in your brand also means investing in your employees. We have found that when our brand is about our employees, then our employees give great service. This service leads to a strong brand and stronger relationship with our members. Those better relationships lead to more products and services per household. So branding increases profitability.”

Katie Stacks, AVP Marketing
Family Trust FCU ($319 million)


donna_kimes“As marketers, it is imperative that we educate directors and c-level executives that brand equity is just as valuable as anything on the balance sheet, even though it can’t be expressed as a dollar value on a general ledger.”

Donna Kimes, SVP/Director of Marketing
Farmers & Merchants Bank ($812 million)


doug_macdonald“When measuring retention, impact, and effectiveness of a campaign, some results may be immediate, but creating valuable, loyal members occurs throughout stages of members’ lives. Viewing branding with immediate ROI is only part of a larger context and excludes measurements of trust, loyalty, and value.

Doug MacDonald, Vice President
Synergent Direct Marketing Services


jeff_kjoller“Whether you strategically forge your brand in the marketplace or not, you will have a brand identity. Consumers will create their own brand identity (positive or negative) if you do not create an identity for them. What does your brand say about your financial institution? ”

Jeff Kjoller, Principal
Loudthought


kelley_parks“The more clearly defined the brand and beliefs are, the easier it is to measure and show proof of the value you bring the community and the connections you create. When what is being measured, communicated and followed enhances the common bond and beliefs of the community – that’s when real chemistry (and subsequent brand ROI) happens.

Kelley Parks, Creative Catalyst
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laurissa_grub“Branding is challenging to measure because it touches every aspect of your organization. You can attempt to measure it through things such as increased growth, member surveys, or member referrals. However, I believe it comes back to two things: 1) how are your staff doing at living the brand and 2) how are members responding.”

Laurissa Grubb, Director of Marketing
Blue Eagle Credit Union ($122 million)


natasha_drozdak“Branding represents who you are to customers and how you want potential customers to view your company. It encompasses everything you do — from your employees and how you greet customers to your advertisements and products. If new customers come to us because we are trustworthy and reliable, that’s the greatest return we could ask for.”

Natasha Drozdak, Online Marketing Manager
South Carolina Bank & Trust ($4 billion)


notably_quotable“You can calculate branding’s ROI through multiple ways, such as net promoter score, consumer surveys, market penetration, products per household, name awareness, etc. However, branding’s ultimate return on investment is growth. You will not grow your bank or credit union without a strong brand. Your brand is not listed on your balance sheet, but it’s the most valuable asset you have. If you don’t believe there is ROI when it comes to branding, then don’t brand your financial institution and see what happens in a few years. More than likely you’ll be a branch—of another financial institution.”

Mark Arnold, President
On The Mark Strategies

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