Banks, credit unions grapple with their monikers

“You don’t want a long, involved name, or a name that doesn’t readily come to mind when people are looking for you.”
Martin Connors Jr.,
CEO of Rollstone Bank

A recent article in the Worcester Business Journal explores what it calls the “big business” of financial naming.

The article looks at some of the unique naming challenges six different financial institutions have faced.

The article discusses two name changes previously covered by The Financial Brand, including this brief article about Avidia, and this analysis of Rollstone.

The article points out that once a bank or credit union makes the decision to change its name, finding the right one can be complicated.

Regarding the Avidia name change, Ken Simms, SVP/Marketing said it took five months, a specialized consultant, interviews with multiple bank directors and employees and a thorough survey of the competition for the name to stick.

“When it comes to branding, credit unions face the same problems as banks, plus some extra ones.”
WBJ article

Martin Connors Jr., Rollstone’s CEO, said they considered several names that were already in use. With the rise of Internet banking, he said, if any bank uses the same name, even if it’s across the country, it has to be eliminated from consideration.

Reality Check: Do-it-yourself naming can get you into deep doo-doo if you don’t know what you’re doing.

For starters, all the new names you might come up with on your own are probably federally protected and registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Just read about all the trademark nightmares previously covered by The Financial Brand:

Read the whole WBJ article, “What’s in a Name,” here. It’s one of the better stories you’ll find in the mainstream business media.

Tip of the Hat: You’ve have love any financial naming article that squeezes in the word “etymology.”

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