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Article Image: Sexy Nude Chicks

Sexy Nude Chicks

This is a really difficult blog post for me to write. First of all, because I have to admit that I might have been wrong about something. And second, because with a blog title like this one, I risk offending some people, and losing some readers. Especially female readers. Which is not as sexist a […]

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Article Image: Don’t Use Orange Circles Or ING May Sue You

Don’t Use Orange Circles Or ING May Sue You

Consider yourself on notice: If you are a bank or credit union using anything resembling this orange dot… …look out. Orange circles may be enough for ING to take you to court next. Last Wednesday, ING filed a trademark-infringement complaint in U.S. District Court against PNC Bank over use of orange balls. Earlier this year, […]

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Article Image: Delusions Of Brandeur

Delusions Of Brandeur

Bank branding efforts are in full force these days. Frost Bank of Texas launched a brand building campaign in April designed at improving awareness of its full range of services, including banking, investments, and insurance (wow, isn’t that a surprise!). Flagstar claims to be the “new wave in banking” (interesting choice of terms when you […]

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Article Image: Notably Quotable – Innovation vs. Imitation

Notably Quotable – Innovation vs. Imitation

“Zig when others zag. Following the herd means you are destined to forever be a part of the herd. The alternatives are twofold: Lead the herd or leave the herd.” – Andrew Szabo, CMO/Resource 1 Credit Union “If you ever have the good fortune to create a great advertising campaign, you will soon see another […]

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Article Image: ING microsite targets renters for home loans

ING microsite targets renters for home loans

  [Editor’s Note: This program is about 18 months old, but it just crossed my desk for the first time last week. Have you heard of it? After generating some initial buzz, it doesn’t appear to have gained any real traction. Sources at Netbanker say there was a controversial video that may have had the […]

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Article Image: What is WaMu LIVE!?

What is WaMu LIVE!?

Entering its second year, WaMuL Live!, is a customer-appreciation promotion for all WaMu bank card holders that focuses on music and entertainment perks. The microsite supporting the effort promises: The opportunity to get tickets to the shows you want to se Sign up for ticket alerts and be among the first to know when shows […]

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Article Image: Are You Ignoring Gen-Y? Parents? Gen-Z?

Are You Ignoring Gen-Y? Parents? Gen-Z?

There’s a lot of talk in the financial industry about “growing relationships” with a Gen-Y audience. Here’s two things you should be doing. #1 – Don’t ignore them. “But we’re not!” you protest. “We have defined Gen-Y as an important part of our future strategy.” Great. But what happens when they walk in the branch? […]

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Article Image: Flagstar Bank’s “We’re Different” Brand Ads

Flagstar Bank’s “We’re Different” Brand Ads

Flagstar Bank debuted a new brand campaign during the opening ceremonies for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Spots depict consumers with boxes on their heads who need to “open their eyes” to Flagstar’s products and services. Here’s the video: “People are different and want different things from their bank.” – David Joyce, VP/Mktg Director Flagstar Bank […]

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Article Image: The Perfect Marketing Test?

The Perfect Marketing Test?

Good marketers understand the importance of testing. Really good marketers design and execute tests that enable them to improve and optimize results. But marketers can only test things they can control. And competitors’ actions don’t typically fall into the category of things a marketer can control. Recent events in Texas, however, point to an opportunity […]

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Article Image: Frost Bank’s Luscious Brand-Building Ads

Frost Bank’s Luscious Brand-Building Ads

“Frost Bank understands the value of focusing advertising communications on the brand.” – Pam Thomas, CMO Frost Bank “Frost Bank understands the value of focusing advertising communications on the brand.” That’s how Pam Thomas, Chief Marketing Officer at Frost Bank, put it in an interview with The Financial Brand about the bank’s latest brand campaign. […]

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Article Image: An Interactive Virtural Tour of BankWest’s Cool Branches

An Interactive Virtural Tour of BankWest’s Cool Branches

When BankWest in Australia expanded to the East Coast, they redesigned their branch prototype and gave it a total makeover. To tout their new retail stores, the bank put a neat, interactive flash tour on its website. The tour includes 11 different “hot spots.” Pause your mouse on a hotspot and it reveals some little […]

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Article Image: Marketing construction loans on a shoestring budget

Marketing construction loans on a shoestring budget

Here’s another creative marketing effort from the folks at Arizona State Credit Union. (If you missed The Financial Brand’s previous coverage, check out their LOL Cats poster here.) With around $100 in supplies, the credit union made this merchandising display to promote its financing for construction projects: They also made wood blocks that were displayed […]

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Article Image: Off-Topic: Societus Interruptus

Off-Topic: Societus Interruptus

My wife hadn’t seen the first season of Mad Men, so we went to On Demand and loaded up Season 1, Episode 1. I saw something in that episode that you would never see in today’s business world. No, it wasn’t the incessant cigarette smoking. Nor was it the blatant sexual harassment. Instead, it was […]

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Article Image: Financial Services Firms’ Missed Opportunity

Financial Services Firms’ Missed Opportunity

Here’s the problem I have with all the hype about social media in the financial services industry: For all the talk about “joining the conversation,” few social media evangelists really get specific about helping financial services firms understand what to say in those conversations. I think this is an issue, and here’s why: Based on […]

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Article Image: Dallas Credit Union Launching ‘Young & Free’ Knockoff

Dallas Credit Union Launching ‘Young & Free’ Knockoff

The Dallas Morning News reports that Resource One Credit Union based out of Dallas, TX is launching a competition for a “spokester” on August 13. Contestants will submit a 500-word blog and video online during the first phase of the competition. Resource One will then select the top finalists who will have to solicit votes […]

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Article Image: The ‘Community Credit Union’ fallacy

The ‘Community Credit Union’ fallacy

For many credit unions, expanding their charters is a common growth strategy. Often, a credit union’s first reflex after getting a community charter is to add the word “community” to its name. The reasoning goes something like this: “Our community charter should fuel future growth. The only problem is, people don’t know they can join. […]

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Article Image: If Service Is the Answer, What Is the Question?

If Service Is the Answer, What Is the Question?

When financial institutions give the answer “service,” which question are they answering: What are we good at? What is the one thing we do better than anyone else? More often than not, “service” is the reflexive answer to the first question, and almost never the honest answer to the second. Few financial institutions do much […]

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Article Image: The branding sweet spot

The branding sweet spot

This simple illustration shows you exactly where to focus your brand – The Sweet Spot, where “the things people want most” intersects with “what you do best” and “what your competitors suck at.”

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Article Image: Small Sucks

Small Sucks

I’ve seen some blog posts/presentations recently, touting the benefits of being small. Not small as in short (i.e., height), but small, as in organizational size. My take: Hogwash. Being small sucks. And even if it doesn’t suck for your firm, the reality is that being small — or, more accurately, staying small — isn’t sustainable. […]

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Article Image: Two Types Of Bloggers

Two Types Of Bloggers

There are two types of bloggers: Those who think there are two types of bloggers, and those of us who know better. No, really, there are two types of bloggers: Those who don’t post nearly enough, and the rest of us. Among the former are: Marketing Geek. I don’t know much about Michael Fassnacht other […]

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Article Image: Two Dot Oh No

Two Dot Oh No

Thought I’d share with you the recipe for geniusosity (the act of being perceived as a thought leader in your field): State the field (function, area, etc.) in which you work. Proclaim that things in your field are changing. If possible, use phrases like “fundamental changes” and “changes that go to the core.” Herald the […]

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Article Image: WaMu fantasy TV ads.. “Whoo hoo!”

WaMu fantasy TV ads.. “Whoo hoo!”

In this :30 TV spot supporting WaMu’s “Whoo Hoo!” branding campaign, a couple fantasizes about being tucked snug in giant kangaroo pouches (no joke, for real) after discussing the security of WaMu’s online banking. Here’s another spot. In this one, a regular guy has a fantasy associating the bank’s offer of “free checks for life” […]

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Article Image: The Future Of Bank Branding

The Future Of Bank Branding

Financial services branding is a hot topic these days, from releases of (methodologically suspect) brand rankings, to a number of blog posts. Stealing Share published a study recently, and had this to say about bank brands: The major banks remain undifferentiated and deliver little to no brand meaning. What banks need is a new brand […]

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Article Image: Economy Driving Credit Union Promo

Economy Driving Credit Union Promo

Paul Economy, that is (yes, that’s his real name). Economy, a VP and manager of a Member One Credit Union branch, is the star in his employer’s latest ad campaign. “Come see Paul,” the headline on the billboard reads. “He has $50 million to lend.” This deceptively simple concept may not be the sexiest campaign […]

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Article Image: Aussie Brokerage Rocks the Beatles With Slick Marketing

Aussie Brokerage Rocks the Beatles With Slick Marketing

CommSec claims to be the first and only financial institution enabling Australians to access both cash and investment accounts with a single login view. A slick microsite provides an overview of the service, while TV spots and big giveaways also support the new account promotion.

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Article Image: Offensive Use Of The Word Offensive

Offensive Use Of The Word Offensive

The Phoenix Business Journal reported that Wells Fargo has gone “on the offensive with at-risk credit cardholders.” According to the article: Wells Fargo & Co. is sending letters to credit card customers it believes may be in the danger zone, offering to set up automatic payments, design a repayment plan or connect them to a […]

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