Brand advantages of group communication
Corporate branding is important for banks and credit unions. Differentiation between financial institutions can be nuanced with similar rates and product offerings. Remaining relevant is a key priority and challenge and a successful corporate brand can make the difference.
Successful brands go beyond the logo, tagline and colour scheme. The brand reflects the company’s core values, mission, and develops a ‘corporate personality’. The brand influences multiple target groups. Externally, the brand needs to be expressed at every point of contact with prospective, and current customers. Internally, the brand embodies a set of organizational values and supports an overall vision for employees.
The top 25 independent marketing and advertising agency, BVK, suggests that banks and credit unions should adopt the mentality that their “brand is in everything thing we do” rather than a “the brand is what we say it is”. With the “brand is what we say it is” approach, a promise is broadcasted creating expectation potentially incongruent or inconsistent with the actual experience. In comparison, with the “the brand is in everything we do” approach, the brand promise instead becomes a guide to both strategy and execution across the institution and is therefore reflected in the experience.
Drive transformation from the inside out.
Engaged and united employees live the brand values in new and meaningful ways. The brand gives purpose. Purpose gives permission to do things in a particular way and makes clear what matters. Consistent demonstration of your financial institutions’ brand values to potential and existing customers makes your employees your most important and dedicated brand ambassadors.
Building employees into brand champions requires effective and clear communication, to ensure messaging is congruent with the brand. When internal communications work well, your employees become in-tune with the brand values, and these values will then be embedded in their day-to-day actions. It is important to measure the success of internal communications in reaching your brand goals. Contact Monkey recommends four metrics that can be leveraged:
- Employee engagement
- Open and click-through rates
- Responses and feedback
- Turnover rate
Whether it’s a brand transformation or refresh of your brand strategy, it can be easy to forget the impact of change. When it comes to implementation, it’s not realistic to expect employees to just get on board with new processes or policies. Instead, the initial focus should be on explaining the overarching brand strategy, focusing on ‘the why’. Then, employees can be engaged as part of the process of identifying areas for change, as well as designing new solutions to reflect the strategy. Doing so not only helps accelerate awareness and buy-in but also creates a better solution for your organization and your customers.
Leading programs from your brand bridges gaps between departmental silos. The shared vision and purpose can have a dramatic impact on efficiency and effectiveness, creating a competitive advantage.
Consistency across all channels
Your financial institutions brand experiences must be consistent at every single touch-point. Consistency starts from the top. It comes from strategy and vision, but also behaviour. Your consistency will be amplified by that of your employees, who drive your brand identity through your product, services, and customer experience.
Internal conversations to drive change
Internal communications are crucial to driving brand consistency across your teams. Rather than a one size fits all communication strategy, deliver clear, concise, relevant and personalized messages.
Driving targeted messages in this manner has the same advantages as for external marketing strategies. It enables messaging to be relevant to the receiving team and ultimately more effective. While it is important for all employees to be acutely aware of the brand strategy and the expectations of them, not all team members require the same level of detail and information. By remaining true to the brand values there is little risk of driving incohesive or competing messages. Being targeted and relevant will drive higher engagement from your teams.
While the brand is much more than its logo and visual assets, they are nonetheless important. Brand standards need to be established, monitored, and enforced. Rather than keeping brand assets behind a lock and key, make them easily accessible to your team and offer guidance on correct usage. Invest in your teams understanding of the value of the brand. Doing so, combined with access to a robust and updated catalogue of assets provides them with what they need to drive creative solutions, without being tempted to creatively edit the brand assets themselves.
Think big, but know your limitations.
When embarking on any project it’s important to be realistic. Evolving a brand is no different. Be realistic about budget and resource requirements from the start and set everyone up for success. Not doing so risks a brand outcome that falls into “the brand is what we say it is” category, which will ultimately fail to be realized consistently.
When decision making across the financial institution is done ‘on brand’, each touchpoint reinforces perceptions of the organization both to employees, and current and prospective clients. Combined with targeted internal communications, your employees will deliver your brand consistently, and they’ll take pride in doing it. These consistent and distinctive experiences enable banks and credit unions to generate a greater share of wallet. How do you communicate your brand to your team? Share your thoughts by getting in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.