Banking

Five Reasons Why It May Be Time for Your Bank to Update Its Brand | ABA Banking Journal

By Christie Wrazen

According to Sprout Social, 64 percent of consumers want to feel a connection to the brand they are considering making a purchase from. Why? Consumers value authenticity. They want to trust the business they are buying from and what is being sold. If your brand has not been refreshed since the first time jeggings were in-style, it’s time to step into the new decade. Visual representation needs to be modern and attention grabbing, the message you’re preaching needs to be authentic and consistent across the board and your website needs to be firing on all cylinders.

If your bank brand is tired, consumers are not going to stick with you out of sentiment. They are going to look elsewhere for the perfect fit. When that happens, it’s time for a wardrobe overhaul. Maybe your colors are falling flat, your core values need to be dusted off and fine-tuned, or you are just not loving the italic version of your brand font anymore. Whatever the reason, it’s time for a brand refresh.

Here are five reasons why you should consider updating your bank brand, logo or both.

1. It’s been a long time.

So long in fact, that you cannot even remember the last rebrand. Generally, the rule of thumb is to update your brand or logo every 10 years, but with the fast-paced financial world racing along, refreshing your brand to stay current is likely to happen more frequently. It all depends on the status of your business. If you are doing a new logo, it would be a disservice to your bank to not do a rebrand at the same time, otherwise it could look like you put a sequined patch on a threadbare garment.

2. You want to stand out from the crowd.

If you want to attract attention, you have to be bold, different and willing to break out of the bank molds. What sets you apart from the other financial institutions in your area? It’s time to hit the pavement and do some market research.

Maybe you find some of your competitors using a lot of blues in their brand, just like you. That’s a sign it’s time to mix it up, strike out and give your brand a new outfit with colors that pop! Of course, updating your brand is more than just mixing a few new shades together, but you would be surprised how a new coat of paint can take your brand from blah to voila! Now that you’ve got a fresh new look it’s time to accessorize. Think about your fonts, design elements, photography, voice and message.

3. Your brand isn’t consistent.

Maybe you had not noticed that your website uses nine different font families and 15 different shades of that dulcet blue, but your audience sure has, along with where your logo is stretched and—do I dare say—your website isn’t responsive. It’s all going to be OK. These cosmetic adjustments can all be tackled during a rebrand. It may seem like a daunting task, but a rebrand can happen in phases.

You don’t necessarily have to rollout your new brand all at once. It’s okay to update each piece as you go, just be sure to update your brand standards guide as you do. Don’t have a brand standards guide? It’s time to make one! Every element of your new brand, including font, logo use, tone, messaging and core values should be included in the brand standards guide. This can then be distributed to your internal and external marketing teams as a reference on how to keep your new brand consistent.

4. Your business strategy, core values or mission has changed.

Your outer appearance is just one piece of the brand makeover. Your exterior look needs to reflect the interior brand message and core values. The heart of your brand and the foundation of your bank’s existence lies in your bank’s voice, tone, and messaging. If you have updated your look to be more modern but are still using language that has not been relevant since that old pair of jeans was popular, it’s easy for your audience to lose trust in your brand. This can also be portrayed in the type of photography style you choose. Your imagery and tone should evoke emotion, whether it’s serious or more humorous, it’s what gives your brand personality. Be sure to think about how your new brand reflects the core aspects of your business, because relying on looks alone just doesn’t cut it anymore.

5. You want to be trendier.

We have all seen trends come and go, and whether you want them to stick around or stay in the past, they are a good indicator of what consumers are interested in and should stay on your radar. For example, the design style of 3-D buttons and icons with shiny accents and shadows used to be a popular trend. Nowadays, that trend has fallen flat. Literally. Icons and buttons have lost their dimension, and users prefer a more simplistic design. Sticking to outdated trends or practices for certain brand elements, such as design, and switching it up in other areas such as brand voice, creates a disconnect for your audience. If your brand reflects a more modern trendy look and feel, the more likely your audience will notice and trust that your business uses the most current technology, products, and services.

There are many reasons to rebrand. But when it comes down to it, it’s all about getting noticed. Rebranding builds awareness and grabs attention within your community, especially when you roll out your fresh new look and updated personality across the right channels. You’re up on the current trend, you have the newest products and services the financial industry has to offer. Now hit the streets and show them off.

Christie Wrazen is the creative process team lead at Pannos Marketing, based in Manchester, New Hampshire, an award-winning, full-service communications firm specializing in strategic marketing, public relations, social media, e-commerce and website solutions for financial institutions. Email: [email protected].

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