We’ve created this three-part blog series outlining some of the most important merger-related considerations and the proven steps you need to take to ensure communications – and merger – success. We’re confident you’ll find them helpful in ensuring a smooth transition as you integrate the cultures, internal systems, products and services of both institutions.
But before you begin creating strategies to communicate with your key stakeholders, there’s one vitally important consideration we can’t stress enough. Your brand.
The importance of the brand
Before you launch any communications initiatives around the merger – internally or externally – the brand must be your primary concern. Nothing is more important to the success of a merger than the brand, yet it’s the thing most overlooked by bank leadership.
From your brand strategy and messaging platform to your new logo and name, a strong brand aligns the cultures and values of both organizations, unifying the separate teams by creating a shared purpose and identity. The brand conveys that unified presence to the marketplace, clarifying misperceptions, reducing uncertainty and skepticism, offering a compelling rationale for the merger and creating a sense of excitement and anticipation about the benefits the new organization delivers.
Remember that people are emotional about their banking relationships. For many of your customers, much of what they’ve known about their bank is going to disappear. This can’t help but be unsettling. A well-conceived brand that shows you understand their sense of loss and conveys how much you value them as customers will go a long way in keeping them as customers.
We hope you enjoyed part one of this three-part series. Stay tuned for our next installment when we focus on the importance of internal/employee merger communications or fill out the form below to get your complete copy of the “Bank Merger Communications” whitepaper.
Some decades back in automobile manufacturing, the Toyota Production, or Lean Manufacturing Methodology as it has become more commonly known, radically changed the car-making industry. Built upon production processes created by Henry Ford to enhance efficiencies, Lean philosophies enabled Toyota to streamline processes, reduce waste and costs, and improve quality to the point that it became the behemoth car company it is today.
One key aspect of Lean is to focus efforts on those steps that contribute directly to the desired end value. Any step that does not lead directly to the end goal is considered waste and, since the key to Lean is the elimination of waste, those steps are eradicated and processes are streamlined.
We’re not ready to claim that Account-Based Marketing (ABM) will revolutionize your company’s performance to the same degree the Toyota Production Method did for the Japanese auto manufacturer, but as we consult with our clients about ABM, we can’t help but notice the similarities between the two. Without a doubt, a well-executed ABM strategy will streamline your processes and reduce waste.
When done correctly, ABM eliminates wasteful efforts and unifies the processes and activities of the sales and marketing departments toward a common, more productive end. For instance:
According to Forrester Research, less than one percent of leads become revenue-generating customers, so it’s easy to see why ABM has gotten so much attention in recent years from both sales and marketing organizations. And while there are probably as many differences as there are similarities between Lean Manufacturing principles and those associated with Account-Based Marketing, when it comes to streamlining your sales and marketing efforts and eliminating wasteful activities in both organizations, the connection is undeniable. And, in our opinion, it is another reason to take a serious look at how ABM might help your company.
If you’d like to learn more about our views on Account-Based Marketing, get in touch with us today.
Stackpole is excited to announce that the agency has won First Place in the “Communications: Brand Enhancement” category at this year’s LMA (Legal Marketing Association) Your Honor Awards. Agency president and founder Pete Stackpole was given the award representing work performed for the Hawai‘i-based law firm, Goodsill.
“What a thrill for all of us at the agency to receive this prestigious award,” said Stackpole after the presentation. “This honor is reflective of the talent, dedication and total immersion approach of our team at Stackpole. It also represents a great client who values the importance of process in developing a standout brand and who appreciates the impact of great creative.”
Goodsill is one of the oldest and most respected law firms in Hawai‘i. Their history runs deep, but they recognized an opportunity to jump out ahead of the competition with a total rebranding. Recognizing Stackpole’s deep industry knowledge and experience, they turned to us for help.
That in and of itself was very rewarding for everyone at Stackpole. For a law firm based on the islands of Hawai‘i to procure the services of a brand strategy firm in Massachusetts says a lot about our reputation in the legal services industry. It also presented considerable challenges, as Hawai‘i has a unique and distinctive culture. The new brand would have to simultaneously establish Goodsill’s premier market position and reflect the “Mahalo” sensibilities that define the firm’s distinct essence and culture.
After extensive intake sessions and market analysis on Oahu, the Stackpole team immersed itself in the local scene before returning to the mainland to begin work on the new brand strategy. This total immersion approach–typical of Stackpole methodology–once again paid off. The new brand campaign has been hugely successful in establishing Goodsill as the simultaneously preeminent and “freshest name” in Hawai‘i law.
“We’d like to thank LMA for this distinguished award,” Stackpole continued. “To receive this recognition from such as prestigious institution is a high honor, indeed. I couldn’t be prouder of my team at the agency, and I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to do such innovative work for a client as special as Goodsill.”
View the winning campaign here.
At its 2018 NEFMA Best in Marketing Awards Dinner last evening, the New England Financial Marketing Association announced its winners. Everyone at Stackpole was thrilled to learn that the agency took second place in the Outdoor Advertising category for its Boundless Banking campaign, created for the longtime client, Norwood Bank.
“The New England Financial Marketing Association is a terrific organization, and we’re thrilled to receive this award,” said agency president, Pete Stackpole. “This campaign has received its share of accolades, and this honor means a lot to all of us at the agency. We want to thank all the judges and congratulate all of our fellow recipients on work well done.”
In addition to the NEFMA recognition, the campaign has also been recognized with a Best of Show in the Integrated Marketing Campaign category at this year’s Service Industry Advertising (SIA) Awards, a national award show.
You can see the Boundless Banking campaign here.
Thanks to its premier product and service offerings, an unending commitment to stellar customer service and the expertise of longtime marketing partner, Stackpole, Merchants has grown to be one of the top ten fleet management companies in the US.
In an industry where the current climate is one of mergers and acquisitions – and a resulting perceived lack of customer focus – the Merchants/Stackpole team recognized an opportunity to refresh the firm’s brand image, capitalizing on the innovation responsible for 10 years of solid growth in an effort to further increase market share. The campaign results are impressive.
Check out the story here.
“Every so often, new technology comes along that changes everything.
Welcome to every so often.”
That line, created by Stackpole as the lead thought of its brand campaign, aptly sums up the arrival of Vetter on the digital lending scene. Never before has a solution so streamlined the loan origination process for banks who must now compete against a seemingly endless lineup of Fintech provider challenges.
Vetter recognized Stackpole’s long and successful history in financial services and turned to us to help develop a branding that would clearly announce and differentiate both the product and the firm. We’re pretty pleased, as are the folks at Vetter, with how things turned out.
We think you’ll enjoy reading the case study, which you can find here.
The idea that Boundless Banking at Norwood Bank will continually evolve to meet customers’ needs is behind an unforgettable new ad campaign that highlights exotic, far-away places most of us will likely never visit. For instance, one ad emphasizing Norwood’s mobile banking app features striking imagery of Africa with copy that reads: “You may never find yourself in Tanzania. But if you did, you could deposit your check while on Safari.”
A number of ads appear across multiple channels (outdoor, print, radio, broadcast and digital), all with similar copy and striking imagery that take the viewer on a virtual trip around the world. The ads were supported by an attention-getting, TV spot, which also appeared as a motion graphics video on social media and the bank’s website.
Across the board, the campaign results were impressive, and you can read about them here.
Best of Show. Six Golds. One Silver. One Bronze. Three Merits.
Stackpole is pleased to share the news of its outstanding performance at this year’s Service Industry Advertising (SIA) Awards competition. Since 2003, the SIA Awards have been recognizing advertising excellence in the service industry and this year more than 525 agencies representing over 730 institutions participated. Over 1,600 entries were judged for execution, creativity, quality, consumer appeal and overall breakthrough advertising content.
“I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be rewarded like this for the great work our team has done over the last year,” said agency president, Pete Stackpole. “Having clients who understand and value our strategic approach and who consistently encourage envelope-pushing creative is a big reason for our success at the show.”
Norwood Bank’s “Boundless Banking” campaign was honored as Best of Show in the overall Integrated Marketing Campaign category, selected by a panel of judges as one of just six “Best of Show” Winners, from a pool of 1,600 Entries. As a local community bank, Norwood Bank proudly shares the “Best of Show” stage with National brands like the Washington Post, Ronald McDonald House and Roto-Rooter. Two more Golds for Integrated Marketing Campaign and Outdoor Advertising and an Award of Merit for Television Advertising Single Spot were received.
A ground-breaking campaign created for client Goodsill, a Hawai‘i-based law firm, resulted in three Golds in the Logo Design, Magazine Advertising Series and Total Advertising Campaign categories. “Hawai‘i Life. Hawai‘i Law,” as the campaign is aptly themed, also garnered a Silver for Integrated Marketing Campaign and a Bronze in the Website category.
For the longtime client, Lowell Five Bank, a campaign branding the innovative financial institution as “The Relationship Bank” won a Gold for Total Advertising Campaign and two Awards of Merit in the Integrated Marketing Campaign and Outdoor Advertising categories.
“I’d like to thank our clients, our team at Stackpole and the SIA Award judges for making this possible,” continued Stackpole. “It’s an honor to be in the company of so many great agencies, and I’d like to congratulate the other recipients for work well done.”
Happy Holidays from the Stackpole team!
May the magic and the wonder of the holiday season stay with you throughout the coming year!
Being recognized as one of the best lending institutions in the Merrimack Valley is not entirely a bad thing, but this premier institution is so much more—and they wanted people to know it.
That’s why when they asked us to help enhance the bank’s brand perception and build awareness around the fact that Lowell Five is not just a full-service business- and retail-banking institution, but an organization with the primary focus on building relationships with its customers, “The Relationship Bank” was born.
You can find the details of this brand-new campaign here.
At Stackpole, we value all our clients and we’re lucky to work with some of the best organizations around and Lowell Five is no exception