Best Brand Positions for Banks and Credit Unions
A critical part of brand strategy is positioning – the unique attribute or identity you want people to associate with your brand at a gut level, in just a few words. Helping clients position and differentiate themselves is what we do at Creative Co-op, and it’s especially important when the only thing separating competing financial products is a tenth of a percentage point.
Positioning for banks and credit unions draws upon some 15 basic themes. If you haven’t updated your positioning in a while or aren’t sure what it is, here are some popular examples.
#1: “Personal service”
How you stand out: close relationships, face-to-face service, individual attention, understanding unique customer needs
#2: “Community banking”
How you stand out: local ownership, neighbors serving neighbors, area expertise, fast approval, local business lending, giving back, enhancing quality of life
#3: “Smart money”
How you stand out: resources for educated consumers, planning tools and calculators, expert staff or consultants, lifecycle-specific products
#4: “Low cost”
How you stand out: free or low-cost services, emphasis on budget-minded customers, products for new savers or seniors, fewer frills and overhead
How you stand out: extensive branch and ATM networks, online and mobile options, extended hours, drive-through facilities, fast service
#6: “Easy/no red tape”
How you stand out: customer-friendly processes, less waiting and frustration, quick approvals, transparency, fast turnaround
#7: “Trusted advisor”
How you stand out: Personal service, value-added expertise, experienced staff, proven track record, integrity, long history
#8: “Safe choice”
How you stand out: size and visibility, reputation, full service, lots of branches, FDIC or NCUA insured
#9: “Great rates”
How you stand out: highest yields, lowest costs, competitive or comparative messaging, specials and promotions, best-rate guarantees
#10: “The unbank”
How you stand out: not like typical banks (or not a bank at all), customer advocacy, same services for less, emphasis on value and fresh thinking
#11: “Internet bank”
How you stand out: smarter, more for less, superior technology, lifestyle-friendly
Chances are that you’ll recognize your own institution’s positioning not in one of these options, but in several. Just keep in mind one of marketing’s most hallowed axioms: Position is the art of sacrifice. Carving out a clear and differentiated niche means resisting the urge to be all things to all people.
A strong, compelling market position is invaluable as a “silent tiebreaker” for prospects facing many choices, as well as for existing customers or members whose loyalty may be wavering. To find the positioning that will stand out in your marketplace, contact Creative Co-op today or call us at (603) 658-1600.