Ok kids, it’s time to loosen your tie and consider some unconventional ways to boost your bank’s brand. They’re uncomplicated, inexpensive and can spark a buzz among current and prospective customers. These are ideas that shatter the notions of conventional bank marketing:
- Have a little fun at the expense of your competitors: One major bank brand uses green bicycles and a marching band to pump up its brand. If you want to attract millennials, take on the bicycles and the marchers at a red light with a sports car and a rock guitarist. It’s a creative way to communicate the idea of building wealth more quickly and creatively.
- Know your community’s cultural touchstones. In regional ads in Alabama, Hyundai used bobble heads of the mascots for Auburn and Alabama as the items that would seal the deal for a new car customer. The manufacturer got a boost from fan loyalty in a football-crazy state. You could do the same, depending on the things that matter to your community.
- Paying it forward: Visit a local eatery. Pick a random customer and pick up their tab. Stop by the table, make introductions and offer a business card.
- Throwback Thursdays: It’s one of social media’s most popular phenomena. Take advantage of it by creating your own. They can be old-school funny and old-school creative, and may spark a laugh. But it tells your younger potential customers that you’re “hip to the trip.”
- Speaking of old school, banks in urban areas can use flyers or posters in local café’s and coffee shops, or even sidewalk chalk art to convey a message.
- Commission a mural. Say there’s an old building –or even one of your branches — in your town that can use a splash of color. Conduct a contest with local high schools to create a mural on the building that not only tells the story of your community, but it gives your bank a chance to share its message. It also tells the community that you care. In an age of mega-mergers, that’s a crucial message for community banks and credit unions.
- And one last art-related idea: In every community, it seems there’s an icon that represents the community. Or maybe there’s an animal that simply brings happiness. Partner with schools, artists and the community to place sculptures of the animals in high-traffic areas, allowing the kids to creatively paint the statues.
- Sponsor major community events. Local car dealerships partner with local colleges for a half-court shot contest. Hit the shot, win a car. How about a half-court shot for a semester’s tuition, combined with a T-shirt night and post-game pizza party for students? This is a market banks want to tap. The lesson: Go where the kids are.
- Webinars: Host a webinar for parents who may want information on how to financially prepare for their children’s future. For example, partner with local hospitals to provide old-school style information on products that will help growing families, as well as to promote a webinar on savings or 529 College Savings Plans for kids.
- ATM Bonuses: Slideshare.net, in a piece entitled “101 Ways to Make Banking More Fun,” suggested loading ATM machines with “bonus hundreds”. Promote how long these bonus bucks will be available and alert the media. Industrial Credit Union in Bellingham, Wash., used the idea, with an ATM that spewed $50s instead of $20s during the Christmas season to celebrate the holiday and the opening of a new branch.
Contact BankMarketingCenter.com and we can help you effectively tailor your community bank or credit union’s message to grow your business.