Are Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase and other national and large regional banks impenetrable?
We know, in fact, that they are not too big to fail. Within our walls, we boast all the time how there is a fundamental difference between us. As an industry of community financial institutions, for some reason we bite our tongues when it comes to marketing to their customer. Why is that?
Let’s take a look at a market known for switch ad campaigns: wireless carriers. When it comes to data, speed and reliability, Verizon often comes out on top in studies compared to T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint. We also know there’s more to it, such as cost, service fees, customer service, a ton of fine print and how the brand makes us feel.
Not everyone should be a Verizon customer, just like not everyone is suited for Bank of America.
I think Sprint’s switch ads this year are brilliant. After all the “ball busting” last year (Remember the marble races?), Sprint brought in Paul – Verizon’s former trusted spokesperson. A familiar face that looks pretty handsome in yellow isn’t saying, “Can you hear me now?” for Verizon. He’s flat out saying that Verizon is better, only slightly better, and you can pay less and have more fun at Sprint. He ends with, “Can you hear that?”
Not only has Sprint used Verizon’s old spokesperson against them, recent ads are using Verizon’s own branded checkmark. These ads depicting their signature red checkmark hooking customers from behind as a symbol of Verizon slowing their data speed while on an unlimited plan.
Sprint is brilliantly painting Verizon as the pompous snob and themselves as the unflappable everyman.
As community financial institutions, we should not be afraid to provide a compelling argument for why to switch from the big banks. And you don’t have to use traditional advertising to do it.
Several of our credit unions, for example, are finding success using targeted digital ads. These messages challenge higher fees, higher loan rates and lower yields on savings. These ads are delivered directly to large bank customers. Others are using testimonials from real folks who have made the switch.
Secured Advantage Federal Credit Union encouraged its community to “Rage Against the Fees.” Real members shared very honest sentiments. “Why I left Chase… Too many stupid fees,” one member bluntly wrote. With a dedicated landing page, a punk rocker-style video, and a series of organic and paid social media posts, Secured Advantage broadcasted several reasons to switch.
You may not be the biggest. By industry definition, quite frankly, you may not be the best. But chances are, your future customer or member may be hiding out with the big banks.
Frank Allgood has more than 15 years of experience in every facet of public information and marketing communications. As Relationships Development Leader for Your Marketing Co., he is responsible for strategic brand experiences and marketing initiatives for credit unions and community banks across the country. For branding or rebranding projects, call 864.326.8740 or email email@example.com.