Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Q Does a Bank's Brand Matter? an Interview with Kathleen Rumfola, Senior Vice-President, ABA Brand Marketing

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Q Does a Bank's Brand Matter? an Interview with Kathleen Rumfola, Senior Vice-President, ABA Brand Marketing

Article excerpt

ABABJ: Why should a bank care about its brand?

Kathleen Rumfola: A brand isn't just a tagline and logo. It's what your customers think you are; what they experience at your bank. A bank should care about how customers interact with their employees, how they use their products, how they see and experience the bank.

ABABJ: What contributes to a strong brand?

KR: When ABA refreshed its brand, we first talked to members, nonmembers, and employees to find out what they think ABA stands for. From that we developed our messaging, which is the most important element of a brand-more important than look and feel. So a bank should first find out what customers say that they are, what the experience is like (fix anything that's bad) and then build messaging around that. Once the messaging is established, build a consistent look and feel so that your customers know that it's your bank.

ABABJ: Can a brand shape what a customer thinks about a company?

KR: Once you develop your messaging, you need to make sure your employees understand what your brand is because they're the ones who carry out your brand every day and interact with your customers. The brand should be a roadmap and guideline for your employees to follow, asking themselves, "Does the work I do every day support our brand?" For example, if part of your brand is delivering great customer service, every employee needs to deliver great customer service every time they deal with a customer. You need to spend time with the employees and provide brand training to make sure that employees understand what that means. What are 10 things you mean when you say great customer service? It may be solving problems on the first call. …

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