Magazine article Independent Banker

United We Brand

Magazine article Independent Banker

United We Brand

Article excerpt

Building a national brand image takes a team effort but reaps big rewards

The ICBA's members-only section of its Web site proudly states the notion, "There is power in numbers." Wow, what a powerful concept-that a group together is more powerful than a single individual alone. This month I'd like to review some national brand image campaigns and some common misconceptions.

What is brand image? Think of it as prodding into the psyche of the consumer. Brand imaging creates consumer awareness and perceptions of, and preference for, a product, corporation or even an industry. Creating a brand image differentiates groups as unique entities by formulating awareness of ideas, products and groups.

For instance, let's look at the ICBA "On Your Corner. In Your Corner" tagline as an example of a national image campaign. It was developed to assist ICBA member banks stimulate awareness of community banking nationwide. The goal is to educate consumers across the United States on the premise that banks that promote the program, "On Your Corner. In Your Corner," belong to the same family of banks that deliver friendly, personal attention to their customers and channel most of their loans into their local neighborhoods.

Marketplace examples. Consider the following slogans as a point of comparison, "Cotton, the fabric of our lives" and "Pork, the other white meat." These are two wellknown campaigns that most consumers are familiar with. Reports show that these industry image branding campaigns have changed the perceptions about pork and cotton; consumers' use of these products has increased. The images portray pork as a healthy substitute to chicken and cotton as a prime choice for a quality fabric.

Teamwork is essential. Remember, a national branding effort requires a team approach that, in the long run, yields individual gains. Similar to the pork and cotton industries' efforts, the values promoted are not those of a specific distributor, but those of the industry as a whole. …

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