Ask An Expert

Sean Keathley discusses how to create connections through branch conversions

After a COVID slowdown in banking mergers and acquisitions, we’re now in the midst of a predicted resurgence of M&A activity. But it's once the deal is done, that the real work begins. In this Ask an Expert, Sean Keathley discusses converting branches to the new post-merger brand. With the exterior of the branch as your beacon and the interior as your experience, branch conversion is a rich opportunity to drive acquisition, deepen customer connections, and solidify and grow relationships. Learn the principles and practices in branch conversion that help banks master all the complexity.

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Outside View

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How the beloved brand leverages a passion for people and a customer-centric mindset to revolutionize our breakfast bowls

“First and foremost, I just want to say that purpose-driven brands grow faster than non-purpose-driven brands… So, at the heart of everything we do is being authentic and true.” These words were not spoken by the CMO of Patagonia or Toms, known principally for their social advocacy, but by the leader of the breakfast foods brand. Yes, you heard that right – breakfast. And which brand immediately comes to mind when you think of the first meal of the day? Kellogg’s does, of course. With its growing stable of on-the-go nutritious foods, no one understands breakfast or consumers better than this beloved brand.

When recently interviewed by Business Insider’s Industry Voices, Kellogg’s chief brand officer Charisse Hughes spoke passionately about purpose and people at the heart of Kellogg’s. “I absolutely love this company,” she says. “In 2020, we reasserted and reaffirmed our purpose, which is all about providing a seat at the table for everyone.” Driving momentum behind their brands, Kellogg’s successfully leveraged a holistic consumer data program to build on consumer affinity. “We asked [consumers] what role does food play in their lives? How can we be more relevant culturally? And doing all of that through our K-way of inclusive marketing.”

How does that play out in the crowded and competitive world of consumer packaged goods? Just as in banking, it means providing relevant products at the point of need. For example, understanding that families have hectic and harried mornings, Kellogg’s has just introduced the first-ever Eggo waffles that don’t require a toaster or toppings. “Mornings are tough for families,” says Joe Beauprez, Marketing Director with Eggo. “We heard from parents that they often sacrifice their own needs, like skipping breakfast, in order to make sure their kids get a great start to the day.” After all, it’s the K-way.

For more information on inspirational brands and what banking can learn from them, stay tuned to Believe in Banking as it looks at influencers in related industries and tracks the big trends in financial services. For more banking best practices, see Adrenaline’s Perspective channel for brand-to-branch approaches for financial institutions of all sizes or contact us at info@adrenalineagency.com.

How the beloved brand leverages a passion for people and a customer-centric mindset to revolutionize their breakfast bowls

“First and foremost, I just want to say that purpose-driven brands grow faster than non-purpose-driven brands… So, at the heart of everything we do is being authentic and true.” These words were not spoken by the CMO of Patagonia or Toms, known principally for their social advocacy, but by the leader of the breakfast foods brand. Yes, you heard that right – breakfast. And which brand immediately comes to mind when you think of the first meal of the day? Kellogg’s does, of course. With its growing stable of on-the-go nutritious foods, no one understands breakfast or consumers better than this beloved brand.

When recently interviewed by Business Insider’s Industry Voices, Kellogg’s chief brand officer Charisse Hughes spoke passionately about purpose and people at the heart of Kellogg’s. “I absolutely love this company,” she says. “In 2020, we reasserted and reaffirmed our purpose, which is all about providing a seat at the table for everyone.” Driving momentum behind their brands, Kellogg’s successfully leveraged a holistic consumer data program to build on consumer affinity. “We asked [consumers] what role does food play in their lives? How can we be more relevant culturally? And doing all of that through our K-way of inclusive marketing.”

How does that play out in the crowded and competitive world of consumer packaged goods? Just as in banking, it means providing relevant products at the point of need. For example, understanding that families have hectic and harried mornings, Kellogg’s has just introduced the first-ever Eggo waffles that don’t require a toaster or toppings. “Mornings are tough for families,” says Joe Beauprez, Marketing Director with Eggo. “We heard from parents that they often sacrifice their own needs, like skipping breakfast, in order to make sure their kids get a great start to the day.” After all, it’s the K-way.

For more information on inspirational brands and what banking can learn from them, stay tuned to Believe in Banking as it looks at influencers in related industries and tracks the big trends in financial services. For more banking best practices, see Adrenaline’s Perspective channel for brand-to-branch approaches for financial institutions of all sizes or contact us at info@adrenalineagency.com.

Photos courtesy of Kellogg’s® Better Days

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Data You Can Use

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*Percentage of adults who say it’s important to bank with a local financial institution
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The Story: A recent report from Oracle spotlights data finding that a majority of customers score financial advice received in-person higher than information they get through other channels. The fiscal advice was ranked even higher when it was customized – with 58% of consumers reporting that counsel completely met their needs and 55% saying it seemed personalized. Most importantly, guidance given face-to-face consistently scores higher with customers than advice given over the phone, through digital channels or via email or physical mail.  

The Takeaway: In an age where people are getting banking and budgeting advice from friends and family, online forums and social media, consumers will welcome counsel from the true financial experts – along with the tools people need to foster their own financial growth. Proving the branch channel is still serves as a vital support system for banking, smart FIs will expand on the trust consumers have in their local bankers.  

Source: Oracle, “Unlock Value with Empowered Bankers and Engaged Customers,” 2021

Sharing Successes

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How Gamification Generates Good CX (and Goodwill) for Community Financial Institutions

With competition for customers at an all-time high post-COVID, community FIs are consistently looking for new ways to spark interest and engagement and deliver true consumer value at the same time. Gamification provides such a platform for community banks and credit unions that use it wisely. Beyond simple entertainment, gamification in banking takes tasks – like financial planning and budgeting that can feel a little like chores – and makes them more satisfying, enjoyable, and ultimately, more rewarding. But before jumping on the gamification train, financial institutions should first map their efforts to a strong strategy.

“While it can be tempting to seek out new offerings that provide these addictive interfaces, experts say that there is a time and a place for gamification,” according to Independent Banker’s exploration of gamification in community banking. “I don’t know of a single community bank that is going out and looking for gamification for the sake of gamification,” says Charles Potts, ICBA executive vice president and chief innovation officer in the article. “Gamification is a tool or process inside of something else to solve a very particular problem that the community bank is trying to address.”

Take Workers Credit Union’s Workers PlanIt App, for example. When the Boston-area credit union wanted to make the most of its on one-on-one, customized financial solutions, they partnered with Adrenaline to develop a gamified tool for life-stage financial planning. The result is an in-branch touch-enabled App that matches up people and products in a fresh and fun way.  Whether it’s a 65-plus senior focused on retirement, families look at buying a home or a young person buying their first car, PlanIt helps users identify their goals and gives them the resources and advice to make their dream a reality.

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With a spotlight on consumer need, Workers Credit Union set the stage for meaningful financial education and support. “By focusing in on target audiences – members and potential members – centering who they were and what life stage they’re in, and, perhaps even more importantly, what their biggest financial goals are, Workers Credit Union is able to truly connect financial services resources to the needs-states and life-stages of real people seeking to do real things with their money,” according to Adrenaline’s case study. The approach has been so successful the credit union plans to roll out two new PlanIt concepts annually for the next five years.

Once exclusively the purview of fintechs, banks and credit unions of all sizes today are trying their hand at gamifying elements of a larger product offering or solutions strategy, even using these tools for employee onboarding, training and development. For more information on top trends in banking like gamification, stay tuned to Believe in Banking as it looks at best practices and industry inspiration in financial services. To learn more about customizing gamification and creative brand expressions for your bank or credit union, email info@adrenalineagency.com.  

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