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.

We believe that banking can help us overcome this crisis and emerge stronger for it.

silver Believe in Banking logo

North American Bank Earnings Show Solid Fundamentals, Especially Among Canadian FIs

Second quarter earnings report show strong lending numbers and income from interest as inflationary pressure begins to ease Economists and banking industry experts kept a …

Read Now
silver Believe in Banking logo

Administration Unites Banks, Fintechs and Foundations to Advance Economic Opportunity

Public, private and social sector partnership includes 24 organizations prioritizing historic financial investments in underserved communities Last week, the White House announced the formation of …

Read Now
Black grey and orange photo of the front of a Nike store entrance

Brand Best Practices for Generating Gen Z Love

A primer on connecting with the cohort known for its high standards and even higher hopes As the first fully digital generation comes of age, …

Read Now

Believe in Data

Outside View

Black grey and orange photo of the front of a Nike store entrance

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

A primer on connecting with the cohort known for its high standards and even higher hopes

As the first fully digital generation comes of age, their impact on the brand landscape is undeniable. With a mobile device at the ready and more than $360 in spending power, Gen Z uses their influence to make consumer brands better. “Despite the strong influence that price holds over the demographic, the findings show that Gen Z are hyper-informed and switched on when it comes to identifying which brands they consider inclusive and representative,” says Viviane Paxinos, GM at Unidays in RetailDive’s reporting on the Gen Z Fashion Report.

As they gather around their own “digital campfires” like Twitch and TikTok, Gen Z is remaking the rules of building brand buzz. With digital social platforms that seem custom-made for them, this generational cohort is using these channels to find their people – “to connect to a micro-community” and “to participate in a shared experience,” according to Harvard Business Review’s “Where Brands Are Reaching Gen Z.” Even more, centering their experiences – not only as customers but as people – is key building brand affinity.

In “3 Marketing Lessons From Gen-Z’s Favorite Brands,” Inc. advises that you don’t rely on selling products as the primary way to “capture this tech-savvy market.” Using insights e-commerce giant Amazon, sports leader Nike, and retail fashion brand Shein, Inc. says that while speed and efficiency clearly matter to this digital-first generation, social change means more. That’s why Nike consistently tops the best brands lists – for its out-front social stances. Finally, in brand marketing, skip the slick messaging and show who you really are.

“Gen Z wants authenticity, brands that speak – not mimic – their language, especially when it comes to marketing on social media,” Creatopy’s digital media manager Laura Trif tells Inc. “To avoid awkward interactions, brands need to partner with members of the Gen Z community, nano- and micro-influencers that are closer to their followers…” Prizing real relationships, Gen Z is more likely to engage with user-generated content over brand advertising. “What Gen-Z wants to see is relatable content, content that looks and feels spontaneous and raw.”

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. To learn more about growing your financial brand or to speak with one of our banking and credit union experts, contact us at

Share This

Steve Jobs photo

Data You Can Use

0 %*
*Percentage increase in new businesses started since 2021

The Story:

For a group of people who grew up in the shadow of The Great Recession and endured the Pandemic Recession, Gen Z consumers are no strangers to tumultuous economic times. So, it comes as no surprise that four out of five 18-21 year-olds report that money is significant stressor in their lives. But for a generation with purchasing power reaching $360 billion, Gen Z is already having a significant influence on the kinds of financial products and services banks and credit unions offer them to empower their financial lives.

The Takeaway:

As they make their first decisions about money – like establishing and using credit wisely and beginning their primary banking relationships – members of Gen Z seek knowledgeable, credible sources of support. While Gen Z consumers report they’re reticent to take on debt, they need more guidance. “Providing financial literacy tools will benefit both Gen Z and credit unions resulting in long-lasting, engaged relationships, according to “Gen Z: The Fast And Furiously Cashless” report. “The education tools should be available to Gen Z via digital channels, such as on a website, within a credit union’s mobile app, or via virtual classes,” to meet Gen Z consumers where they are.  

Source: Elan Financial Services Report in, “Gen Z: The Fast And Furiously Cashless,” 2020

Sharing Successes

White hand holding an open sign at the front of a business

Small Business Spotlight Shows How Banking-Business Partnerships Prosper

Returning for a second year, the Small Business Spotlight by the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) is collecting fresh success stories of banks and small businesses working together in cities and towns across the country – providing a strong foundation of good jobs, economic solvency and community support. This source of inspiration is augmented by new data from CBA and the Small Business Financial Exchange that finds strength and stability in small business performance. “The report signaled reasons for optimism amidst ongoing economic uncertainty, highlighted by new account growth which now exceeds pre-pandemic levels,” say researchers.

Employing more than 60 million Americans and driving nearly 45% of our economic output, CBA says small businesses inarguably represent the “backbone of our economy” and bankers have been vital partners in championing small businesses, especially during tough economic times like COVID. “With the passage of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in March 2020, the banking industry immediately mobilized to help local businesses and their employees whose livelihoods were on the line,” says CBA. But their support didn’t start or end with PPP and the Small Business Spotlight program shows just how the banking-business partnership endures.

One bank has taken the #SmallBusinessSpotlight platform and run with it. Dime Community Bank – a Brooklyn bank that identifies as “partnership banking at its best” – provides weekly updates on area businesses seeding strength in their communities. A recent spotlights shows a Westchester entrepreneur who saw the opportunity in people moving during the pandemic and “wound up with two growing businesses.” Another highlights Farmingdale’s Adventureland successful marketing to moms. With a fusion of financial education and business inspiration, Dime’s Small Business Spotlight shares smart insights that all small business owners can act on.

If you have a success story from your financial institution about how banking has helped support small businesses, visit CBA’s Small Business Spotlight. For more information on programs to support banking, like CBA’s Small Business Spotlight, stay tuned to Believe in Banking as it looks at industry inspiration in financial services. To learn more about growing your financial brand or to speak with one of our banking and credit union experts, email us at  

Take the Poll

Has your bank or credit union deployed Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs)?

Trending Now

Though the stock market continues to perform well, the COVID crisis is driving heightened economic concern and impacting consumer confidence and spending.

Stay Tuned

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter to stay informed, and be the first to know about upcoming webinars, special events and new episodes of the Believe in Banking Podcast.

Join Us

Get Help Now

Do you need short-term help reopening your branches? Find out about post-COVID branch readiness solutions that can help, or email

Share Ideas

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Email us @, and follow us on our social channels to keep the conversations going.