Believe in Banking Podcast

In this special episode, Sean and Gina welcome back Ryan Kilpatrick, Executive Vice President and Chief Brand and Communications Officer for Origin Bank to discuss his ideas on forming relationships with customers and understanding how they want to bank. Specifically, he addresses meeting the moment during COVID and why he believes that banking can help transform people's lives.

Ask An Expert

Matt Rollins discusses building strong brands through a story and system approach.

Adrenaline’s Executive Creative Director Matt Rollins talks about the process of creating resilient brands through a the power of story. The strongest brands have an idea that consumers buy into, not products or services, and marrying that idea of a brand to a system of storytelling helps the best brands live on in the hearts and minds of consumers. With recent examples from the real world, Matt helps illuminate how brands create more meaningful connections.

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


Forward Facing: Credit Union Rebrands in Times of Change

Credit unions redefine their identity and reclaim their future Change is never easy. Change in a time of upheaval can feel impossible. For financial institutions …

Read Now

What banking can learn from Spotify’s successful pivot

In the early days of the pandemic, business pivots were stunning and swift as companies across every industry and around the globe transformed their operations, delivery, and even their products and services to meet the urgent global …

Read Now

Best Practices for Branch Banking

A real-world case study on optimizing the branch network and reinvesting in banking’s biggest growth opportunity It is well understood that COVID is presenting what …

Read Now

Believe in Data

Outside View

In the early days of the pandemic, business pivots were stunning and swift as companies across every industry and around the globe transformed their operations, delivery, and even their products and services to meet the urgent global demands for masks, hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment. This move was so prevalent that even Prada became a mask maker

As the immediate urgency of the COVID crisis has become an uneasy new normal, that rapid change of business has transformed into more substantive pivots as well. These shifts are designed to build true resilience by simultaneously positioning businesses for short-term recession survival and positioning them for longer-term recovery and growth. 

Case in point: Music streaming giant Spotify, which, as advertising income dropped, was forced to seek new revenue streams. As the Harvard Business Review reports, the pandemic acted as a catalyst for the brand to take a page from Netflix’s book and pivot toward producing original podcasts.

Now the platform can not only reap healthier margins on copyrighted content but importantly, has become a more relevant cultural force—a true tastemaker. By leveraging the insights and analytics from its own user base, Spotify is now able to serve up a menu of content geared to be attractive and valuable for its millions of core subscribers. 

As the HBR piece points out, a successful shift in strategy must be a lateral extension of a brand’s core capabilities. In other words, no one would buy Spotify the skincare line. They would, however—and do, according to its millions of downloads—buy Spotify as a creator of video and audio content. 

In looking to building their own brand of resilience, smart banks and credit unions should first look to ways to serve their core customers with different products, services, and delivery channels designed to meet a true need that play to a financial brands’ strength. Often, a full pivot isn’t necessary—rather, a current service deployed in a new, more convenient, or compelling way can build a foundation for sustainable growth through the recession and beyond. 

To learn more about how your banking brand can pivot to meet the challenges and opportunities of the moment, email

Share This

Data You Can Use

0 %*
*the attrition rate within the first 12 months for financial accounts opened through a digital channel

The Story: As Novantas reports, while the effort and costs around new customer acquisition remain high—despite a growing consumer demand for on-demand digital account openings—a full half of those hard-won customers or members are likely to leave if they’ve opened their account digitally, as compared to 30% for those initiating accounts through the branch channel.

The Takeaway: While digital transformation is key to banking’s future, branch networks are equally vital. A brand strategy that optimizes and integrates both the physical and digital experience and is built around customer needs will lead to longer, deeper, more loyal relationships that deliver higher ROI for your bank or credit union.

Sharing Successes

Launching a New Financial Services Brand During COVID—and Winning

For decades, Kern Schools Federal Credit Union served the hard-working, tight-knit communities in Bakersfield, California. Like many, over time the credit union had expanded its membership beyond its founding as a select employer group (SEG) and membership was now opened to all. As it looked to build on its strong local roots and expand into growth markets outside Kern County, it became clear that the brand—beginning with the name itself—must evolve to capture a bigger promise.

A new brand strategy anchored the credit union around a competitively unique position: Growing Your Possibilities. After exhaustive research, a new name was selected—one that captured the shared sense of pride and place for people throughout the region—with a visual identity that echoes the rootedness and growth at the heart of the brand’s promise. The Valley Strong brand launched to employees and the market in early 2020 with a celebration for how the brand will grow the possibilities of all those it serves.

Then the COVID crisis hit. Rather than pause its brand momentum, Valley Strong doubled down on communicating its presence and reinforcing its commitment to the Central Valley communities. Messaging didn’t go silent, but shifted to a simple rallying cry of unity and support: “We are Valley Strong.” A robust social campaign celebrated the “Everyday Heroes” the brand was proud to serve and marketing built awareness and anticipation in new markets for new branches opening this Fall.

The strategy is driving success: In June, Valley Strong was named by Forbes as one of “America’s Best Credit Unions” — a distinction that only 183 credit unions earn out of more than 5,200 nationwide and ranking second in California. It’s a well-deserved accolade, reflecting the strength of its promise in helping turn people’s financial possibilities into realities.

To learn about how your credit union can position its brand for success during COVID and beyond, email

Take the Poll

Has your bank or credit union changed its marketing investment due to the COVID crisis?

Trending Now

The COVID crisis continues to sow economic uncertainty and a heightened interest in banking.

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.