Consumers Gravitate Toward Strong Bank Brands

New data and influence rankings show how brand drives business for institutions of all sizes 

As more than half of consumers in Canada report they go to a trusted institution for their banking needs, the importance of a bank’s brand in driving consumer choice is once again in the spotlight. While the data focused on Canadian banking customers, make no mistake, the consumer preference for strong bank brands extends well beyond the border of any one country. In fact, Interbrand’s 100 Best Global Brands featured six bank brands from three countries in their annual ranking. Influential institutions on the list include JPMorgan Chase at #26, Goldman Sachs at #54, Citi at #58, HSBC at #65, Morgan Stanley at #66, and Santander at #77.  

Speaking at Interbrand’s Best Global Brands Summit, Alice Milligan, chief marketing officer of Morgan Stanley remarked that outgoing CEO James Gorman often referred to the bank’s brand as the “secret sauce” for success. “I do think the brand does lead the business in terms of importance,” according to Milligan in American Banker reporting. “A lot of our marketing recognizes that the world is changing, and [we have to] be a brand that appeals to next gen audiences and diverse audiences that might not have thought Morgan Stanley was for them. I think that combination, the strategy of the firm and the value of the brand and bringing those together, really drives growth.” 

Another ranking has just recognized Canada’s Toronto-Dominion (TD) Bank as one of the top bank brands in the world. The Brand Finance Global 500 places TD Bank at #100 among the world’s most valuable brands. While the bank slipped a few spots from its 2023 position, the report noted that TD exhibited “robust performance” around “consideration and familiarity.” As the most recognized banking brand in Canada, “almost three-quarters of respondents are familiar with the brand and 31% are currently using its services,” according to the Financial Post coverage of the ranking report. “This steady market presence speaks to TD’s enduring appeal in the industry.” 

It’s important to note that bank brands don’t have to be among the biggest institutions to exert and expand their influence. “Financial institutions often struggle to create a distinctive identity,” reports the Financial Brand. “Because so many deploy almost identical messaging and product positioning, they can blur together in an increasingly crowded landscape.” That’s why so many financial brands, like Tower Federal Credit Union, spearhead rebranding efforts that focus on renewed relevance. As outlined in the recent case study, “Reinvigorating the Tower brand with a new story and experience connects core members with the community and earns new growth and distinction with the same name.” 

If you’re a banking leader prioritizing growth, get in touch with the brand to branch experts at Adrenaline. And dont forget to subscribe to Believe in Banking to stay up to date with the latest news impacting the banking and credit union industries.