First Financial Bank – Market Share – Brand Mergers
By Tom Dougherty
First Financial Bank (FFB) is Headquartered in Hamilton, Ohio, First Financial Bancorp is a $3.7 billion publicly owned bank holding company with over 4,000 shareholders. The company is committed to satisfying the financial needs of its clients by building long-term relationships with a value-added approach. Founded in 1983, First Financial Bancorp is the holding company for First Financial Bank, N.A. which has a total of 105 banking centers in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Indiana. The banking brands are First Financial Bank, Community First Bank & Trust, and Sand Ridge Bank. The First Financial Wealth Resource Group line of business includes First Financial Capital Advisors LLC and First Financial Insurance. First Financial Bank came to Stealing Share® as a conglomeration of a few institutions, all operating under different brand names. The main banking brands could be grouped into three main players.
Brand is much more than a name but often the brand essence is most visible in e new logo an mark. The new name combines all the existing brands and elevated the corporate identity to a strategic level. Being FIRST. Careful behavior modeling and deep consumer research revealed a deep desire to “win” amongst the target audience and a belief in the power of choices. FFB was careful not to claim responsibility for the winning and success of the target audience but sought to assure them that this bank was a choice that helped winners keep on winning.
Before work began on the new mark, the category was researched to find available colors and marks with the goal being both different and better then the competition. It is important when creating a logo that the color palate be distinctive and “own-able” without borrowing on the competitive set’s marks. The goal is to have the mark set apart from the competition.
Brand work always includes a review and revision of the brand architecture. All of the marks need to relate back to the parent brand.
The signature system needs to fit within the strategy. It should be timeless and help position the brand as strategic.
A brand identity Guide is an imperative. It assures our clients that the brand focus and meaning will not be come watered down and diluted over time. It provides a framework for conveying the brand in everything the company does. 4/20/07 Update: First Financial Bank 2007 first quarter results were up $.12 per share over 1st quarter 2006. Congratulations, First Financial and best wishes on “your path to success!”
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