Banks ARE the status quo

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

13 May 2009

Angry at banks? You’re not alone.

If you were to look at the marketing of banks recently, even among the smallest players in the market, you’d think customers were judging which financial institution to bank with based strictly on who seems the safest. We have been doing a lot of work within the financial industry recently and I can tell you even the little, community bank down your street is talking about how “our money is safe here.”

Does anyone believe their money is not safe at where you currently bank? Of course not. It’s federally insured. Nobody’s running for the hills when their bank gets bought. (Hey, I still bank at Wachovia, for crying out loud.)

And now we have the data to back up that claim. We recently completed nationwide, projectable research with consumers and found that 60.2% of Americans believe their money is safe. No wonder no one is switching. If a bank offers safety and stability as the reason to choose, why would you switch to something you already have? You have to keep your customers’ money safe to be a bank. It’s like saying, “We have free checking. So switch to us.” (Oh right. Banks do that too.)

three_blind_mice_by_bexlyteThe banking marketers are simply refusing to deal with that we’re all angry. They’re scared of it. Our research showed 59.8% of Americans are angry at the banking industry and I believe too many of those in the industry are afraid to touch it. They think it will bounce back at them. Not true. There’s a way to align yourself (as a bank brand) with that emotion – the most intense in the market – in order to be more resonate with target audiences.

Understand this. Few industries are more about the status quo than banks. Despite all that’s happened in the economy today, you’d think banks would actually change. In terms of creating preference, the market is likely to go nowhere and market shares to stay roughly the same.

Our research also showed that half of Americans said they believed the experts would pull us out of the current economic crisis. I certainly hope they’re right. But judging by how out of touch the industry seems to be, I wonder.

See more posts in the following related categories: banks Marketing Research

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