First Financial Bank came to Stealing Share with two questions: 1. How do they combine all of their aquired regional banks into a single entity. 2. How should they be positioned for growth both through aquisition and organically.
At the time, First Financial Bank had 118 banking centers spread across Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan. The bank did not want to throw away any regional brand eqiuity but also needed to know if there was a single brand that had more value than the rest.
A comprehensive research study was initiatied in all of the geographies where First Financial and it sub brands operated. Research showed 3 key things: 1. There was a lack of awareness for any of the brands. 2. Consumers would not switch if their bank changed their name. 3. Consumers in these geographies were highy motivated by success.
Since it was the most well known and had the largest footprint, all 118 centers became First Financial.
Rather than give the logo an icon or mark, we utilized the color yellow as the brands defining visual identity. And attached the widely held consumer belief in the importance of success in close proximity to the name.
First Financial Bank has grown from assets of 118 centers and $6.7B to having 143 centers and assets of $15.9B.
Claude Davis, Chairman and previous CEO of the bank said of our work, “One of the key success factors in launching and growing a strong brand is the quality of the research and analysis used to establish the brand’s position and relevance to the company’s clients and prospects. Stealing Share developed and executed a comprehensive research strategy for First Financial’s branding project and performed in depth analysis of the data. Using the data as a baseline, Stealing Share’s branding recommendations were totally on target and have enabled First Financial Bank to build a stronger and more recognizable brand. The positioning recommended by Stealing Share continues to be relevant even several years after the research was completed. Through focused execution, our brand has been culturalized internally and has successfully differentiated First Financial among its competitors.”