When you’re a small business—or a small but growing regional bank like Northwest Bank—getting the biggest bang for your marketing dollar is crucial. Marketing is costly—especially if you’re a small business or start-up trying to compete with the big guys.
So when Northwest Bank embarked on a campaign to build awareness about their recent bank merger and to grow its clients, they needed a unique strategy that would make a big impact. And they needed to achieve this project on a modest budget. Fortunately, they started where all good communications should: By defining their brand personality.
We worked with a writer to define their “voice,” personality, and align new visual elements with their existing brand direction. The campaign budget was not sufficient for effective media placement, or for a multichanneled campaign. We needed a strategy that would align more with grass roots marketing ingenuity than with big budget panache.
HB Design conceived of a small, private, and highly-personalized event hosted by the bank that featured a presentation on the Oregon economy by a noted economist—who just happened to be on their board. We worked with the bank to identify the key event communication pieces including elegant printed invitations, hand delivered bank portfolios, and customized reminder emails. Their internal bank management staff developed a highly targeted invitation list and followed-up personally with each guest before and after the event. This approach aligned with the bank’s brand that touts personalized service, one-on-one banking relationships, and the motto: “We bring the bank to you.”
A big part of the strategy was the way in which materials were delivered to prospects. Instead of an impersonal mass direct mailing, the bank was able to procure valuable face time with qualified potential customers. Additionally, the bank’s personality came through loud and clear in all of the communications—from an overview flyer to the customized invitation. All pieces featured a confident, clear, and consistent message that was critical in establishing the bank’s new brand.
Happily, the event was a success. Out of the 80 highly qualified invited guests, the bank gained a number of new relationships, expanded several existing ones, and continues to engage with other guests as interested prospects. They also generated more quarterly revenue as a result of the event than during any other quarter last year. Furthermore, a great foundation was laid for strong brand communication going forward.
Our work with Northwest Bank illustrated how creativity, discipline, and smart planning can go a long way to boost a company’s brand and bottom line. And that, even with a limited budget, you can be the most powerful brand in your target market if you do one thing: Define your brand.