Financial marketing takes a lot of different forms, but we’ve found that a few themes keep cropping up. Things like trustworthiness, customer service, convenience, and access to a range of options. They’re things everyone needs, but seldom think about on a daily basis. Most of all, people just want to know their banking and investment partners will be there for them, that they can rely on the services they provide, and that their money is in good hands.
So when we’re building brands for financial clients, we look for the differences—big and small—that set the good apart from the great, and we seek to communicate those difference to their customers—and why they matter.
Sky Federal Credit Union
Banik began working with Sky Federal Credit Union in 2015. Previous advertising efforts didn’t accurately reflect the credit union or its customers. Sky knew that if members perceived materials were created for them, relating to the lives and businesses they managed, they’d be more apt to seek out additional services from the credit union. Sky serves a mix of rural and urban members in Montana, but ads previously created for Sky relied on imagery which looked more like California than the Big Sky.
Our first task was to impose brand consistency across all marketing efforts and to tout Sky’s advantages in a genuinely Montanan way. Re-introducing the credit union to new and existing customers allowed our rebranding to present Sky as the organization it really is: personable, forthright and approachable. Our solution made Sky more relatable to its members by speaking the language of Montanans. The work helps Sky credibly claim it knows and understands their members because its staff and leadership are members too—living and working in the same place as the people they serve.
“Fishing” Print Ad
One of the first rebranding efforts in our work for Sky, this ad re-establishes the credit union as firmly rooted in Montana attitudes, values, and approach. The hand-crafted feel of the design elements coupled with inviting photography embrace the friendly, local approach Sky and its people use when serving its membership.
Farmers State Bank
Farmers State Bank is a locally-owned institution with branches running the length of the Bitterroot Valley in western Montana. Many of Farmers State Bank’s customers live here because they’re drawn to the valley’s beauty and connection to the natural world. The bank is committed to supporting its community, to the degree that it gives employees time off from work to participate in non-profit work in the valley. It’s one of many reasons Farmers competes successfully against nationwide banks; its customers know the people at their bank because they see them in the community every day.
“Fire” TV Spot
One risk of living in a forested Montana valley is the ever-present threat of forest fires. When a dangerously dry summer led to devastating fires in the region, Farmers responded with support for fire crews and families affected by the fire. They also wanted to add a message of solidarity and hope. We helped them create a TV spot that had nothing to sell and no product to tout. The bank and the people of the valley had survived similar trials in their 100-year history; the spot reinforced that this time would be no different.
“Community Print” Campaign
Farmers State Bank was founded by one of the town fathers of Victor, in the heart of the Bitterroot Valley. The early leaders of the bank were influential in bringing electricity and telephone service to the valley. The bank grew as the valley grew. We sought to communicate that history and commitment to an influx of newcomers. The solution was the Community Commitment campaign. We’d found that an amazing number of the bank’s employees suffered from a rare affliction—helping others. They’re baseball and track coaches, scout leaders, soccer referees, hospital board members, EMTs, firefighters, charity organizers—all volunteers giving their time to the community. We created a series of ads featuring these individuals and their volunteer roles, highlighting the interconnectedness of everyone living in the valley.
“E-Bank” Billboard/Print Campaign
People love e-banking because it’s convenient and lets you do your banking anywhere, any time. Our “E-bank” campaign points this out with a bit of wry humor.
Valley Bank of Kalispell
As an independent and locally owned bank, the best advice we could give Valley Bank of Kalispell was to go their own way. The brand we developed for Valley Bank reflected its values, institutional mission and “real Montana” character. It was our job to hone their image as a top-quality financial institution, despite being much smaller than its competitors. Drawing on the distinct look of the bank’s gorgeous western-inspired lobby, we crafted a brand which reflected its independent and informal culture. From there, we developed campaigns that took the potentially-stodgy world of banking in new and interesting directions.
Home-equity loans…and, you’re already bored.
A constant challenge in financial marketing is making it more than a numbers game. People want the best interest rates and lending terms they can get—but they want them to actually buy stuff. The radio spots in our “Modern Problems” lending campaign rekindled interest by talking about the real human motivations and emotions behind the loans people want. Click on “Men and Women,” “Bathroom,” and “Carpal Tunnel” above to see what we mean.
Embarking On a Strengthened Brand
When we began working with Embark Credit Union of Great Falls, Montana, they had recently undergone a name and identity change. Our challenge was to put the new image to work, speaking to all of those customers in an engaging and straightforward way. Its brand presence needed to express the importance Embark places on progressive, responsible financial management while retaining the friendly and open personality that sets it apart from banks.
Our campaign direction uses the Embark logo as the vehicle for reaching these goals, connecting the credit union’s users to the homes, cars, college educations or trips they’re working toward. Embark’s mark suggests opportunity and even a sense of play, perfect for speaking to the next generation of homeowners, investors and buusinesspeople.
Using inviting photography, and simple, engaging copy, each print, web and social media execution states the case for working with Embark to achieve desired financial milestones. Seasonal campaigns are coordinated with Embark’s web site, digital signboards and electronic and print lobby displays to present a unified message to existing and new customers.