Different. Personal. Rooted. Committed to local success.
It’s easy to describe how community banks are different from big national banks, and it’s important to share this message continually with customers and stakeholders. After all, you’re in touch with your neighbors. You strive for activities and initiatives that make a difference to the local economy, schools and families. It’s only natural to share this message in a variety of ways to strengthen it.
Here are some tips and strategies to consider:
Don’t rush this process. Take time to understand why your customers choose your bank through tools like surveys. Their replies could fall into one of a few categories that are common brand differentiators among community banks:
- Employees really do get to know customers. When customers need to make big financial decisions, these long-lasting relationships remind them that they can trust your advice.
- Your staff is more likely to know the needs of the community and to be involved in community efforts and events. You have an emotional connection that truly does matter.
- You may have a reward system, special programs for area business owners or another benefit that’s designed just for your community. If this comes to light in a survey response as a key benefit, consider some in-bank signage or a simple handout to highlight it.
You may also want to share what makes you different across more digital or online channels. These are great ways to start a conversation, including:
Email marketing: Consumers respond well to emails, particularly those that are tailored specifically for their needs and interests. Keep the messages brief and the subject line personal to your community. Share a few photos of in-bank events or community events. There’s no harm in trying, especially if your customers opt-in to receive emails on their own.
Social media: This may be an avenue you’ve not yet explored due to message regulations, but if you do decide to have this conversation with your community, keep in mind it’s just that – a conversation. This means you’ll need to keep the talk going by posting once a day and responding to all requests or questions. It can take a few minutes of time, but it can also serve as a touchpoint for building an even stronger sense of relationship with community members. (Did you know the average Facebook user is 50-plus?) Start with one platform and commit to sharing messages regularly, such as a note about a historic milestone for your bank. Or someone’s anniversary at the bank. You can share posts about local community events you enjoy, or remind customers about new tools you’re offering.
You know what makes your bank special and unique. You can share this message daily in a hundred ways, from the way you greet customers to the materials you give them. At CBA of Kansas, we’re here to share ideas and inspiration right alongside you!