news archive


Welcome to Weber Marketing Group’s archive of articles and insights on the topics of branding, branch design, culture building, and the financial industry.

John Mathes To Speak At Two Credit Union Conferences in Puerto Rico

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John Mathes To Speak At Two Credit Union Conferences in Puerto Rico

John Mathes, Director of Brand Strategy at Weber Marketing Group, is leading sessions at two credit union conferences in San Juan, Puerto Rico in February.

John Mathes, Director of Brand Strategy

John Mathes, Director of Brand Strategy

Drive Awareness & Profit With Effective Branch Messaging

Thursday, February 18th, 9:05-10:05am at the Business Development & Marketing Conference

Learn how effective messaging in today's branch can shape behaviors and lead to retention, increased share of wallet and brand advocacy. Your branch network represents a unique message distribution channel where you control the placement, the creative, the timing and the success measurement of your marketing program. You would be hard pressed to efficiently control these variables in any other advertising medium.

We'll explore:

  • Effective message placement hierarchy and strategy
  • Finding the balance of digital, paper-based, semi-permanent and environmental messages
  • Creating more compelling messaging and storytelling
  • Best practices in digital interactivity and deployment
  • Goal setting for results

Transform Your Branches From Transaction Centers Into A Productive New Business Model

Friday, February 19th, 10:30-11:30am at the Maximizing Your Credit Union's Earnings Conference

The bullet train of new technologies from mobile, to tablet, to remote, to payment systems seems to be overwhelming the role or need for branches. So why are large numbers of people still coming into credit union branches?

Determining the future role of branches at your credit union should engage a broad section of your team to identify critical emerging trends to optimize square feet, increase profitable product selling and create a unique and powerful brand experience that sets your credit union completely apart.

In this session, you'll see firsthand what some of the most innovative, effective and technologically savvy branch environments are discovering about consumer behavior and increasing bottom line results.

Learn how you can take your organization to the next level by integrating your online, digital, mobile and brick-and-mortar channels behind a unique value proposition and aligned brand.

It's not too late to register for both conferences. 

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Blending Technology with Physical Spaces

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Blending Technology with Physical Spaces

Amazon recently opened its first retail brick and mortar store in Seattle's University Village. Our retail team took a short road trip to check it out.

I realized right away how ironic it was to be walking into in a physical store belonging to the largest online store in North America. Why would a company that started selling books online, wiping out retail bookstores, decide to open its own retail bookstore? I’m sure Amazon has many answers, but it comes down to touch points with their brand.

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Amazon, like many of our financial services clients, wants to be part of your everyday life and have different brand touch points. A retail space delivers a unique brand experience that online purchasing cannot deliver. Designing the user interface (UI) of the future involves designing a branch of the future. The UI of the future should bridge both technology and physical spaces. 

Glancing around the store, customers can quickly see the "book eye candy" because all the books are cover facing. Whoever said to never judge a book by its cover has not done book sales research. A nicely designed cover will sell more books. Amazon also only stocks books in their store that are best sellers, highly reviewed or hot and new.

None of the books in the store have prices on them. Finding out the price involves bridging amazon.com directly into the store. You can either use your amazon.com mobile app, or check the price from a store kiosk which displays the price on the amazon.com website.

The ability to physically see, touch, pick up and open the books helps you understand why not everyone reads from a Kindle or has fully embraced e-books. If we all felt we needed only e-books, no one would make physical books. Physical books still outsell digital books and, in fact, physical book sales are trending upward. Amazon has probably recognized that in order to sell more books they need to have to have more access touch points, and that's exactly what they're doing with their retail store. 

I'm sure Amazon's retail strategy will be just as aggressive as their online strategy. The trick for them will be finding the perfect blend of technology and retail space. They will either turn their retail brand experience into a gem like their existing website, Fire TV and Amazon Echo, or it will flop like the defunct Amazon Fire Phone. My bet is on another gem for Amazon.

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Branch Transformation: Inspiration, Impact and Dynamic Storytelling

Weber Marketing Group's Josh Streufert is leading a session on branch transformation with Ameriana Bank's CEO Jerry Gassen and EVP Deborah Robinson at the BAI Retail Delivery Conference in Las Vegas on October 13th.


Branch Transformation - Inspiration, Impact and Dynamic Storytelling
Tuesday, October 13th, 3:00-3:45 PM

The role of the branch is changing in light of new customer preferences and the onslaught of digital and more self-directed banking. But, what opportunities become possible when customers and staff are inspired? How can a branch use technology to promote a more human experience? In this session, you’ll hear the story of how one organization turned a flagship branch into a branded retail experience that uses technology and dynamic storytelling to inspire the community.

  • How a branch facility can inspire staff and customers alike
  • Integrating social media into the branch experience
  • How dynamic storytelling can foster a strong brand experience

It's not too late to register for the financial industry's premier conference for powerful tools and actionable insights. View the full conference agenda here.

Josh Streufert, Creative Director, Weber Marketing Group

Josh Streufert, Creative Director, Weber Marketing Group

Jerry Gassen, CEO, Ameriana Bank

Jerry Gassen, CEO, Ameriana Bank

Deborah Robinson, Executive Vice President, Ameriana Bank

Deborah Robinson, Executive Vice President, Ameriana Bank

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The Holy Grail of Data Analytics?

A guest post from our partner Jay Kassing at MARQUIS.


Jay Kassing, President, MARQUIS

Jay Kassing, President, MARQUIS

It has been rumored for years. Some have even claimed they had one, only to disappoint. Certainly someone will bring this mysterious beast to the market...right? It has to happen.

For the sake of every well-intentioned marketing officer in financial services – please confirm you have seen the Yeti of Data Analytics, an automated MCIF with a fulfillment engine!

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus...er...there is such technology.

This is the Holy Grail. This is what “Big Data” promises to deliver, but for a fraction of the cost.

An automated MCIF analytics tool, with an equally automated direct marketing fulfillment engine, is the answer for every bank and credit union not named Chase, B of A, Navy Federal, et al...

Why? Does any marketer care enough about data analytics these days in the face of such concepts like social media and other “the future is now” technologies? They should.

Here is why it matters. And you can ask Google and Amazon and every other big retailer why they rely on data so much. Data and client behaviors are predictive. If you know who does what, why and when, then you can leverage this intelligence to sell stuff by making effective offers to clients and prospects. Lacking hard data, we all simply trust our gut. Or maybe we simply copy the next guy...

So, how is analytics done now and why does it need to be fixed? Today, collecting, analyzing and taking action on data is not only time consuming, but it requires intelligent human interaction and decision-making. What if this process could be completely automated?

Before: Marketers must invest their time and expertise and action to have success. If you have a classic MCIF analytics tool your life looks like this each month. Find the account data offered up by your I/T staff for importing to the MCIF out on the network. Import said data (hoping that all of the fields sync properly...otherwise, all bets are off), validate the import, and run monthly reports. Analyze these reports to discern valuable intelligence and potential action items or marketing events. Filter the database to create a mailing list. Create a “marketing campaign” within the software. Send the list to a printer. Design or approve creative. Send direct mail to a pre-defined list. Wait 30-60 days to check the results of your campaign.

After: With an automated MCIF, marketers do nothing – the system does it all for them. Your data is automatically updated for you, daily. Reports are run automatically, pre-defined behavioral triggers and predictive tools automatically select clients and prospects who qualify for specific mailings daily, and each is mailed/emailed an offer the next day. All of this happens automatically, every day. Hands-free marketing. Marketers no longer have to feed the beast – the technology works for them, automatically, in the background, and yet is still available for additional sophisticated analytics.

Magic. Isn’t this magical? Finally technology has arrived that delivers what data analytics has always been expected to deliver; completely automated (soup to nuts) database analytics and action! As TV gadget-inventor-pitchman Ron Popiel might say... "set it, and forget it!”

It isn’t a rumor. It is reality.


Jay Kassing is President of MARQUIS, a Texas based provider of marketing analytics solutions including MCIF/CRM software, MCIF services, profitability, compliance, consulting and direct mail creative/fulfillment. Jay has written 4 books on Marketing/Sales and Big Data…and one on Fair Lending. Request a complimentary copy of any his books at GoMarquis.com. He can be reached at jayk@gomarquis.com.

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New Brand & 15 Branch Rollout for Pen Air

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New Brand & 15 Branch Rollout for Pen Air

Pen Air took an ordinary brand makeover and created a new organizational narrative based on trust, respect and 'communerosity'. Learn what an "inside-out" enterprise-wide cultural brand transformation looks like. How a top to bottom research-led process can transform your credit union brand experiences and culture for growth.

FOLLOW THIS LINK to download the article published on creditunions.com.

This article is the intellectual property of CALLAHAN & ASSOCIATES. No part may be reproduced, transmitted, distributed, published, or otherwise communicated, in printed form or electronically, without the express written permission of CALLAHAN & ASSOCIATES. 

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5 Things to Tackle First in Transforming Your Branch Model Performance

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5 Things to Tackle First in Transforming Your Branch Model Performance

If you’re like everyone else in retail banking, you’re probably trying to figure out how to keep your branches relevant and profitable in a traffic-declining environment. It might surprise you that some of the most important items to tackle in your branch evolution have nothing to do with architectural design. To get started, what you really need to do is define the optimal business model for your organization and your markets. There are many, many factors that will influence your model, but here are five candidates for you to consider as you begin your journey.

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Redwood Credit Union named Best in the Nation

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Redwood Credit Union named Best in the Nation

ITS NOT EVERY DAY A CLIENT HIRES US TO LEAVE THEIR BRAND ALONE. 

As you might imagine, this was a surprising request coming from Redwood Credit Union when they engaged our team in the fall of 2013. 

Instead, this $2.4B credit union asked us to help distill their highly successful brand, succinctly documenting core strengths to ensure ongoing alignment with the market. 

While the result raised a few eyebrows at first, in the end, the answer surprised no one. Love is what makes Redwood Credit Union unique. And we're confident that the passion the organization feels for helping members succeed is what catapulted them to the top of Glatt Consulting's recent Credit Union Industry HealthScore.

Congratulations to this outstanding organization and it's very passionate staff. 

Redwood Credit Union CEO Brett Martinez, Thursday May 7, 2015. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2015

Redwood Credit Union CEO Brett Martinez, Thursday May 7, 2015. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2015

“We didn’t look to rebrand … we were looking to articulate our brand,” said Brett Martinez, Redwood’s chief executive officer. “We knew we had a really strong brand with our membership growing.”
— The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, Calif.


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We'll see you at the MAC Conference

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We'll see you at the MAC Conference

The 2015 MAC Conference is coming up on May 27th in the innovation capital of America — San Francisco!

Mark Weber

Mark Weber

Weber Marketing Group's Mark Weber is a keynote speaker:

Finding the Catalyst of Transformational Change

Join Mark on Thursday, May 28th at 9:00 AM and he explains how building a relevant brand is so much more than a great look and a few successful campaigns. He’ll discuss how to create a cultural revolution that will spark some serious results. You'll learn:

  • how organizations pivot to become more relevant
  • how to harness unconventional R&D investments to spark results
  • how to break through the bubble

Weber Marketing Group is also sponsoring an off-site tour and leading a culture workshop afterward:

Levi strauss & co. culture Tour

Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world's largest brand-name apparel marketers with sales in more than 100 countries. The company employs a staff of approximately 12,400 people worldwide, including approximately 1,500 people at its San Francisco, California headquarters. On Wednesday, May 27th at 1:00 PM  join Weber Marketing Group's Randy Schultz for a guided tour of the Levi's headquarters. You'll get an inside look at the Levi's company culture and see how innovation is at the core of everything they do — from inventing the world’s first pair of blue jeans, to implementing cutting-edge design techniques, to developing new ways of working.

Speaking of blue jeans, how would you look in a new pair of Levi's 501's? During the culture workshop after the tour, Randy Schultz will select one lucky participant will win a Levi's gift card. Don't miss out!

 

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Branch Makeover: Live from the Financial Brand Forum

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Branch Makeover: Live from the Financial Brand Forum

Forum 2015 Branch Experience Makeover

Banks and credit unions around the world all want the answer to one burning question: "What should our branches be like in the future?" Everyone agrees the role of the branch and technology is evolving, but there is little clarity about how branch design should respond to these changes.

Weber Marketing Group and EHS Design recently had the opportunity to answer this question. As one of three design teams selected at the Financial Brand Forum, we were challenged with presenting a branch design concept to NYC-based Municipal Credit Union (MCU)—live on stage, in front of 900 conference attendees. This presented a terrific chance to share our perspective on innovation.

Introduction: brand video


Diving in, what first intrigued us about MCU is the amazing bond this 100-year-old credit union shares with its hardworking members. This demographically, geographically, and ethnically diverse group is united by a strong commitment to serve the 8.4 million people who live in New York City, and their membership in the credit union reflects their kinship. We quickly realized that this inherent authenticity and rich heritage could be reflected in a new brand design, one that helps link municipal workers to a new environment designed to deliver real guidance. We set out to identify a link to a unique space municipal workers would be proud to call their own.

Finding that big idea took us weeks. We didn't want to design just one more nice-looking branch filled with cool technology — we wanted a visceral connection. MCU needed a bridge between past and future, worker and city, and a member’s current position and their future financial well-being.

The very crossroad designed, engineered, built, and now maintained for over 100 years by MCU members could be a powerful symbol to celebrate their own evolution. And, with a branch site planned for Staten Island, a neighborhood connected to not one but four landmark bridges, we had rich visuals to draw upon.


With our strategy outlined, we went to work designing a new branch experience that showcased MCU’s objectives. We identified three functional tactics to address these priorities:

  1. Design a prototype that demonstrates adaptability to a fast changing world of new technologies and touchpoints — without exceeding cost thresholds.
  2. Ensure the space is easy to navigate and promotes interactions that foster financial education.
  3. Tie space not just to technology, but also to the access, freedom and time savings that define mobility.

Creating a rich and connected user experience tied to relationship development, trusted advisors and tools meant clearly prioritizing zones within the new space. We sketched pathways designed to help define staff behavior, including spaces that would encourage engagement of visitors on the floor, rather than from behind a desk. We then rendered these ideas in 3D to help key decision makers visualize the relationship between training and adaptation and how this might impact the new environment and overall experience.


A century ago, ten Municipal workers joined together to help each other finance and save for the life they wanted to live. They built bridges and helped create a city that now defines America. 100 years later, we celebrate the next chapter by building a new bridge to guide 365,000 hardworking municipal employees and their families to financial well-being.

We’re thankful for the opportunity to serve the Municipal Credit Union team with a fresh new vision and excited about this admirable organization’s future.


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Brave brands take center stage

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Brave brands take center stage

Brands aren’t sitting back waiting to be discovered. They’re trying to get in front of us, working up a sweat as they audition for the spotlight in our heads. But you know who doesn’t have to work so hard? You know who walks right up and takes the stage? The brand that starts a conversation that matters.

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Do I have to call it nepotism?

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Do I have to call it nepotism?

I've written before about why I love producing radio. Now I can add one more reason to the list — a seven-year old, precocious, all-pink, all-attitude, talented little voice actress named Gretta. And if you can't tell from the photo, she also happens to be my daughter.

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CULTURE BUILDING WORKSHOP: TURNING STAFF INTO BRAND CHAMPIONS

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CULTURE BUILDING WORKSHOP: TURNING STAFF INTO BRAND CHAMPIONS

How can you truly leverage staff to deliver a unique, powerful branded experience? Join a team of cultural design experts from Weber Marketing Group for this highly interactive, three-hour workshop. Dig deep into the keys that will unlock ways to align, inspire and direct your entire workforce to live your brand in bold, fresh ways.

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