How to Create a Growth Map to Build Branch Expansion

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How to Create a Growth Map to Build Branch Expansion

Last fall, The Wall Street Journal spoke with two e-Commerce-driven retail brands, Warby Parker and Bonobos, about their expansion into physical locations as showrooms for their products. Both brands see a future that includes more brick-and-mortar locations.

Warby Parker co-founder Neil Blumenthal revealed that he envisions more than 800 physical locations, and Bonobos founder Andy Dunn plans to have at least 100 stores by 2020. Dunn said he expects a “tidal wave” of e-Commerce companies making similar decisions.

But how can you ensure that shifting from online-only to more costly brick-and-mortar storefronts is a strategic move? The best way to answer this question is by linking your marketing customer data with Big Data to design a long-range growth map. A growth map allows you to use data analytics, market intelligence and market scoring methods to find the ideal audience for physical locations.

Determine Effective and Ineffective Locations

The high capital cost of storefronts and staffing is a challenge for nearly every business. It must pay off with new revenues and distinctive brand experiences. By building a long-range strategic growth model, organizations first establish the criteria most important for success. Using sophisticated psychographic targeting of lifestyle segments, companies can uncover unique needs and buying behaviors to tailor profitable products and services, balancing new digital technologies to deliver savvy experiences (like Amazon’s new Go stores, which use remote scanning and sensors instead of a traditional checkout, with plans for 2,000 retail stores).

With clear goals and metrics established, it’s time to gather data from existing customers, analyze the marketplace and psychographics and survey potential customers. Taking the resulting data and scoring it against the criteria your organization has deemed most important will help create a tailored model for your future growth map.

Establish a Five-Year Plan

Great real estate is costly, competitive and dynamic. By building a five-year plan, you can focus on priority expansion, find ways to close or move underperforming locations and redefine future priorities. You can move quickly on securing ideal site locations without thinking about key real estate decisions one at a time.

To effectively use a long-range growth map, use these six keys to get started:

1. Evaluate performance and behavioral trends.

Your customers’ buying preferences, behavioral data and actions should be at the forefront in determining your store or branch locations and investments. To gather that information, you’ll need to mine branch and store trends, analyze a range of existing customer data, and model market analytics and Big Data trends. These will showcase patterns and insights to help you discover ideal store or branch locations and forecast growth and performance.

2. Use target customer lifestyles.

For future branch and site planning, it’s important to identify the target lifestyle segments that are currently most profitable and were most recently activated. Using demographic and psychographic profiles to build segmentation strategies, you can greatly enhance your data decision-making. Segmentation and Big Data have advanced; they can now be geocoded and tied to your customers’ and prospects’ households to provide behavioral data patterns that can focus expansion and future growth.

3. Access generational concerns and channel usage.

Segmentation data allows you to analyze consumer patterns, purchasing, channel usage and behaviors, especially across generations. By establishing your target growth segments, you can utilize data insights to determine the distinct channel preferences of select Millennial or Gen-X targets, such as where they cluster and which channel mix to prioritize for onboarding and deepening relationships.

4. Use algorithms to score and model future location priorities.

Once targets are identified and prioritized, essential scoring criteria can be established to weight and rank markets, including competitor saturation, household incomes, debt and wealth, relevant small businesses and target segment concentrations.

These scoring algorithms and forecast data allow you to tailor a unique approach to market options over the next five years, both at a regional and micro level. Your priorities will identify possible profitable segments, and you can predict target population, job and retail growth for strategic site placement.

5. Focus on future business model design and integrated technologies.

As mobile and online experiences continue to improve and grow, brick-and-mortar delivery must shift to align with richer user experiences. At the right times, advice, expert guidance, problem-solving and peace of mind will remain a part of the experience mix many consumers still prize in physical branch locations and in relationships with your employees.

Designing your organization’s growth map to align with your business goals effectively guides deeper consumer experiences and engagement. Customers need to trust your business, employees and products — not only in person, but also via mobile and online experiences. Integrating new technologies and reworking complex processes to simplify buying for your consumers — like allowing them to schedule appointments via an app or providing them with online chatbots and help — will ultimately enhance satisfaction and engagement.

6. Provide a differentiated brand experience.

Traditional retail practices are giving way to positive brand experiences. It’s vital that your in-store or branch strategy engineers every detail of the customer’s experience from the moment he sets foot in the door. This is less about the furniture and physical space of your store or branch and more about your staff engagement, design staging, product awareness, digital messaging and brand focus.

Your long-range planning must include reimagining and redesigning a totally new experience your targets value. By simplifying cumbersome account opening or onboarding processes, reducing space inefficiencies, incorporating cutting-edge technology improvements and developing new cultural behaviors, everyone wins. Allow your staff and customers to participate in a fresh brand experience that will increase engagement, retention and referrals.

A data-driven growth map, a five-year plan, and the reshaping of your cultural talent and user experience designs are the best tools for determining your future performance. By reimagining your future business model and reinvigorating your experience, culture and growth goals, you’ll find greater success in creating a unique consumer experience and higher brand engagement with your customers.

Original article published October 17, 2017 on Retail Touchpoints.


Mark Weber, CEO, Weber Marketing Group

Mark Weber, CEO, Weber Marketing Group

Mark Weber is a marketing analyst, brand strategy consultant, and financial services industry expert. He advises clients on strategic brand and growth initiatives. He is a national speaker and author, and blogs on branding, branch prototyping, emerging technologies, and consumer behavior trends. Read more.

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Building Brand Champions: The Critical Intersection of Marketing and Training

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Building Brand Champions: The Critical Intersection of Marketing and Training

Weber's culture and brand expert Karen McGaughey will speak at CUNA's Experience Learning Live! Conference in Seattle in October.

Karen will speak about the critical intersection between the Marketing and Training Departments. For many organizations, one or both of these departments are blowing through stop signs and missing high impact opportunities to drive greater organizational success together. Karen will help some credit union trainers identify opportunities to proactively partner with their Marketing Team and truly leverage their most impactful resource—employees— to deliver a unique, branded experience that is connected to corporate goals and marketing initiatives.

Session attendees will unlock ways to align, inspire and direct their entire workforce to deliver greater results by living out their brand in bold, fresh ways.

CUNA Experience Learning Live! is your chance to discover best practices, breakthrough ideas and perceptive insights into modern credit union training.  Learn more here.


Karen McGaughey, VP Client Services | Principal

With over 20 years experience in marketing, advertising and branding, Karen brings clients a depth and range of knowledge in creating effective strategies that leverage the uniqueness and strength of each client. She has earned the role of trusted advisor to many financial institution executives, having expertly guided their teams and Board of Directors successfully through name, brand and cultural transformations, and successful execution. 

Read more.

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Nunulemon: The Reintroduction Of An Old Brand With New Magic

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Nunulemon: The Reintroduction Of An Old Brand With New Magic

Reintroducing the name and brand of a 20-year-old company may seem like an unnecessary task, and if this particular company is widely well-known, some may ask, “what’s the point?” But just like humans and society, brands evolve – and need to in order to stay relevant. So how do you successfully reintroduce your name without losing the long time pillars your company has stood on for years? You take a step back to discover a compelling story you could be sharing but hadn’t realized you had it.

The campaign started with a burning question: What does this moment need that we are most qualified to deliver?
— Duke Stump, EVP of Brand and Community

That is exactly what Lululemon did when they partnered with Virtue, Vice Media’s in-house agency, when they set out to reintroduce their name to the world earlier this year through a global ad campaign. For their first global ad campaign, it was important that the campaign reflected Lululemon’s purpose, values and what they want to stand for in the world moving forward. Together, Lululemon and Vice set out to tell the story that yoga (what Lululemon is known for) is more than just yoga pants, poses and mats – and that Lululemon's brand isn't just for yogis. 

Lululemon believes that the philosophy and practices of yoga influences culture in everyday settings. So instead of focusing on traditional yogis and showing studios with mats laid out and people in poses, the focus is on a diverse group of people who aren’t considered yogis but all have one thing in common – in some way each uses a yoga practice in their life.

For 20 years, this company has been built on how the heartbeat of yoga influences culture.
— Duke Stump, EVP of Brand and Community

Through documentary-style glances into the lives of each character, the main anthem spot demonstrates the inclusivity of yoga. Each character makes up one practice of yoga and, when combined, the group illustrates its philosophy. In the spinoff mini series that completely focus on one of the individuals, the audience sees a glimpse into each practice.  For example, one of the characters is three-time Olympic gold-medal winner Kerrie Walsh Jennings, one of my favorite athletes and one of the reasons this campaign initially grabbed my attention. Her spot focuses on self-discipline and how she practices it on the beach volleyball court by showing up everyday. Or the practice of trust by professional surfer Maddie Peterson, who has to trust the ocean and that it will bring whatever she needs.

The anthem spot and the more focused mini documentaries do the unexpected – take you off the mat to show yoga in all its raw forms and unique environments. Through this approach, Lululemon’s goal is to share how expansive the idea of yoga is along with its accessibility. This will ultimately create a deeper understanding of their brand, purpose and values. 

Today, brand authenticity is more important then ever. And finding it isn’t always easy. On this path of discovery, Lululemon and Vice created a empowering, energetic, and extremely authentic portrait of their brand by sharing how yoga influences culture in ways we might never have recognized before. This global ad campaign is a dramatic way to grab attention for the reintroduction of Lululemon’s name. Through captivating storytelling, the mini series shows how the brand is revolutionizing how we think about yoga & its affect on our culture.

Hi Lululemon, it’s nice to meet you again.

Anthem Spot

mini series

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Sharing Kindred Values Locally and Globally

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Sharing Kindred Values Locally and Globally

Kindred Credit Union in Ontario has joined the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, positioning its historic mission for further impact.  

Becoming a member of the GABV is yet another example of our commitment to inspiring peaceful, just, and prosperous communities. Kindred was invited to join four other member financial institutions in Canada working to help individuals fulfill their potential and build stronger communities.
— Brent Zorgdrager, Kindred CEO

Kindred Credit Union has a generations-long history of aligning values with finances. By joining GABV, Kindred is now collaborating within a global movement working to develop a positive, viable alternative to the current banking system. 

GABV is an independent network of banks, banking cooperatives, and credit unions, using finance to deliver sustainable economic, social, and environmental development. Founded in 2009, GABV includes over 43 financial institutions and seven strategic partners across the globe. 

Weber Marketing Group partnered with Kindred Credit Union, formerly Mennonite Savings and Credit Union, in 2015 to guide its strategic renaming process. At a time of declining net membership and other key metrics for the organization, this effort positioned the credit union to attract more like-minded members of the community desiring to make intentional financial decisions according to values such as peace and mutual aid. Within a year of its successful name change and brand repositioning, Kindred was more profitable than ever and experiencing historic best loan, deposit and mutual fund growth - proof that banking with purpose is not only good for the community, but a mission that draws passionate engagement from the community. 

The whole Weber Marketing team is enormously proud of the leadership demonstrated by our friends at Kindred in using finance as a tool to build a better world.

News of joining GABV comes in addition to Kindred's recent recognition as one of the 2017 companies that is Best for the World Overall, which considers positive impact on workers, community, customers and the environment. More information about the Best for the World lists, and Certified B Corporations is available at bthechange.com.


Read Kindred Credit Union's press release here.

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Free Panel Discussion: The Opportunity in Social Media Advocacy for Credit Unions

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Free Panel Discussion: The Opportunity in Social Media Advocacy for Credit Unions

Charlotte Boutz-Connell, Director of Client Experience at Weber Marketing Group, will participate in a panel discussion and live Q&A on Wednesday, September 27th, at 1:00 pm EST on how credit unions can embrace social media to modernize their advocacy efforts and attract new members.

What the panel will discuss:

  • What advocacy means to credit unions and why it's important.
  • How to reach and attract the next generation of credit union members.
  • Why employees play a critical role in credit union advocacy.

Click below to register for this FREE live session.

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Merchandising is essential to a profitable branch

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Merchandising is essential to a profitable branch

When used strategically, a branch merchandising program can establish a powerful, personal, and long-lasting relationship between your organization and the member/customer.

In best practices, merchandising can be one of the most powerful marketing tools, one that communicates with members in a multi-sensory way. The more you can reach people through sight, sound, touch and interactivity, the more relevant you become, resulting in the opportunity to establish a strong emotional connection with your members.

Merchandising brands the retail environment as your space. Your branches become uniquely yours and they stand out amongst the sea of sameness found in many of your competitors’ branches.

Branch networks, for most financial institutions, are a patchwork of legacy locations, acquired locations, freestanding buildings, in-line spaces and a full myriad of sizes, shapes and interior design.

Merchandising is the common denominator that can tie your network together, building brand experience consistency and continuity across the entire spectrum.

When viewing the branch as a marketing medium, there’s perhaps no better place to deploy well-targeted and well-timed messages to people that have already taken the first step to a meaningful conversation; they made the choice to come in.

The opportunity to deepen the relationship, cross-sell, provide advisory referrals and to increase share of member/customer wallet is all fueled by a holistic and integrated merchandising program. The metrics and KPIs for your branches can be more readily achieved with a comprehensive plan for branding, marketing and messaging at retail.

The messaging elements themselves need strategic guidance to establish a hierarchy of storytelling as branch visitors navigate the space. There are opportunities for brand articulation, product and service features, promotion, technology demonstration and education, community engagement, heritage celebration and more.

The right merchandising program can be the difference between profitable branches and languishing ones.


JohnMathes_WMG1393.jpg

John Mathes, Director of Brand Strategy

John Mathes directs our brand strategies and brings nearly 30 years of senior branding, branch design, advertising, and innovative marketing experience to the table. He honed his skills at some of the nation's largest ad agencies, strategic consulting, branding, and branch strategy firms, including Brandpartners. Read more...

Original article published here on cuinsight.com.

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7 keys to selecting the right naming and branding partner

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7 keys to selecting the right naming and branding partner

Changing the name and brand identity of a well-established financial institution may be the most critical strategic decision and enterprise-wide project your organization will ever undertake.

The risks of picking an inexperienced agency for renaming, or attempting it internally, can be staggeringly high on many levels.

Based on our 25 years of naming experience and work on renaming over 65 financial institutions, we have identified the 7 most critical criteria for evaluating and selecting a skilled agency partner as part of a professional name evaluation or successful renaming process.

Submit the form below to request a copy of the position paper "7 Keys to Selecting the Right Naming and Branding Partner."

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Randy Schultz to teach at CUNA Marketing School in October

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Randy Schultz to teach at CUNA Marketing School in October

Randy Schultz, our VP Marketing, will teach at CUNA Marketing & Business Development Certification Schools, October 15th-19th in Las Vegas.

CUNA (Credit Union National Association) Marketing & Business Development Certification Schools is a comprehensive, dynamic program that’s ideal for a range of expertise levels – both for those with little experience in credit union marketing and business development, and those who simply wish to strengthen their command of the basics. 

CUNA Marketing Management School and the Business Development track from CUNA FUSE are being combined into this new certification school. This event brings together two certification schools at one location to maximize your learning and networking potential. All you need to do is decide which track you prefer to start with – marketing or business development. And once you complete the designation associated with your track, you can continue onto the next one. You do not need to take one before the other.

Randy Schultz, VP Marketing

Randy Schultz, VP Marketing

Who should attend: Both schools are beneficial for credit union marketing and business development professionals looking to build and grow their skills.

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Retail traffic down? Not in these stores.

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Retail traffic down? Not in these stores.

Suffering from branch traffic being down and you own a plethora of teller line stanchion posts and belts that you don’t need any more? Well, I just may have identified a market for you to offload some of your inventory.

Retail traffic is not down at marijuana retail outlets in states like Colorado, Washington and Oregon where it’s now legal. In fact, lines are out the doors and lobby management is in full swing. This may be one of the only retail categories that is immune to internet sales, at least in the foreseeable future.

These budding retail entrepreneurs are deploying standard retail merchandising and messaging elements featuring product knowledge displays, community outreach walls, cross-selling and even loyalty programs. And, of course, lots of brand identity.

I know all of this because I’ve visited a few stores in Seattle to fully understand this new retail phenomenon. And if you’re wondering, I did not inhale (but the stores do have a distinct pungent odor as you might expect).

In a year where we learn almost daily that another retailer is closing stores or filing for bankruptcy, this new retail category is a bright spot on the horizon for the survival of brick & mortar selling. And I’m not just blowing smoke.

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A look inside the mind of the infamous “Millennial”

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A look inside the mind of the infamous “Millennial”

I’m new here. And I’m a millennial.

So, naturally, on my first day at Weber I observed a Millennial panel that focused around financial habits and banking preferences. Well I have an Alaska Airlines credit card (I’m a travel points hoard) and 401K, but that's where my knowledge around financials starts and ends. I couldn't tell you any details of my 401K, aside from the fact that I received the head nod of approval from my financial advisory (my father); I figure I’m doing pretty good for myself. It was really interesting for me to sit through this panel and watch a group of my new coworkers and peers asked questions about how they bank, if they can balance a checkbook, and whether they know it's important to start saving for retirement and not just their next trip to Cabo - because I could relate to every single one.

Last month, Weber Marketing Group taught the CUES School of Strategic Marketing for managers and executives from credit unions across the country to come and learn about best practices, hear stories from other credit union’s successes and leverage current trends in the financial industry. Weber wanted to kick off the courses for the week by bringing in a target audience that many financial institutions struggle to find the right message to resonate with. We are talking about millennials, of course! Weber put some of their best and brightest millennials in the hot seat and asked the questions credit unions across the board have been itching to get answered. The panel was asked a lot of questions about their knowledge of financials and, aside from working in the financial industry and being immersed in banking jargon on a daily basis, the reasoning behind why each individual banks the way they do was surprising to many of the attendees.

How do you successfully get in front of our cohort and spark interest in your brand?

Convenience is key. Millennials we want to be able to manage their money as easily as they can tweet or post a status. That being said, apps like Venmo have become a widely adopted platform among our panel members for sending and receiving money. It’s simple – and there’s Emojis – what’s not to love? Creating an account is seamless if you have a Facebook profile and a debit card or checking account. Also, having a single banking app that enables us to budget, transfer, and manage our money with ease is a big draw. The more a financial institution can consolidate all of our needs into a single platform, the more likely it is to pique our interest.

As millennials we’ve been told we have the attention span of a goldfish. That’s 8 seconds. You can thank apps like Vine and Snapchat for that. You have 8 seconds to gain our attention before we move on to something new and swipe you from our memory.

Okay what were we talking about? …right. Attention spans. Or lack thereof.

There is plenty of accessible information about all things financial, but not enough that is easy to digest. Trying to find the right way to communicate with millennials and keep our attention can often be frustrating for marketers in any industry. The typical way to get our attention is by offering free pizza and beer. While we do love that, we also love enjoying it in the privacy of our own Netflix cave. To the surprise of the attendees, many of the panel members would forgo the big groups and awkward small talk you have to endure when attending MeetUps or seminars and instead prefer snackable size content, like short videos or On-Demand webinars, that we can scroll through on our own time. Millennials are serial skimmers. It’s important to make messages short and sweet. We won’t read through the long emails filled with financial terms that are sent to us. Even if “IMPORTANT: PLEASE READ” is plastered across the subject line, at best you will only get a quick skimm. You are much more likely to get important information to us via text (you have our numbers!). Just make sure to stick to the point and highlight key details that you don’t want us to miss.

Most millennials have been with their bank of choice for many years. Part of that decision is pure laziness but, from the words of our panelists, it was often out of loyalty. Whether it was getting set up at a bank their parents have been with for years or from a credit union rep that came into their elementary classroom to talk about putting their piggy bank money into a savings account, many felt like they owed it to their financial institution to stay. For some, their bank helped them set up their first accounts, build their credit, get their first car loan, and even helped them take out their first mortgage. Those “firsts” created a bonded between them and their financial institution that they are not willing to break simply for a few extra dollars or a fraction of a percentage point increase on their interest rate.

However, the other portion of millennials (the “lazy” ones…including myself) have no real attachment to their current bank, but the thought of making the change is overwhelming and seems like more time and headache than it’s worth. Having to track down what bills are getting auto pulled from what account and having to update all of these key services makes us shut the idea down quick. If credit unions were able to make the process quick and painless, they have a much better chance of getting our business. Especially if you can add the cherry on top by showing us that your company stands for something meaningful. Millennials want to support brands that are local and attached to important causes. They want to walk into a branch (the few times they ever will…) and feel like they are being welcomed as part of a family/community. From the vibrance of the branch environment to the warmness of the tellers that greet them – that experience in and of itself makes the trip worthwhile.

When asked about brand loyalty, the answers were consistent across the board. Millennials have been given a bad rap for being cheap penny pinchers and are killing all these industries through our consumer habits. What the panel taught its audience was that many of us value brands that make our busy lives easier – even if that means spending a few extra dollars. In order to make us stay, a brand needs to cater to our world. It’s no secret that millennials crave convenience. Give us the ability to shop mobile and we’ll love you that much more. A new thought that emerged was how so much of our loyalty to a brand comes from our perception of that brands loyalty to us. Our panel agreed that we value brands that are authentic. If a company is able to engage with us and offer products of quality that fit our needs, we feel cared for. We want to support businesses that talk with us and not at us. We want to be part of the conversation and be heard. Businesses that make us make us feel good – brands that are involved in the community, supportive of charitable causes, and that want the best for their customers. We want our financial institution to be like a good friend.

Want to get our business? Pique our interest, give us helpful tidbits, make the transition seamless, and give us a reason to want to be a part of your community!

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The Tiny Concert Movement Finds a Home at Weber

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The Tiny Concert Movement Finds a Home at Weber

Kathy, our Production Manager, was up for our Creative Team's Friday Share last week. The team has recently been doing different topics around the theme of Music. In a fully immersive presentation entitled "Is it LIVE or is it Memorex?" Kathy showed (not just told) why live music is far richer and more complete than the listening with earbuds.

Om nom nom. 

Om nom nom. 

Kathy rejected the notion that high quality audio performance is the key to an elevated music experience. A full sensory experience, including the sense of community, is much better - even if that means that the music itself is not receiving your full attention, or that some nuance is lost because of the environment. 

To support her thesis, Kathy recreated an outdoor concert for us right here in our office.

The ping pong table became a picnic table. The floor became our lawn (she provided packets of cut grass for authenticity of scent - no I'm not making that up).

Sure, there’s the music. It’s there…but there are also conversations. Maybe crickets. Maybe a breeze in the leaves.
The sound of fair rides and squeals. At the zoo, some random wild animal calls.
This may bug you, earbuds person.  
Sad for you.
— Kathy Karner, Champion of Friday Shares

There was watermelon and sparkling wine and an apricot curry situation to spread on croissants. 

What I'm saying is: this was a nice way to start a Friday morning. A girl could get used to this. 

And then the strings showed up. 

Unbeknownst to the rest of us, Kathy had enlisted her high school son Sam and his friend Maddy to come perform a cello duet for our office while we picnicked. Except there are not, as they told us, any appropriate cello duets. And so they arranged one themselves for us. 

"You kids get off my lawn!" said nobody. 

"You kids get off my lawn!" said nobody. 

So we listened, and we looked around, smiling at each other in disbelief at the lovely treat we were enjoying together. The windows were open, the breeze was refreshing, and nobody minded for a minute that it the comps on the wall were blown upside down. The traffic noises that inject themselves into our conference calls at the worst possible times seemed now to play along - a honk hitting just perfectly in between stanzas. We forgot what time it was, and were certain that we would be late to our next meeting, but it was just us internally planning and that could wait a few minutes longer. This was special.

Sam and Maddy indulged us in two encores. They might have wanted to get on with their day (some sort of bribe for coming to mom's office has been arranged), but we were a captivated audience. 

By the end of Kathy's share, there was no question in the room that she was right. Listening to music live with a community around you, absorbing the sounds plus the tastes and smells and all the other sensations, is the really whole package. It's certainly more memorable, and more relaxing, and makes for a better carousel of photos. 

Enjoy:

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Working For Want & Wanting To Work

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Working For Want & Wanting To Work

Before I ever had a job, I worked in a cubicle.

When I was 15 I started to volunteer at the Alzheimer’s Association, a non-profit that focuses on the care and support of those impacted by brain dementia. A few times a week during my summer vacations, I worked with the Events Team to organize the biggest fundraiser of the year, The Walk To End Alzheimer’s.

Although I was managing paperwork, engaging with clients, and dealing with partners just like everyone else in the office, I was unpaid. To a lot of my peers, this seemed incredibly unusual. While I watched my friends play outdoors in the sun by the beach, I threw on my business casual attire and sat through traffic to go to work…for free.

Promise Garden Flowers spin in the wind to showcase support for those with Alzheimer's.

Promise Garden Flowers spin in the wind to showcase support for those with Alzheimer's.

I can’t deny that there were some days where I was longing to be like the average teen, basking in three months without responsibilities. But now that I look back, I don’t regret a minute of it. I kept going because it was the most rewarding thing that I had done all of my life.

My dad passed away due to early onset Alzheimer’s disease when I was 16. He was just 49 years old. I spent my early teenage years acting as a caretaker for him alongside my mom and older brother as his brain deteriorated.  I have a personal connection to Alzheimer’s that will stay true my whole life. Watching my dad fall ill gave me a pain in my heart that words can’t describe. I used volunteer service to channel my grief into something productive. The work that I did made me feel like I was honoring my dad. I wanted to do my part to make sure that no one else would have to go through what my family went through.

While these emotional benefits were what kept me moving, something that I didn’t realize until I entered the paid workforce was how my experience volunteering would impact my work life. My volunteerism changed the way that I looked at “work”.

I came into the office not because I had to but instead because I wanted to. I genuinely enjoyed working. When I volunteered, it couldn’t be about the paycheck or the promotion; it was instead about the passion behind the work. My experience working for want trained me to want to work. Working gave me goals and aspirations, challenging me to learn and grow. It left me feeling accomplished and rewarded. What mattered most was that I enjoyed what I was doing and that it made me enthusiastic.

The most valuable thing that you can donate is your time. There will always be a way to get involved in something interesting regardless of how much experience you have with the topic at hand. Even if you only have minimal time to give, the gain from that engagement is multifaceted. Giving to your community will give back to you by building your knowledge and wisdom, helping you to succeed not only in your personal life but also in the workplace.

Now, at 19, I am still volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Association. Although I’m instead spending my summer vacation interning at Weber Marketing Group, I’m not choosing between paid and unpaid work. Instead, I’m letting each embrace the other.

I am now part of the Board of Directors for The Washington State and Northern Idaho Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.  The knowledge that I’ve gained here at Weber Marketing has helped me with my contribution as a director. I’m able to engage in conversations regarding target audience and help brainstorm around web advertising issues. When I walk into board meetings, I feel exponentially more confident with my knowledge from this internship under my belt.

Volunteering does not only aid your energy in the office but also your coworkers’ energy. Ambition is contagious.

Alternatively, I am able to apply this sense of dedicated passion to my duties at Weber. Even though I am simply an intern, I put my all into the things I do. I want to dive into every project headfirst. Instead of dreading work, I find myself excited to engage and energized enough to work efficiently and effectively every day. One of the great things about this office is that I know that it isn’t just me.

Even a simple search of the blog posts on Weber Marketing’s webpage shows the company’s value of the intersection between working and living. There are numerous blogs written by employees about culture showcased online. With mentions of animal shelter activism, sports passions, charity challenges, donation collections and more, it is obvious how much Weber Marketing values the happiness and involvement of their workers.

In turn, this culture can be felt in the office. This respect for extracurricular activities helps build a sense of community and activates a positive feedback loop. Volunteering does not only aid your energy in the office but also your coworkers’ energy. Ambition is contagious. This morale spreads as employees help to support the causes their coworkers are spirited about. The result of all of this support is increased company loyalty and a feeling of office unity.

Evidently, there is a shift toward a positive office atmosphere when you involve yourself in extracurricular activity. Getting involved in things you are passionate about can build both personal and work life satisfaction. My experiences with both the Alzheimer’s Association and Weber Marketing have helped me apply this concept and generate a feeling of fulfillment when working.

As I move from cubicle to cubicle (or hopefully from cubicle to a grand office with a view) throughout my career, I will carry this sensation with me. I will always be an advocate for volunteerism. Work life happiness and success is multiplied when you expose yourself to new things and hold a willingness to learn. Extracurricular activities are an easy way to give yourself this benefit and also better your community. Why not get involved?

Shameless plug: Start getting involved today! Click here to visit my fundraising page for the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s.” All donations are greatly appreciated.

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Broadcasting a Deep Connection

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Broadcasting a Deep Connection

Weber Marketing Group and the Rabobank team collaborated closely on both strategy and execution for this campaign, including the choice to use broadcast television as the flagship for the fully integrated campaign.

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Focus 2021: Strategies for building a high-performance branch network

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Focus 2021: Strategies for building a high-performance branch network

To request a copy of "focus 2021: strategies for building a high-performance branch network," please complete the form below.

Amidst the rapid rise of online and mobile technologies, one of the most critical challenges facing financial institution leaders is to understand how far and how fast to swing the pendulum — toward branch investment, or reduction? Answering the question of branch redistribution accurately, and investing wisely over the next five years requires savvy big data and performance trends crunching, coupled with expert analytical skills.

In order to accurately forecast growth data, digest consumer behavior insights, and reflect on your desired brand position and real estate strategies, you’ll need all factors working in sync. Most importantly, you’ll need the expertise of understanding diverse markets and predictive modeling to help you decide exactly where — and how far — to change the number of branches, sizes, shapes, transaction management, technologies and staffing model of your future branch network.

In our 13 years of market analysis and branch network forecasting with Weber Marketing, we’ve learned that making data-driven market decisions and growth forecast planning, combined with understanding our target member’s preferences and behaviors, has led us to make more intelligent and far more accurate real estate network decisions that have helped increase Logix’s bottom line performance and deliver rich and distinctive member brand experiences.
— Phil Hart, COO, Logix Credit Union | $5 Billion

This financial industry position paper will show you how to transform your market and branch performance in 5 steps. Learn how to leverage big data, psychographic segmentation, market scoring and user experience design to optimize results in 2021. How do you balance future digital investments against "smart" brick and mortar choices?  Request a copy now.

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