U.S. Bank has launched its most extensive brand-building campaign to date with the help of Minneapolis advertising agencies.
“The Power of Possible” includes TV, radio and newspaper ads, as well as social media engagement and other digital pieces.
The idea behind the branding effort, which launched Monday, is to show consumers the range of possibilities someone has when partnering with the right financial institution.
The bank’s marketing efforts have grown, including buying the naming rights for the new Vikings stadium, said Kate Quinn, executive vice president and chief strategy and reputation officer at U.S. Bancorp, the country’s fifth-largest bank.
“We have a great story to tell, but we weren’t telling it that great,” Quinn said. “We were really focused on talking about products … but we never really talked about U.S. Bank overall.”
The bank declined to disclose its marketing budget.
The brand repositioning took about a year to plan and was mainly a local affair. Little and Company helped the bank complete a brand positioning strategy. Then ad agency Carmichael Lynch developed the campaign. Spong, Carmichael Lynch’s sister PR firm, is in charge of social media marketing.
The work started with the company creating a purpose statement and set of values, which led to further research on core customers, said Kris Lindquist, associate creative director at Little.
“They really needed to brand from the inside out,” he said. “They needed to start with those core tenets of purpose and core values and then build upon that.”
Customers will also experience the new branding at more than 3,000 U.S. Bank branches across the country. The only thing not changing is the bank’s logo.
The positioning was designed to show how U.S. Bank can help consumers achieve their financial goals, from building a new home to starting a business.
“Banking is really an emotional transaction,” said Marty Senn, chief creative officer of Minneapolis-based Carmichael Lynch, which is U.S. Bank’s creative agency of record. “Any time you are walking into a bank, you are there for something that really is important to you.”
The goal of the new marketing is to help differentiate U.S. Bank and connect customers emotionally to the bank, Senn said.
“Our new positioning is a declaration of our purpose and putting our customers at the center of everything we do,” said Andy Cecere, president and chief operating officer of parent company U.S. Bancorp, in a statement.
The first markets to see the new 30- and 60-second TV spots will be Denver and Cincinnati.
U.S. Bank isn’t the first financial institution to refocus on branding. Last year, Wayzata-based TCF Bank launched a rebranding campaign to bring all its financial services lines under one umbrella logo.
U.S. Bancorp, based in Minneapolis, earned a record $5.93 billion in 2015, up about a half percent from 2014.
As part of U.S. Bank’s new initiative, the company will start a volunteer effort later this year called the Community Possible Relay that will include teams of U.S. Bank employees and volunteers who will work on community projects across the country.
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