It’s like Groundhog Day all over again!

Did you know that Punxsutawney Phil has been predicting the possibility of an early spring for over 130 years? How do you predict your brand’s success year after year? Are you content with “seeing what happens” as in “will he or will he not see his shadow?” Or are you finding ways, right now, to make sure you see an early “spring” in profits, consumer engagement, employee morale, brand recognition, market share, website conversions, and everything else that will make your brand successful in 2020?

It seems that too often brands react to what “the other guy” is doing rather than being “the other guy” that everyone is watching. Being your category leader isn’t all that hard. Really! You’d be surprised at how apathetic your competition is. While they are busy looking for signs from “the universe” you should be out there building your brand every day.

I see this a lot in banking. Think about the “push-back” you get from all of the overly conservative forces your department is up against every day, like shrinking marketing budgets, unadventurous presidents, BODs who do not like change, aging depositors who also do not like change, government regulations, expensive technology—will it work or not? The list goes on. Is it just better to “stay the course”? I guess only time and results will answer that. But, if you prefer a bit more excitement, I recommend you try something new this year. Get a tiny bit out of your comfort zone. Maybe it’s a new brand creative direction, messaging, look, color palette, logo evolution, tagline or internal process. Have you tried brand archetyping yet?

Being a leader is fun!

To keep it simple, I tell my clients to take a hard look at their competitors in the marketplace. What do they own? Are they positioning themselves as the “local” bank or credit union? If so, let em’ have it! Position your institution as the leading resource for something totally different—something you do better than anyone else—and go for it!  I’ll bet you could be viewed as the leader in one of these areas: technology, customer experience, product development, convenience, etc. Find your leading differentiator and run with it!

Don’t be the leader in “customer service”, everyone thinks they are.

You need something that can belong to you and only you. If you’re more “innovative” than your competition, prove it! If you’re more “convenient” than your competition, prove it! If you’re more of anything than your competition, you have to prove it at every touch point. People do not have the capacity to think of you as best at everything. Pick one and own it! Once you do, market that message constantly and consistently.

Don’t worry about what your competition is doing next, rather, make them worry about what you’re doing next! Great creative execution combined with a compelling offer or solution, is a tough act to beat. The most successful brands in the world understand this formula and excel by using it. As always, I recommend you seek professional help to get it right (not a groundhog).

Remember, Groundhog Day is just a hopeful reminder of brighter days ahead. Make every day brighter for your brand. Use today as a springboard for tomorrow’s success, and then repeat.

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