Thoughts looking forward to the

2014 Financial Brand Forum

In my current article for The Financial Brand (you should read it—click here), I touched on a disease I call sloganitis—a condition in which the afflicted comes up with a slogan and mistakes it for a brand. I thought I’d talk a little more about that here.

A marketing columnist who shall remain nameless avers that the first step to a great campaign is to cook up a catchy slogan.

No. The first step is to have a product or service that people want. I won’t venture to prioritize the myriad steps that follow, other than to say that a slogan, if you bother with one at all, should be among the last.

Nor can you necessarily trust yourself to know a “great” slogan from a lame one when it concerns your own financial institution. You’re biased. It’s much easier to recognize when somebody else has a lame slogan.

To give you that opportunity, below is a sample* of financial institution slogans from over 850 listed on (No disrespect to The Financial Brand. They rock. It’s the slogans I’m talking about.) You can bet that when each line was presented, a CEO said, “Yeah, I like that. That truly captures who we are.” In many cases, someone probably managed to get a focus group or two to say nice things about the slogan, too.

Yet I challenge you to find one that says anything believable, that any other bank couldn’t claim, and, above all, that is likely to make the market respond, “Wow! That’s the bank for me.” (If you prefer, check out The Financial Brand’s entire list, but don’t expect to find much better.)

Apologies in advance if your slogan happens to appear below. Though, if by listing it I have given you food for thought, perhaps instead I should say, “You’re welcome.”

Meanwhile, be reassured that there are people out there who truly respond positively to every slogan on the list. Never mind that they happen to be each bank’s respective board of directors and their spouses.

Random sampling of bank slogans:

We Built This Bank For You
We keep our promises to you
We’ll take you farther
Your next experience in trust
Good Banking Is Good Citizenship
Money. Wise.
Where the world comes to bank Local Since 1872 Strength
Growth. Vision.
It’s all about YOU!
Your future. Our priority.
A New Way of Banking Smart banking made easy.
Happy Un-banking Grow with us.
America’s Neighborhood Bank
Our Financial Strength Is In Our Service!
We All Profit
*I started with the third slogan and then took every fiftieth one from there.

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