Positioning a Community Bank Using Branding and Products
Androscoggin County and the twin cities of Lewiston/Auburn are a blue-collar community. In 2003, the twin cities were still struggling with the loss of 10,000 mill jobs beginning in the late 90s. The dotcom boom had largely bypassed Lewiston-Auburn, but the effects of the "bust" had a significant effect on the Maine economy. So two big blows within a decade.
Androscoggin Bank needed to create meaning within the community to combat the emergence of large money center banks in the market.
In early 2004, Rinck developed a campaign concept that explored:
- How to position Androscoggin Bank as a vital part of a community on the rise
- How to integrate a brand message with a product message
- How to move from rate-driven advertising to product-value driven positioning
- How to execute an effective media strategy that targeted a specific area served by a much larger DMA (Portland), reducing media waste
- How to put Androscoggin Bank on the consideration list for products, positioning against promotional activities of money-center banks (eg: Key Bank iPod giveaways for new checking accounts.)
Using newspaper, targeted radio and digital online advertising as media platforms, Rinck executed "The Hands Campaign." Although not specifically targeted to women, there were certainly ads designed to appeal to women (51% of the market). Although not specifically designed to appeal to a 45+ demo, there were elements of the campaign that certainly appealed to an older (wealthier) generation that had seen their cities decline for a decade and which captured a spirit of the blue-collar community, family and the values of the people who live here.
The campaign had a big job to do in a very competitive environment against a limited budget.
As the first ads began appearing, so did bank contacts, especially among women. The ads were talked about in public and private, capturing something important that was lost or missing for a decade in the community. The online banking campaign increased net checking accounts +136 in three weeks. The mortgage campaign helped Androscoggin Bank move into the second position in mortgage lending for the year and during one quarter, capture the top spot that had been occupied by a competitor for the prior decade.