October 27, 2015

Branding is a concept that lends itself to a wide variety of definitions, never mind figuring out what makes yours special.

One simple way to think about your brand is to see it as the stories people tell about your institution and the experiences people have with it. Developing a simple summary of your differentiators is a good first step in (re)considering your brand and gaining competitive advantage. A brand snapshot can be a helpful tool to understand your brand's characteristics and ensure that your brand is telling a story that helps you win new customers and retain existing ones.

Brand Snapshot Components:

  • Who are your target customers?
  • Areas of expertise
  • What sets you apart?
  • Customer experience

Here is a brief fictional example:

At First Finance we serve working families and small businesses in the Alexander Valley region. We are committed to helping customers achieve their financial goals by building strong relationships, putting the customers’ interests first and offering highly competitive products. We are Alexander Valley’s small business experts. We understand what it takes to start, and keep, a small business running. At First Finance you will experience the difference that comes from putting our customers first while focusing on providing solutions for small business.

At a first pass it might appear there is not a lot setting this institution apart. But a second look shows there are several differentiators - from how they describe their target customers, with an emphasis on working families and small business, to their commitment to put the customers’ interests first. Developing a brand snapshot is a simple exercise that can help you start thinking about the things that set you apart, as well as the experiences that customers have when they bank with you.