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Bank And Credit Union Slogans: What's In A Name

Take a minute and see how many bank or credit union slogans you can write down.

How would that number change if we included other financial services like credit cards or insurance providers?

Chances are that you were able to get down some national brands ("What's in your wallet?") and some of your local competitors. The reason we're so good at recalling these is obvious; we hear and see them a lot. 

Your slogan is an important aspect of establishing your brand in the mind of consumers. It goes beyond your logo or name and communicates what you are about in a succinct way. Having the right slogan can mean the difference between appealing to a prospective consumer and turning them off. For example, a slogan that talks about innovative tech might turn off someone who is searching for a more traditional experience and vice versa.

To better understand how banks and credit unions use their slogan to position themselves, we analyzed the content of 1077 slogans sourced from The Financial Brand. Here are some of the trends we found. 

Better, Faster, Stronger

"Quicker picker upper." 

Product categories are defined by a certain set of attributes. Paper towels pick up messes. They need to be absorbent, environmentally friends, and economical. Cleaning up messes quickly, or quicker than competitors, can be a great selling point. 

Financial products are also defined by characteristics, like reliability, trustworthiness, and rewards. Unfortunately, many consumers define banks with negative traits: greedy, outdated, or all the same. 

To understand how institutions try to break this perception, we searched for slogans that contained words that emphasize difference. We looked for words like different, better, change, and more. Here is a snapshot of the breakdown (not all terms included).

 

Contains... Raw Number Percent of Total
different 25 2.32%
better 67 6.23%
smarter 13 1.21%
not 19 1.77%
change 7 0.65%
more 38 3.53%
uncommon 4 0.37%
another 3 0.28%
unexpected 2 0.19%

In total, there were 180 slogans (16.73%) that included some phrase that positioned the institution as a reimagined version of traditional banking. 

Trust And Experience

"Chevy Runs Deep"

We hear about the threat of FinTech firms and neo-banks regularly, but they lack the historical record that communicates trust, stability, and commitment. To identify institutions that positioned themselves to highlight this aspect of their business, we looked for words like tradition, reliable, or mentioned a specific year. For example: Serving since 1889 or Your bank for 75 years

 

Contains... Raw Number Percent of Total
a date 15 1.39%
old 5 0.46%
root 5 0.46%
experience 12 1.12%
trust 14 1.30%
excellence 6 0.56%
tradition 2 0.19%
legacy 3 0.28%

In total, 62 (5.76%) slogans played to their history.

Easy 

"15 minutes or less"

Do you know people's least favorite subject? Math. What is the number one cause of stress? Money

The truth is that most of us have a bad relationship with our finances. Taxes are complicated. Financial terms are abundant and confusing. Plus, the we're rarely taught what to do and the consequences can be dire. 

There is a large percentage of us that just want something simple. 

To find slogans that appealed to this audience, we looked for terms like easy, simple, and convenient.

 

Contains... Raw Number Percent of Total
easy 11 1.02%
simple 9 0.84%
fast 5 0.46%
convenient 3 0.28%
less 3 0.28%

31 slogans (2.88%) contained some reference to keeping their service simple and easy.

Local Love

"What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." 

Community gives us a sense of identity. Simply being in a city can convey a promise or create an expectation. For example, being in Silicon Valley implies tech savviness or being in Austin implies a level of coolness. 

We've also seen a resurgence in wanting to keep business local; From sourcing local ingredients to supporting local businesses. Emphasizing that you are an integrated part of the community can instantly distinguish you from megabanks and build a sense of trust. You're one of them.  

To identify these slogans, we looked for terms like local, home, or mentioning a specific location (e.g. Texas). 

 

Contains... Raw Number Percent of Total
local 17 1.58%
neighbor 7 0.65%
community 16 1.49%
home 15 1.39%
small 8 0.74%
town 6 0.56%
city 2 0.19%

There we 73 (6.78%) slogans highlighting their local connection.

Relationships 

"For Life"

Many products are transactional. I buy a coke ("open up happiness") but then it is done. Finances are different. Banking is an ongoing relationship that will see me through some of the biggest decisions in my life. I want to be confident that my financial institution will be there to help guide me through these choices and keep me in good standing. 

We looked for terms like service, people, and relation to find slogans that put customer service at the center of their value proposition. 

 

Contains... Raw Number Percent of Total
service 32 2.97%
friend 11 1.02%
people 36 3.35%
live 16 1.49%
partner 12 1.12%
connect 12 1.12%
relation 14 1.30%

In total, there were 133 (12.36%) slogans that emphasized service.

Inspiration 

"Dreams Made Real"

Money is ultimately a means to an end. What we really dream about is a future where we have a house, an amazing career, or that new car. Consumers know what the dream looks like, but are often unsure how they will connect the dots from their current state to that ideal future. There is a huge opportunity for financial institutions to position themselves as the partner that will help guide consumers to their life goals. 

We looked for terms like dream, future, and tomorrow. 

 

Contains... Raw Number Percent of Total
tomorrow 7 0.65%
future 21 1.95%
dream 22 2.04%
goal 4 0.37%
life 64 5.95%

120 (11.15%) slogans contained an inspirational promise. 

Short And Sweet?

How long should you slogan be?

Traditional wisdom says you should keep it short and sweet. The positive of a short slogan is that it is easy to remember and fits in most advertisements -- be that a print ad or a tweet. 

Screen Shot 2019-08-06 at 12.56.29 PM

The average bank or credit union slogan is 4.8 words long. 289 (26.83%) have exactly 4 words, 348 (32.31%) are longer, and 438 (40.67%) are shorter. 

A counter argument is that your slogan should be long enough to capture emotion. As we saw through this analysis, most slogans are built around trying to convey a certain feeling. If a consumer connects with the feeling, they will remember your brand even if they can't perfectly quote your slogan.