How We Support the Best Bank in the South
Money.com named Renasant Bank as one of the eight best banks in the country this week—specifically, the best bank in the South. This only confirms something we’ve known for a decade because we work alongside the bank daily.
So how do we support the best? By being the best. That’s not bragging. We know we’re not solely responsible for Renasant’s explosive growth. But it is a response to an unstated challenge. Iron sharpens iron, as they say, and Mabus Agency had to be better every day to keep pace with Renasant Bank.
We like to think our commitment to daily improvement and work marketing the bank has helped with its growth and notoriety. In fact, here are the six most important ways we’ve supported Renasant—the best bank in the South.
Banks were in a tough spot when Mabus Agency began its relationship with Renasant Bank in 2008. At that time, “bank” was unfairly deemed a bad word—generally due to the misconduct of a few bad practitioners. The average consumer was scared, and distrust of financial institutions was at an all-time high.
Renasant Bank spent more than a century building a reputation as an honest bank that operated safely and in the customer’s best interest. That mandate had not changed in 2008, but the actions of other banks forced Renasant to take another look at its tagline “More Than a Bank.”
A phrase that embodied the bank’s commitment to offering comprehensive service had become inadvertently associated with the practices of banks that had expanded services to an unhealthy degree.
So Renasant Bank decided the time was right to make a move. It enlisted the brand experts at Mabus Agency to help find a new path.
After Mabus Agency recognized the bank’s helpful staff and culture of community service as its key benefit, Renasant rolled out “Move to Greater Service” as a pivot away from its previous tag. This straightforward message was easy to understand while utilizing a unique call to action. The new tag was shortened to “Greater Service” as customers and employees alike adopted the rallying cry.
That move to greater service allowed us to see something we’d initially overlooked. The service offered by Renasant’s associates came from a place of greater understanding. As the brand grew in footprint and market share, Mabus Agency recommended doubling down on the service-oriented image with a more permanent tagline, “Understanding You.”
Strategy, Strategy, Strategy
Many banks make the mistake of tackling marketing a la carte. This branch needs to buy a yearbook ad, while that magazine claims all the other banks are buying ads in it. This type of marketing is reactionary. It’ll never get you ahead because you’ll always be reacting to someone else.
At Renasant Bank, every marketing decision is driven by a central strategy. Before approving any new ad request or new marketing campaign, we ask the question, “How can this fit into our overall strategy?”
This doesn’t mean we say no to one-off program ads or Chamber of Commerce magazines. With a central strategy in place, there’s no longer such a thing as a one-off ad because every ad drives the brand’s narrative.
Communicate the Benefit
Bank marketing so often rests on nothing more than puns (How many “Bank on us!” ads have you seen?), tired sayings, or rate announcements. And sure, a truly great rate can carry an ad from time to time—Renasant advertised a checking account rate that was higher than the majority of others within its footprint this year—but the key is showing clients how your product or service makes their life better.
When we develop new campaigns for Renasant, we start with the benefit and actually ask the question out loud. “How is this product actually going to make a client’s life easier?” To the Renasant team’s credit, they develop their products with the same thought in mind.
With the greatest benefit identified, we build a campaign around communicating that benefit as clearly as possible.
Not all advertising has to be clever. It just has to be clear.
Teach the Customer
The average clients don’t understand their role in a banking relationship. And they shouldn’t have to. It’s not their job to learn how to be your clients, it’s your job to teach them to be better at navigating the world of finance.
We helped Renasant Bank launch a content platform, Renasant Nation, to share a combination of helpful and entertaining content. Clients can watch “Building Us,” a show about a family renovating its home, or learn how to use a HELOC to get the money they need for their own renovations.
The “Crafted” series features entrepreneurs with innovative businesses all throughout the Southeast. Helpful explainer videos accompany the series, showing viewers how to take out a business loan or make the most of their cash-flow management tools.
Helping clients become better with their money not only builds loyalty, it levels the quality of your client base.
Banking is a parity industry. No one wants to admit that products are similar from bank to bank, but the truth is that regulations don’t allow for much variation. But nothing is stopping banks from looking or acting differently.
Starting with its name, Renasant Bank is certainly different than any other bank. It isn’t the First Community Bank of anything. It owns its name and, in turn, its identity.
And when it comes to creative execution, Renasant’s leadership lets us run pretty wild with ideas. It isn’t scared to chase an idea to its conclusion before deciding one way or the other. Sometimes we get to the end and know it won’t make it past compliance. Other times we walk away with a wildly successful campaign idea.
We license weird songs that we know will stick in people’s heads for days. We continually evolve Renasant’s image while remaining true to its core brand and strategy.
Renasant Bank isn’t scared to be different, because its marketing team and leadership know being different is the only way to stand apart from the competition.
Speak Boldly and Back It Up
Along with an eagerness to stand out, Renasant’s leaders aren’t scared to plant a flag or stake a claim.
The bank’s entire culture is built around ensuring positive client experiences and making an impact within the communities it serves. So when it came time to expand the company’s brand in 2015, we said we wanted to make a bold claim: “We understand.”
In short, we wanted our messaging to mean something—to demonstrate a human understanding of client needs while promoting the array of products and services Renasant offers.
This tagline seems simple on the surface, but it actually creates a pretty high bar for each Renasant associate. Luckily, it’s a bar the associates were accustomed to surpassing.
Does Your Bank Have What It Takes to Be the Best?
Does your bank offer exceptional service to clients, but struggles with the best way to communicate your message? Do you have a killer team of associates in place, but don’t see new traffic come through your door to meet them? Let us meet with your marketing team and show you how we can support and grow your bank.