What’s Your Adjective?

By Alaina Webster, Editor-in-Chief

Every brand has adjectives. It’s compulsory. Food must be “fresh.” Designs must be “clean” or “bold.” Heck, even Spiderman can’t just be Spiderman. He’s your “friendly, neighborhood Spiderman.”

Banks are the same — each one has a slogan, a catchphrase, a brand — and in many cases, a lot of blood, sweat and tears (talent, time and money) have gone into creating the face you show the world.

Alaina Webster

Right now, BankNews finds itself in the same boat. After decades of bringing you monthly content, we’re going quarterly, and with our new publication schedule comes a new focus, a new brand if you will. Starting with this issue and continuing forward, each edition of the magazine will zero in on one particular subject, tackling it from different angles and bringing you stories and experiences from your fellow community bankers.

This month, fittingly, it’s marketing. As we begin our journey to figure out what a new, reimagined BankNews will look like, we’re digging deep on banks that have walked the same path. From Lead Bank, right here in our own hometown of Kansas City, which saw its female-led board as a selling point, to two Minnesota banks that leverage content marketing target their customers more personally. We’re taking a particularly long look at podcasts: How do you start one? What stories do you tell? How do you market the thing once you’ve gotten it off the ground? (Before you ask, no, BN has no plans to start its own podcast at this time. We’ll just keep listening to yours.)

Creating your brand is never easy — it’s time consuming and painstaking, and doing it the wrong way can have long-lasting consequences. However, I also see it as a gift. No, really … bear with me.

When we began the rebranding process with BankNews, it forced me to sit down and have a long, hard think. What was our focus? What were we putting out in the world? What stories were we trying to tell?

Marketing and branding isn’t just for those outside an organization. It’s not only for public consumption. It’s also a way to drive your internal mission, to make sure that everything coming out of your bank (or magazine) stays true to the version of yourself you’re trying to sell. A brand is only truly good if it’s honest and believable. If you say you’re about people, not profits, you had darn well better BE about people and not profits. (For instance, Wells Fargo’s “Re-established” and “This is Wells Fargo” would work a lot better if it could stay out of the headlines for a hot second.)

And so, welcome to BankNews Quarterly, focused on issues that matter to you, bringing you stories from bankers who are leading change and driving the industry forward. We are not interested in the status quo — we are interested in what moves the needle.

Stick around; we have stories to tell. 

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