In 2013, Triumph Bancorp finalized its acquisition of THE National Bank, a retail bank with 18 locations in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. The company’s ability to engage with employees around the name and brand change was the single most important initiative the company undertook during the transition. Not only did the bank need employees and staff to know about the changes but it also needed them to deliver a brand experience that instilled confidence in customers.
M/C/C developed a strategy along with a new brand platform and executed a program designed to:
- Inspire employees and create excitement around the new brand and their role in bringing it to reality
- Inform and educate staff members on the brand messaging, values and expectations that they would use to communicate to customers
- Motivate ongoing participation and integrate the brand as part of the culture of the bank beyond the transition
In order to inspire and excite the employees, we developed a teaser campaign leading up to the unveiling of the new name, logo and tagline. We asked employees to submit photos of some of their most important life moments (births, promotions, home ownership, marriage, etc.) only telling them that it had something to do with the brand transition. Using those photos, we produced a video that introduced the new brand of Triumph Community Bank through the authentic, real-life moments of those who make up the bank. We coordinated an unveiling party for the entire staff of the bank, where executives spoke about the new direction for the company, served snacks, gave out employee gifts and played our video, which culminated with the new logo and tagline “Here for Life.” In the video, employees literally saw themselves as central to the brand, an inspiring and rewarding message that also promoted the bank’s aspirations and vision.
We also prioritized informing and educating the staff on the new brand positioning, so we created a brand overview document for employees. It included an explanation of the brand, why it was important, how to judge what’s “on-brand” and a statement of the employees’ role in delivering the brand. Not only did it serve as reference for existing employees but was used as content in new employee orientation. In addition, we developed an FAQ document for employees that included talking points in reference to staff changes, future plans, imminent changes, explanation of the new logo/tagline, background on the new parent company and more. And we produced art for the offices that included brand messaging, so the bank locations would have not only beautiful décor on the walls but also statements about the commitments the bank would make to customers and employees.
The third component of the program was to motivate ongoing participation and integrate the brand as part of the culture of the bank beyond the transition. We asked the employees to contribute to making the brand more tangible – recommendations for ways that they could make life easier for or better understand customers. The top five suggestions earned credit toward swag and apparel. We also worked with the bank to establish a program to encourage peer-to-peer nominations and awards for employees that most personified the brand. Other program elements included integrating brand messaging into staff and branch meetings to reinforce the brand’s value, including elements of “living the brand” as part of job descriptions and ongoing evaluations, holding bi-monthly “Lunch and Learns” to discuss topics related to how they were simplifying things for customers and promoting customer feedback throughout the bank branches to recognize how employees were delivering the brand experience.
Today, Triumph Community Bank is as strong as ever and vital to the communities it serves. We are happy to have helped tell their story to employees. If you need to tell your story better to employees or the market as a whole, let us know. We’ve banked more than 30 years of experience doing exactly that.