Plansmith Blog

Does Your Bank Look Trustworthy?

Posted by Tom Parsons on 2/8/17 9:30 AM
Tom Parsons

Trust. Nearly a decade after the global financial crisis, banks are still struggling to win it back from the general public. According to a recent study from Brunswick Group, only 27% of Americans trust banks. And globally, 56% of people favor smaller, more personal banks – this provides community banks with a huge opportunity.

But even though there seems to be an increased interest in moving towards smaller banks, it’s still human nature to trust in what we know. And with so many small banks out there, what would make someone choose yours over another?

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Tech may not be as important as you think

Some small banks hold the belief that having the right technology will convince potential customers that they’re just as viable as the big banks. However, studies are showing that by and large people still have more confidence in face-to-face interactions with banks than with digital banking services. So it may not be a well-designed mobile banking app that gets people to switch, but the community bank’s ability to build relationships that a big bank can’t.

But while relationship may be appealing to customers, there is still a need for community banks to do more.


Be Contemporary

The first impression any brand makes is with its logo, along with other branding visuals and language. A community bank may have stellar service, offerings, and understand their community completely – but if its branding doesn’t reflect that, they won’t easily get anyone’s attention or gain new customers. If a bank’s logo looks like it was designed in 1980, they don’t look like a viable business with relevance. It’s the same concept as dressing to impress – just as people are judged on appearances, so are brands. It’s not only important to have relevant offerings and services, but it’s equally important to be sure you have relevant branding in order to build brand trust.

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Be Consistent

Your branding should not only be relevant, but also consistent. Consistent visuals and language across all marketing materials helps build brand recognition, and shows that your business is solid on who they are and what they stand for. Ensuring consistency leads to more brand trust.


Speak to the Right Audience

The most important things you want to consider in developing your branding are the message and the audience. A generic brand with a generic message will not help you win over your specific audience. For example, if your bank focuses on credit cards and automobile loans, you’ll want to target millennials and will want branding that appeals to them. You may want to consider marketing on Instagram. In the same way, if you’re focusing on savings, you’ll want branding that appeals to baby boomers. You may want to consider focusing on print advertising, or on Facebook.


Building brand trust in your community or small bank requires a solid business structure internally and solid branding that communicates that to your target audience. Be relevant, consistent, and speak to the right audience.

Topics: strategic planning, strategy, social media for community banks, millennials, community bank marketing strategy, bank brand marketing

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