Branding the Bank
Financial institutions are where the money's at—literally and figuratively. Banks and other financial institutions have so much money, and are in need of so much marketing, the possibilities to sell to them are virtually endless. Direct mail, branded office supplies, sales awards, drive-through giveaways, sponsored little league uniforms, there are too many options to even name. And the list of products that banks use is even longer. (Start at "apparel" and work your way alphabetically until you get to "watches," and you should have a pretty good start on all the different products financial institutions use.)
However, there's no harm in trying to cover a few of them. Presentation folders, calendars and awards, three cornerstone products for many different financial promotions, are discussed below.
Folders & Calendars
Used in everything from customer service to sales training, presentation folders are a valuable addition to any financial institution.
Add Some Personality
We're not talking about adding hand-drawn blue ballpoint Van Halen or Run DMC logos to all your folders, but adding a little customization to showcase the bank's personality on the folder is definitely a good idea. "You would be surprised at the amount of 'generic' presentation folders that are purchased at local office supply stores," said Phil Martin, national sales manager for Warwick Publishing, St. Charles, Ill. "Why not put your best foot forward and utilize custom printed folders that present 'your' image?"
Adding value to an item, especially calendars or folders, is a great way to make sure end-users hold onto them. "I am a big proponent of promoting 'ADDED VALUE' whenever presenting calendars and presentation folders," Martin said. "Anytime you can add value and give the recipient of the item more of a reason to hang on to it, you have given the advertisers more bang for their buck. For example, by simply putting a loan amortization chart under a calendar pad or someone on the product, you've given them a reason to keep it." He mentioned tip charts and coupons as other useful value-adds to include.
Sell Across Departments
"The beauty of selling presentation folders is that they can be utilized by several departments within an organization," said Martin. "HR for internal purposes, sales and marketing for getting proposal and sales info out, loan departments, savings departments, etc."
If the financial market is about anything, it's winning. Sales awards, customer service all-stars, years of service gifts—in the financial industry, opportunities for awards are plentiful.
When helping a financial client pick an award, there's one design detail you should steer them toward—perfection. "Financial institutions are professional environments, so I would suggest an optical crystal award for this audience, because it is completely flawless and the highest quality crystal available," said Audra Lehnert, Crystal D, marketing coordinator, St. Paul, Minn. "Awards come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, so clients have a deep selection to choose from. Crystal D offers a variety of imprint options for our optical crystal awards. Distributors and their end-users can choose from a deep etch, 3-D image, an engraved or sublimated plate, or a four-color process called Illumachrome."
With Decoration, Aim to Impress
Awards are meant to be impressive, and that includes their decorations. "For financial institutions, I would suggest our newest form of Illumachrome, called Illumachrome Plus," Lehnert said. "This imprint option allows for a four-color imprint on the front of the award and the back of the award, which doubles the imprint area while adding color. This element creates a very eye-catching and timeless award," she explained. "For example, the financial institution can inscribe a lovely message of appreciation on the front and a personal note from the recipients' manager/branch director on the back."
Consider the Recipient
Always know who the awards are being given to, and tailor your client's choices to that. "The best advice I can share is this: choose an award that the recipient will enjoy," Lehnert said. "Consider the taste and preferences of the recipient in terms of color and style, then include a personal inscription and a heartfelt message or quote. The more personal the award is, the more the recipient will appreciate it," she said. "After the recognition event is complete the recipient has the award to remind him or her of he event and occasion. It becomes a lasting symbol of achievement. A little extra thought on the front end has big payoff for the recipient on the back end."