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  • James posted an update in the group Group logo of Experiential Branding & Communications Experiential Branding & Communications 5 years, 9 months ago

    So there are a bunch of banks and all of them have different names. But there are some things that always pop up, like how a bunch of small banks always say they’re “First ______” or something along those lines. Does the name of the bank really matter all that much, or is it the bank service?

    • Personally, I believe that the name is only important when the bank is first starting up and building up its reputation. The Wells Fargo and Bank of America banks of the world are known and will always be thought of when you think of any bank. With how much the banking industry has consolidated, you are pretty hard pressed to find a bank that is not Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, or Citibank. For a smaller bank, a strong name has to make up for the lack of a strong presence. Associating with the region, appealing to personal values – small banks must do whatever it takes to make their name and branches stand out to the masses because they do not have the exposure and reputation that larger banks have. Once a bank is established, the name is much less important and the burden shifts to service. If Wells Fargo suddenly slipped in service then everyone would know whereas if “First National Bank” had a few flubs then not many would know or care. So there is that point there it transitions from the name being very important to the service being key, but both are required over the life of the bank.

      • So you’ve gotten to thinking that the name doesn’t matter later on. I knew you weren’t right in the head, and this just proves it. That’s like saying that we name our kids something interesting because they’re young, but later on in life it won’t matter because people will know them. Names are why people remember you, and it doesn’t matter if it’s fancy or not.
        Wells Fargo only got as big as it is because it didn’t screw up as much as the other banks, not because the ones that did were bigger or more known. That doesn’t change the fact that they screwed up. People go to the banks that don’t make mistakes with money, and that may be a Wells Fargo or it could be Banana Bank down the street. The name is great and all, and people won’t go to a bank called Rainbow Kitty Sparkle Depository if they’re reasonable adults, even if the bank is a huge player in the market, but it’s really about not screwing around with people’s money too.

      • That reminds me of some of the restaurants that I’ve been to and how they always have those funky names that aren’t really the standard “Mom and Pop’s Diner.” They’re all over the place with names like Fry Daze, Sloppy Joe’s, and Magical Tacos. These weren’t the biggest names out there, and most of them eventually went under, but they stuck around because people could remember the name.

    • What I believe you must understand is that the name of the bank, or any business for that matter, is not chosen at random; names are carefully selected to instill an intended perception and image. As per your example, many banks choose to utilize the word “first” in their name to convey that they are the oldest, and therefore most experienced and reputable, bank in the area. The concept of the name does not always root itself in trending words; patriot, union, America(n), etc. are used to convey a sense of national pride and, using America as the context, freedom for bank patrons. This is not to undercut the importance of bank service – quite the opposite, bank service is of paramount importance – but the initial impression will be given by the name and appearance of the bank; likewise, it is the name that will be the defining feature that is remembered.

      • What’s in a name, right? Hey, I agree that if it works then it works, and names are that first impression that make you want to find out more about it. But yeah, it’s those words that make us think about them. Brings me back to high school and how we had to pick and choose what words we used. Looks like someone’s using what they learned back then!

    • Are there really that many banks that have names like that? I only see Bank of America and Wells Fargo in my area. There’s a Chase a few miles away, but I’ve never seen many other banks.

      • Well I’m a traveling kind of guy, so I get to see everywhere when I’m meeting my clients. Most of them are older folk, so they’re in the tiny communities with the one back for miles, and that means it’s not your typical big name branches. Last week I passed by one that was just a small little square building, no bigger than a park bathroom, hiding next to a laundromat and convenience store. The place probably couldn’t fit more than twenty people in there at once, but a lot of people were going in and out of it. It was crazy.

        • I’m just never around those little banks I guess. I’m always commuting to the city so I only see the major banks.

    • Well of course the name is important. They can’t be named “Bank A” and “Bank B.” That is so boring and lame. Who would want to bank at somewhere as generic as that? This is a no brainer when it comes to wondering if the name is important. Is your name important? Would people remember you if you met them once but you had no name at all?

      • I didn’t mean it like that. I meant why do we care so much about naming banks but not other businesses like financial advisors. We call ours CM Financial because the founder’s initials were CM, but banks call themselves the first or state bank and other names like that.

    • • Hey there, James! 🙂 I’ve been gone for a while but it’s back to business! 🙁 I think banks need a strong name so that people remember them. There are so many big names out there that you need to be unique to stand out. A name will do that for you. 🙂 Think about how awesome a name like Ron Hostetter sounds! Just kidding! 😉 Unique names are easy to pick out because they’re one of a kind and it’s more memorable that the plain old John Smith. Same goes for businesses!

      • Well, James is a pretty cool name too, but we’re dealing with banks here so let’s stick to that. Unique names stand out, but I think they’d be harder to remember too because it’s not something we’re used to seeing or saying.