Respondents in a quantitative online financial study bvk recently conducted typically classify banks as either national or community/local banks, bypassing a regional bank designation completely.
BVK’s proprietary research found that regional banks are caught between two ends of a continuum in the minds of consumers. When given definitions of various banks and then asked a series of questions, consumers in our study correctly classified national banks as well as most local/community banks. However, when it came to regional banks most struggled with their identity.
When it came to understanding the brand perceptions of banks in each of these categories, it was also very clear for national and community banks. But again we found consumers in our study could not formulate a clear concise brand personality for regional banks.
Whether consumers in our study viewed regional banks as a national or a local one, it became apparent that they are being viewed as “neither fish nor fowl.” Consumers do not know where regional banks fit when it comes to classifying who they are and more importantly what value they bring to the table.
What’s significant is that this lack of brand personality may be systematic to building long term committed relationships with your customers–which we discovered in our research is what consumers truly desire. These findings support the growing need for regional banks to consider carving out a new brand sub category and specifically a value proposition that will provide a clear identity for consumers.