Brand Winners... And Losers: The People and The Big Banks

Brand Winners…

   And Losers

The Marketing Doctor says:

Winner: The People

Loser: The Big Banks

Folks, a short Winner/Loser post this week and one that breaks down nicely along these lines: one brand has emerged and the other brand is being submerged.

Without further ado:

The Winner:

The people.  Yes, the people. 

If this week has shown us anything, it is that the people are making an important and unified comeback as a brand in America.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve written extensively over at Fox Forum about political brands (here, here and here), and beneath all of the analysis is the power of Brand People.  We’ve been seeing this power pop out in the reaction to Santelli’s CNBC rant and President Obama’s travels to support his stimulus and his mortgage plan.

What’s really going on is that the old politics is being bypassed by the power of the people.  It’s been unleashed by a combination of technology (nowadays, You Tube leads, and the media has to follow), and these troubled times, which have made people more aware that politics isn’t a distant prospect, but something that’s going to affect their lives and their livelihoods.

Politicians need to recognize this trend, or they’re in trouble. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger seems to get it.  He’s putting himself forward as a politician who is a public servant, not a party servant. 

Here are a few quotes from Schwarzenegger’s Sunday appearance on ABC’s “This Week” (looks like he’s become the “Marketator”): “Listen to the people”; “It’s not about me; it’s about we”; and while discussing open primaries (which he supports but neither party does), “It’s always great
when both the Republicans and the Democrats are against something, because that means it’s good for the people.”

Fact is, we’re going to see more of this as politicians recognize that they will have to be ever more accountable to a well-informed and motivated brand that will demand results instead of ideology.

The Loser:

What’s to say about this week’s losers? The big banks are only getting worse, and now it looks like some or all of them will be nationalized.

What a disaster for the big bank brand!  The problem is that it’s unclear what the big banks can do to salvage their brands at this point. 

I’ve written about the bank brand problem before (here, here, here and here), but just to make the point again in light of this latest disaster: if a brand isn’t well thought out, integrated and in touch with its core identity, its business won’t be sustainable. 

For banks, this core identity means a certain stodgy, conservatism when it comes to finances and depositor trust. My prediction is that we are going to see an age of small banks operating in the old-fashioned, conservative way along with much smaller investment banks.

The age of the financial dinosaurs is over!

And remember, it’s always easier when you keep marketing and branding in mind.


If a brand isn't well thought out, integrated and in touch with its core identity, its business won't be sustainable.


What did you think of this article?

  • 5/28/2009 10:06 AM wrote:
    Brand Winner… And Loser John Tantillo’s Winner and Loser of The Week: Winner: AppleLoser: Arnold Schwarzenegger Folks, it’s a holiday weekend, and I will keep it short:The Winner Apple. Apple has been my winner before (read some of those posts here, here and here), but in keeping with the central marketing concept that successful brands consistently make small —yet critically responsive and intelligent— brand decisions I couldn’t resist this week’s story.A recap: Cartier sued Apple over two applications for Apple devices that it said violated Cartier copyright. Apple ...
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