Last week, I drove by some sign for Citizen’s Bank. It registered in my obsessive brand-consciousness that this was a particularly weak logo – what do a bunch of arrows pointing to one another have to do with anything? Then, going on their website, I noted that the tagline is, at least, consistent with the logo – weak and meaningless. The name of the bank isn’t bad, but someone please invest some money in a better identity campaign!
That got me thinking of another bank that recently went through a merger and re-branding. Just what is a Wachovia, anyway? And what is the logo trying to portray? Shouldn’t a name and logo have a certain self-evident meaning to it? If someone has to ask how to pronounce something, or query as to the meaning of a logo, then the game is over before it starts.
I happen to bank at Bank of America – only because the branch where we started banking long ago has gone through however many mergers, and BofA is the last acquirer of record! BofA’s logo is strong, although their prior campaign slogan (Higher Standards) had no particular emotional content. However, the new BofA campaign (Bank of Opportunity) directly speaks to people’s aspirations, and their new ads are quite effective.
Of all bank names, however, none sinks lower in my mind than Fifth Third Bank, with their highly intuitive web address, http://www.53.com. What were these people thinking? And how are they going to compete with First Third, Second Third, Third Third, and Fourth Third? What if First Second opened up down the street (tagline: 1/2 the Bank You Expected!)?
So, what are your most (and least) favorite bank brands, and why?