Commerce Bank, a regional bank that started over 10 years ago, has recently merged with another bank and changed its name accordingly. This is standard practice for banks especially in this economic climate. Merging and acquiring shouldn’t be that jarring but it does pose a lot of holes where important things can fall through. The opportunity is there to beef up customer service and quality assurance, brace for impact and WOW current customers. This is not something Commerce/Metro Bank is doing right now.
Commerce proudly touted itself as the World’s Most Convenient Bank, and it was. They had hours unheardof in the banking industry. They had options and freebies unsurpassed by competitors. Banking with Commerce was convenient and that’s what created the brand and made people believe in it. It was a real branding case study as it superseded the creative and entered into the top-down branding model necessary for winning brands.
Commerce changed it’s name and brand completely in the last week when they started enacting their rebrand. Overnight they became the world’s most INCONVENIENT bank.
With customer service on hold times upwards of four hours, inability to log into online banking portals, poor design for the new brand, and a slew of financial messups in actual accounts, Metro Bank is not carrying the torch with convenience by any means.
This post could go on for hours, but let’s cut to the chase. If you are rebranding and launching a new name consider these points:
1. How can the positive aspects of the previous brands be effectively leveraged? In Commerce / Metro Bank’s case, how can we reinforce convenience?
2. Staff up customer service and brace for impact. People are going to be pissed. Change is good, but it’s also scary especially with banking. Make sure customer service is ready to take calls and handle situations, conveniently.
3. Take the opportunity to push the brand forward creatively. Look the look so you can reinforce the trust in the brand. Banks HAVE to look trustworthy and graphic design is the first point of contact. It better be good. We are watching.
4. Get your finger on the pulse and respond. Log onto Facebook and Twitter. Keep an eye out for your brand name and respond to complaints, divert possible upevil, and add another aspect of convenience to your brand. Allow people to complain openly and fix the problems or at least communicate with your brand followers.
The Commerce Bank – Metro Bank conversion is a case study of how NOT to launch a new brand. I am afraid they have lost a lot of customers. I am one of them.