Challenge: During post Katrina New Orleans, all banks were faced with the mass exodus of customers, thousands of foreclosures and bankrupt business customers. First Bank & Trust, serving the Greater New Orleans and Gulf Coast region was no exception to the struggles of the community.
Insight: Consumer perception disconnects were identified and without graphic standards in place, the visual identity and message of the bank was incredibly inconsistent; resulting in the question – were they a business bank or a retail bank?
Solution: First Bank and Trust needed to establish themselves as a premier business bank, as well as establish themselves as the official bank of the New Orleans Saints. From this, “First Bank Fred” was born. Fred helped to link their relationship with the Saints, as well as inform potential and existing clients of their business model. In addition, Russo developed a comprehensive brand strategy to incorporate the bank’s seven different entities under the First Trust banner. Once accomplished, the focus transitioned through the brand plan and evolved towards the products of the bank – developing a campaign to position the bank in the hearts and minds of the community. Message strategy included the viral elements of dedicated website and street promotions.
Result: Beyond marketing, Russo developed a brand plan that positively impacted First Bank’s bottom line, as well as leverage their status as the “Official Banking Partner of the New Orleans Saints.”
The “First Bank Fred” campaign, along with consistent brand messaging across a diverse range of collateral pieces throughout the year, helped establish First Bank and Trust as a trusted partner in the business economy, resulting in end of year totals showing an increase of $109 million dollars – a 22% increase of assets.