This is one of the most impactful videos buzzing around online today.

How profound. How timely. How relevant to the state of banking today.

What is YOUR label?

     Are you a Bank?
A Credit Union?
A Peer-to-Peer Lender?
An Online Bank?

     A Business Bank?
     An Investment Firm?
     A Mortgage Lender?
A Savings and Loan?
A Check Casher?

Do your customers care? Or do you prefer the label of “member?” Again, do they care?!?

We spend a lot of time worrying about our labels. Whether it is for self-identity or governmental classification. But less time worrying about the customer’s wants and needs.

Banking really is quite simple. Either someone has money that they want to safely put someplace with as much access and return as possible, or they need money for something that they can’t quite afford and want it quickly and as cheap as possible. That’s it! That’s what we all do.

The only remaining differentiators become the vital intangibles of competency, trust, access and community involvement.

Labels are for cans not for peopleTo the vast majority of people, it doesn’t matter WHERE they get those services from.

To take it further, they don’t care what those services are CALLED. If you are going to “brand” your products, the brand had better focus on differentiation of those intangible benefits. If your brand clarifies or helps you “own” a benefit, you’ve nailed it. If not, its simply a mental exercise for your management team.

If this political season has taught us anything, its that American’s no longer care about substance and detail (if they ever did). They care about what’s-in-it-for-me! Period. They don’t want 18-point plans on how you can save the world, they want a sound-bite on how you can make THEM feel better right now (true and logical or not). And it doesn’t matter which label’s flag is flying over that message.

I believe we need a label-free world. Where there are no conservatives or liberals, no blacks or whites, no hyphens before “American,” no Christians or Muslims. We need one PEOPLE, working together to right a topsy-turvy world.

Lets move the focus from labels like “bank,” “credit union,” or “peer-to-peer lender,” to a focus on the people around us. The families in our community. Our neighbors, next door and around the world.

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