Do we love to hate?
Are we glutton for punishment?
Or do we just gravitate towards what we know … good or bad?

     How do brilliant, caring, beautiful women end up with complete losers? (Ask my wife)
How do reasonable intelligent people select Presidential nominees that they hate?
Why do banks that we loathe continue to grow?

We live in an interesting time that defies all logic. Unless a giant meteor strikes us in the next few months, we are going to be forced to choose between Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump for President of the United States. Yes, I say “forced.” Regardless of your political lean, the fact is that BOTH Clinton and Trump have the highest “Unfavorable” ratings of all of the contenders.

More than half of Americans find either option UNFAVORABLE … but WE had the unique privilege of walking into a voting booth and pulling a lever – and this … THIS was the result?!?

This year’s election cycle is a clear case study in branding. Going into this battle, Clinton, Trump and Bush had the clear lead in name awareness. And, like him or loathe him, Trump’s strategy has been to own the news cycle every single day. Say something racist this day, stupid the next and insult as many as possible on the day after that. But it makes news. His name was mentioned. Seriously, do you remember a newscast without Trump as one of the top two stories?

Trump is living proof of P.T. Barnum’s ol’ cliché, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” And here we go giving a clown a shot at President.

The same lack of logic holds true in banking.
In 2015, Harris Poll surveyed 27,278 people to generate its list of America’s most- and least-loved corporations.

Topping the Least Loved:
#1 Goldman Sachs
#2 AIG
#10 Bank of America
#12 Citigroup
#14 JPMorgan Chase

Three of the “Big Four” banks are in this list!

In a separate study, all four of the leading U.S. banks (Chase, Bank of America, Citi and Wells Fargo) are among the 10 LEAST Loved Brands by Millennials. (The Millennial Disruption Index – Scratch)

Despite their despised brands, all but one of the nation’s biggest banks are experiencing asset growth.

The nation’s biggest banks continue to eat into the market share of smaller institutions.

My take?
If you don’t think marketing matters, think about the Trump and Big Bank examples of hate = growth.  Invest, don’t be shy, get noticed, be top-of-mind.

In the absence of a clear, differentiated advantage, people will select a banking institution on awareness. And they will stay with that institution, love or hate, until there is a significant reason to change: price, convenience, availability, truly unique offering.

Think about it. How many Walmart patrons would rather be in a nicer store with better service? But they squeeze through the aisles around the 500-pound shopper, showing plumber’s crack and stressing the limits of his electric cart for the price. There may be cheaper options out there, but through sheer repetition, Walmart is top-of-mind.

There are certainly better banking alternatives than Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo or Citi, but with national ad budgets and exposure on every street corner, they are top-of-mind.

I would be more trusted than Hillary and I can certainly run this country better than Donald Trump, but having lived in the White House and being provided unheard-of press coverage, they are top-of-mind. But this loser somehow gained my wife’s vote so I guess that’s all that matters #MarryUp!

In addition to being a bank and credit union strategic consultant, MarketMatch also has nationally and internationally requested speakers. Contact us to bring our marketing ideas to your institution or next conference.

See our story here. (click)
Or email me directly (click)
Follow us on Twitter @MarketMatch