Anne Finucane, CMO of Bank of America, has spent the past year building on the success of the 2007 “Bank of Opportunity” global ad campaign and brand positioning she oversaw. Her goal was simple: Leverage the new tagline and unifying brand principle to accelerate the company's growth.
In tough economic times, the bank's messaging has taken a deliberately optimistic tone, tapping into America's “can-do spirit” and focusing on back-to-basics financial strategies, Finucane said. “Americans across all income and education levels are feeling significant economic pressure and are unsure of how to juggle multiple financial priorities,” she said. “Our marketing communications in 2008 was designed to help them get back on track.”
Bank of America prides itself on its integrated approach to marketing, with television, print, online and direct mail representing a large part of it efforts. It has also taken advantage of emerging channels such as social networking, which it included in its Olympic marketing campaign earlier this year. As part of the “America's Cheer” campaign, the company invited Olympic fans to upload video messages for the U.S. team.
Finucane's efforts are paying off in brand awareness, business growth and corporate social responsibility measures. Awareness of Bank of America as the “bank of opportunity” now leads the industry, she said. Plus, WPP Group's BrandZ brand equity study ranked Bank of America as the top financial brand in its Top 100 Most Powerful Brands list, pegging brand value at $33.1 billion—an increase of 15% over 2007.
Making a personal connection with customers and prospects will continue to be important in the coming year, Finucane said. “At all times, but especially in times of economic uncertainty, people are looking for authenticity from the companies they have relationships with—companies they can trust and companies they can turn to for real solutions,” she said. “That's our go-forward mission.”
As part of that mission, Bank of America must integrate acquisitions Countrywide Financial Corp. and Merrill Lynch & Co., and position itself as the premier financial services company in the world, Finucane said. “Our greatest challenges will also be to help fix what went wrong in our economy and markets, help our customers fight through the financial adversity they are confronting and start investing in America's future again.”