Topic: Advertising/PR

Testimonials As A Branding Tool

Posted by Anonymous on 250 Points
What do you think about using a long term campaign of testimonials as a branding tool? I work for a small community bank is a small/medium size town. We have somewhat of a reputation for being not easy to work with/ ie. not making loans. I have proposed to our Ad manager that we could begin using testimonials in all of our advertising, brochures, and website to counter that perception and encourage people to come experience us the way our testomonials portray us. I know that testimonials create credibility and do drive people to action, and I want to make testimonials an ongoing part of all of our marketing communications in every channel. What is your opinion?
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  • Posted by Pepper Blue on Accepted
    I love testimonials. Combined with a "case study" they are an excellent way to build brand and catch peoples attention.

    I learned years ago that the best way to get a testimonial is to "write it yourself", actually, you are the ghost writer.

    Talk to your happiest, most loyal customers and ask them if they will sign off on a testimonial that you put together. Make it honest, not superfluous, say what you want it to say and tell what you did for the customer.

    I've never had a customer not agree to do it, and not agree to give it their attribution.

    Just make sure you pick them carefully or you can get embarrased if they say "No Way".

    It saves them the time, it gets done quickly and it says what you want it to say, but still has honesty and integrity.

    Make sure you put their full name not just "Joe from Hooterville, USA".

    I hope that helps.

  • Posted by SRyan ;] on Member
    Here's a late addition to the great advice you've already received... and perhaps a twisted view of the situation:

    If your bank IS tough to borrow from, and if it's NOT going to get EASIER, there's probably a reason. Are the requirements stringent? Is this a risk-averse institution, maybe to the point of paranoia? Does your bank really want to attract borrowers who perceive that getting money is easy?

    Consider capitalizing on THAT in your testimonials. Make it a point of business/personal pride (or smugness?) for your loan customers.

    I can visualize a photo of a shopowner with a turtle, goldfish and guinea pig... quoting "We couldn't scare Community Bank if we tried." ...byline Eugene Parker of Smithville Pets ...bold tagline in the ad: We're not afraid of you.

    Or a shot of a new homeowner leaning on the Sold sign or stack of boxes in front of the porch steps... quoting "Community Bank has the confidence in me that I deserve." ...byline Gertrude McNutt, new Happy Acres homeowner ...bold tagline in the ad: Is love really all you need?

    These examples might not hit the mark, but I hope I've conveyed something worth considering!

  • Posted by SRyan ;] on Member

    You're probably right about leaving out photos, especially for banking, and even more so if you're going after commercial instead of consumer business.

    I have noticed the trend, however, of ads getting playful with words and imagery... even in some "conservative" industries. It all depends on the demographics of your target market, obviously!

    - Shelley

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