Could the “Exciting Bank” Experience Strategy Destroy Value?

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Have you ever heard of Berkshire Bank? It was established in 1846, and is one of Massachusetts’ oldest and largest independent banks. The Bank is transitioning into a regional bank and is attempting to position itself as the financial institution of choice in its retail and commercial markets by delivering exceptional customer service.

All of this sounds completely logical and reasonable as everyone knows that in banking – service is a key element in creating a differentiated experience. So why are we writing a blog on Berkshire Bank?

In 2006, Berkshire Bank launched their promise to their customers. The Bank’s new tagline is “I’m so Excited!” They state that they are not out to simply satisfy – we aspire to be the world’s most exciting bank. Huh?

Creating an exciting bank experience, in our opinion, is a very hard sell. In banking, customers want to feel safe, cared for, appreciated, trusted, unique and valued. Exciting is not on the list! And frankly, do customers really want employees dancing around singing “I’m so excited?” Just have a look on their website at the “I’m So Excited Video” and judge for yourself whether you would consider becoming a customer. We bet your answer would be no, not ever!

We know that building customer experiences is a competitive differentiator, we have been helping companies build and implement them since 1998. Unfortunately, embracing a customer experience that doesn’t resonate with customers or employees can have a devastating impact on the value of a brand.

Here is what one of their customers, Peggy Shinn from Vermont, said about the new customer experience:

“Some institutions and occupations should simply not be exciting. Standing at the teller’s window, I had to fight the impulse to withdraw all of my money and run from the Bank yelling, “Stop the ride! I want to get off!

I think I’d prefer having my money in a bank that promises “A Passion to Perform (Deutsche Bank); or “The Bank of Opportunity” (Bank of America); or “You’re Richer Than You Think” (Scotiabank) or even “America’s Most Boring Bank!”

Only time will tell whether Berkshire’s customers and employees will be engaged by this type of “exciting” banking experience….

1 COMMENT

  1. It’s 2021, and they still think they’re “Exciting!”

    I don’t get it.

    We got pretty excited when they closed the branch we usually go to, because of low usage (downtown). It takes another 5 minutes to get to another branch. It takes 50 milliseconds to go to an online bank, just sayin’.

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