Umpqua Bank pioneers handshake marketing


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Umpquitize is the action of making the ordinary extraordinary

I just read about Umpqua in Joe Jaffe’s (@jaffejuice) new book ‘Flip the Funnel’. Some companies truly get the importance of differentiation through customer experience . Umpqua understands ‘branded acts of kindness‘ and takes the concept ‘to the bank’.

umpqua bank marketing

The West Coast bank chain based in Portland, OR has tellers place customers’ cash on black wooden trays along with a silver chocolate coin embellished with the bank’s logo.

Add in free wifi and their own brand of free gourmet coffee. Put it all together and you’ve got some sweet free perks that land them #295 in the Purple Goldfish Project.

Here is a great interview from Umpqua’s Eric Lucero (@erlucero). If you don’t have the full 8+ minutes . . . fast forward to 6:15 in for the genesis of handshake marketing. Pure genius:

HELP me catch another 698 purple goldfish for a great cause. FISHERMEN WANTED: Click here to send me your example.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stan Phelps
Stan Phelps is the Chief Measurement Officer at 9 INCH marketing. 9 INCH helps organizations develop custom solutions around both customer and employee experience. Stan believes the 'longest and hardest nine inches' in marketing is the distance between the brain and the heart of your customer. He is the author of Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish and Golden Goldfish.


  1. I have been a long-time admirer of Umpqua Bank and have followed their marketing techniques for quite some time. This is the first time I’ve heard about the Handshake Marketing program, and as a fellow bank marketer, I have to say, I love it. By encouraging employees to do random acts of kindness, it gives them a way to genuinely reach out and do good things for customers, and that in turn helps them to feel pride about what they do. This program is a win-win because it creates employee and customer loyalty.

    Very cool stuff. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Lori,

    Thanks. Glad you enjoyed the post. I also love Umpqua’s approach. I don’t know if I agree that their approach is ‘random’. I would argue that what Umpqua deals in is ‘branded acts of kindness’.

    Branded reflects the next generation or 2.0 version of ‘acts of kindness’. Here is where I see the difference:

    Random 1.0 – versus — Branded 2.0

    Unpromoted Promoted

    Untargeted Targeted

    One off promotion Recurring or Consistent

    Opportunistic Planned

    Relevant to recipient Relevant to recipient + the brand

    In the field At Retail

    PR focused Integrated

    It doesn’t just need to be random anymore. Executed correctly, as part of an integrated strategy, ‘branded’ acts of kindness or ‘marketing lagniappe’ can create brand awareness and more importantly drive brand loyalty.



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