Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I’ve got to write a tagline for a small community bank. Any pointers? -- signed “Tagged Out”

Dear Tagged,
The first thing you should do is visit TheFinancialBrand.com and peruse their list of 635 bank taglines. It’s a great way to learn what not to write. There are a few decent ones, but the majority range from so-so to really bad.

“Relationship” is a big word for many bankers. Some, however, want more than just a banking relationship. What does that mean? Maybe they’re looking to date or marry someone with a high balance. Here are some examples: 
  • Charter Oak Credit Union – Relationships beyond banking
  • Bossier FCU – Beyond Banking…This is Personal
  • First Reliance Bank – There’s More to Banking Than Money.
  • Red Crown Credit Union – It’s not just service. It’s personal.
  • Sharonview FCU – With us…it’s personal.
  • Bank of India – Relationships beyond banking

Some banks express the obvious; prompting a response along the lines of, “I should hope so.” 
  • Bank of Maine – Honesty first
  • California Federal Bank – We’ll treat your money like it’s your money.
  • California Credit Union – It’s everything a bank ought to be

Many banks are keen on listening to you. I’m not sure they hear anything, but at least they’re polite about it. 
  • Addison Avenue FCU – We listen. You prosper.
  • Commerce Bank – Ask. Listen. Solve.
  • Comerica Bank – We listen. We understand. We make it work.
  • Companion Credit Union – We’re listening…
  • Midland Bank – The listening bank 

And, of course, there’s a chorus of lines that are All About You:  
  • Planters Bank – All About You!
  • Al Hilal Bank – It’s all about you.
  • California Coast Credit Union – It’s All About You
  • Mazuma Credit Union – We’re all about you.
  • Meijer Credit Union – It’s all about YOU! 

Some lines are wacky:
  • Bank of the Sierra – A Mountain of Experience You Can Count On
  • Zurich – Because Change HappenZ
  • Placer Sierra Bank – Real People-Real Service-Real Difference
  • abo Bank – Your significant other bank.
  • North American Bank – Bold. Friendly. Fun.
  • Monterey FCU – Let our style-of-banking improve your style-of-life.

 Some lines appealed to me:
  • Washington Mutual – More human interest. 
  • Abbey National Bank – Because life’s complicated enough
  • Abington Bank – Banking for people with better things to do!
  • Alpine Bank – A bank you can actually like.  [I would change this to “A bank you’ll actually like.]
  • Amplify FCU – Bank less. Live more.

 This is my all-time favorite:

Boomerang Credit Union – where your money comes back to YOU.

 Looking at the list in total, it’s enough to make me question whether any bank or company even needs a tagline. Do banks actually think their customers find these taglines genuine or emotive? The answer is: it doesn’t matter. In my experience, most banks and companies feel more comfortable talking to themselves. So instead of writing a tagline that resonates with your client’s customers, you end up writing one that resonates with your client.  And that’s the way it goes.

 Dear Freelance Copywriter is brought to you by Robert Roth at ROTH copywriting