Beyond ROI: Measuring future success in more than dollars and cents

Why ROI may be the wrong measure of success.

There is no standardized metric or database in the financial services industry today that measures and quantifies the brand value and ROI of community banks (non-publicly traded) or credit unions. Yet many executives desire to know the ROI before acting on needed improvements and investing in their brand, logo or name.

Financial leaders who have completed strategic rebranding programs point directly to their significant investment in an enterprise-wide rebranding effort and attribute a range of direct and substantial impacts ranging from higher client acquisition rates, increased lending, higher employee engagement and NPS scores and market share expansion.

Interestingly, the same desired standard for ROI is rarely used for many other capital investments leaders routinely make in technology, branch automation and operational projects. Brands are a less tangible asset compared to online banking system upgrades that enhance user experience, yet there is no standard ROI for tech investments. However, a weak or poorly differentiated brand can stifle market awareness, diminish prospect interest and slow market share growth (including new branch investments). Few leaders ever ask the question: What is the risk, or lost “opportunity cost” of an ineffective brand, a confusing name or a dated logo and brand image?

Your financial institution’s corporate brand and image is arguably far more valuable an asset, and more visible than a $2.0 million investment in one new freestanding neighborhood branch. Your brand shapes market and consumer perceptions and defines your competitive market positioning and reputation. Many leaders know their brands are ill-defined, or even impossible to articulate clearly. Their brands are inconsistently linked across channels, not understood among their employees, and randomly communicated across marketing, channels and social media.


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