Brands are living, breathing entities. At lest good ones are. But just as brands can live, they can also die.Paper Cut - 1

While brands can die quickly, more likely it is a slow erosion that takes place. In other words, your brand can die a death by a thousand cuts. For example, think Circuit City, Borders and American Idol (okay, American Idol isn’t dead yet, but it is well on it’s way). There wasn’t any one earthquake-like event that ended those brands. The reality is they failed with a series of missteps.

It is the same way with financial institutions’ brand. More than likely not any one cataclysmic event (even the crashing of the stock market, the loss of a large commercial loan or the closing of an underperforming branch) will doom your community bank or credit union’s brand value or vision.

However it’s the cumulative effect of poor attention to detail that will cause your brand to die. For example, these actions add up:

  • You tolerate underperforming employees (hoping they’ll just get better)
  • You stop holding people accountable
  • You don’t remodel an older and out of date branch
  • You don’t invest in educating your employees about your brand
  • You stop taking risks
  • You don’t invest in new products or services
  • You keep the same board in place for 20 years
  • You do the same promotions and marketing year after year after year
  • You don’t invest in new technologies

Individually, the above items may not cause your brand’s death. However, you can experience something we call the “accumulation affect.” The accumulation of your individual brand or strategic decisions can lead to a slow, sliding death.

In other words, the accumulation causes death by a thousand cuts.

How can you avoid this type of a death? Take a step back and look at your credit union or bank. Look at the whole rather than the part. Add up all the individual decisions you are making that effect your brand and see what the results are.