First Bank is a 100-year-old, 4th generation, St. Louis based family-owned bank managed by the Dierberg family.
Within 30 days I validated the following while leading contextual inquiries with departments and the C-suite team. There was no qual or quant research to understand client categories and prospect targets. An ill-defined identity, content-heavy website, no social strategy and a struggle to find it's true north.
Resistance to change. Desire to position the bank message appealing to high net worth prospects. No brand guidelines. Compliance reluctance to increase transparency through social media. Fractured agreement about the strategic direction. Working with 20 departments and 100 stakeholders.
Developed the go-to-market digital plan based on Nielsen segmentation research and in-person employee interviews. Led a digital team to build a new company website. Whiteboarding sessions with department teams. Used design thinking principles to better understand the user. Built personas and journey maps which better defined the user and desired experiences.
Lack of willingness to concede the bank brand could not be deemed 'all high net worth' focused. No central brand guidelines. Compliance and legal concerns about increasing our transparency through social media. Varied opinions and ideas among 20 departments and 100 stakeholders.
Simplified the representation of their banking products. Humanized the company by increasing focus on 'family owned and managed.' Energized a dormant social program to increase engagement and craft targeted messaging. The new website created new brand energy, sense of purpose, had a broad based appeal to multiple cohorts, and provided the user a simple and intuitive online experience.