Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 1 year ago

30) #ByTheBook: Positioning Your Brand Beyond Commoditization

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

What’s your financial brand’s purpose?

Purpose guides and gains support for your digital growth… 

But be warned, straying too far from it could lead to ruin.

Just look at what happened to Tom’s Shoes.

In the latest episode of Banking on Digital Growth, I take a look at why purpose is the bulwark standing between your brand and the sterile commoditization that can destroy it. 

I go over:

-How commoditization led to the downfall of Tom’s Shoes

-How to avoid the same fate for your financial brand

-How to get back to (or begin) banking on purpose

You can find this interview, and many more, by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

You're listening to banking on digital growth with James Robert Lay, a podcast that empowers financial brand marketing, sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating ten times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the by the book series where James Robert on locks and shares the secrets of digital marketing and sales strategies for financial brands from his best selling book banking on Digital Growth, the strategic marketing manifesto to transform financial brands, that is now available on Amazon. Let's get into the show. Greetings in hello, thank you for tuning into the thirty episode of the banking on Digital Growth Podcast, where I James Robert Lay, your digital anthropologists, help you to simplify the biggest digital marketing and cell strategies that empower you and your financial brand to generate ten...

...times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the by the book series where I share insights from my best selling book banking on digital growth, the strategic marketing manifesto to transform financial brands. But before we get into today's discussion, I'd like to thank Craig for his Amazon Review where he shared quote the Strategic Marketing Manifest show is a framework that delivers what most thought leaders are afraid to specificity. This book isn't just another Poetic Muse about digital what if's. Instead, James Robert Delivers a plan filled with practical examples and supporting data to get your organizational board with the changes necessary to thrive when so many institutions are coasting into obsolescence. Well, thank you very much, Craig, for the Amazon Review and I do appreciate your feedback. And to your point, Craig, about change and getting others on board with change. One of the...

...best ways to do this is by establishing a digital growth purpose. That's exactly what the founder of Tom Shoes did, as he got an idea for a business model when he was traveling through Argentina in two thousand and six he noticed to need and that that need really get him thinking and in in this part of the world, in Argentina, what Blake saw was there was a lot of children who are growing up with no shoes, to where they were always barefoot. So not long after that trip, Blake started a company out of his apartment, and that company is what we all know today is is Tom Shoes, and it really begin with a purpose. Tom Set out not only to sell just another commoditie shoe but, in their own words, their purpose was, two words, improve lives. And the premise behind this business model...

...was that for every pair of shoes that they sold, they would donate a pair to a child in need. They were one of the the really the the founders of this what they called the one for one approach, which Tom's trademark and really created the the whole category of purpose driven brands, because their idea of giving away an item for every atom they sold became copied and replicated by other companies. And so what begin is this simple idea really evolved into a powerful growth model, and the numbers speak for themselves. Since two thousand and six Tom's has donated more than eighty eight million pairs of shoes to children. And when you think about this from from an economic standpoint, with the average price for their shoes being fifty four dollars and the average cost of gets sold prepares just nine, clearly their purpose driven business model has created almost a...

...triple threat of value for consumers, for kids and needs, and also for the company itself. Purpose is what gave Tom's a huge strategic competitive advantage in and otherwise commoditized shoe market. But it hasn't been smooth sailing. It hasn't been easy every step of the way for Tom's because around two thousand and eleven, two thousand and twelve, the story of Tom's took a bit of a rocky turn. And Truth is, the company lost its way when they begin to go down a path of conformity, which which led to commoditization. You see, Tom's became focused on chasing growth and revenue and they lost sight of their purpose. So, to support their expansion efforts, tom started to roll...

...out new product lines. And whenever they did this, they begin to move away from what had made them successful in the in their first place, which was their purpose, the one for one philosophy. And when they did they they started to fall back on traditional marketing campaigns and marketing strategies that required very expensive lifestyle shoots and media Advis so at this point Tom's was no longer focused on purpose. They were no longer focused on what created the brand of who they were with one for one, which created a lot of organic, feel good word of mouth marketing that was then further ample amplified through social media, and so the the but he was struggling. Their CEO, Blake, decided to take a sabbatical, to step away, to step back reflect on where he been, where he was and where he needed to go next to transform...

Tom's and get them to the next level. And on this sabbatical what he realized was that the company had become much more focused on the process and the promotion of commoditized products instead of their purpose. They had been concentrating so hard on what the business was doing and how the growth of the business was going to perform that they forgot their why. They forgot their purpose, which which was still to improve lives, and just those two simple words improve lives, that simple formulation and the determination behind it, the purpose, is what had always given Tom's their greatest competitive advantage. It's what allowed them to build an emotional bond with their customers and really, for that matter, their culture,...

...their employees. Technology has transformed our world and digital has changed the way consumer shop for and buy financial services forever. Now, consumers make purchase decisions long before they walk into a branch. If they walk into a branch at all, but your financial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits. We get it. Digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming for any financial brand marketing and sales leader. But it doesn't have to, because James Robert wrote the book that guides you every step of the way along your digital growth journey. Visit www dot digital growthcom to get a preview of his best selling book banking on digital growth, or order a copy right now for you and your team from Amazon. Inside you'll find a strategic marketing manifesto that was written to transform financial brands, and it is packed full of practical, improven insights you...

...can start using today to confidently generate ten times more loans and deposits. Now back to the show. This to word improve lives purpose was the motivational factor driving both groups, the internal and the external stakeholders. And for people shopping for the shoes and the people working at Tom's, improving lives made them feel part of something bigger than themselves. Years later, reflecting on some of the missteps and failures, Tom CEO Blake really thought about where things went astray and what it was what he what he came to the conclusion is that it was commoditization. They started doing all of the same things that every other footwear company...

...does. The think about your financial brand, how you position yourselves, how you go to market, how you communicate. Are you promoting the same great rates, amazing service and commoditize laundry list of look alike features? Are you doing? Rd and this is not research and development, it's ripping off and duplicating what other financial brands are doing, or are you committing and doubling down on a purpose that as unique to you, your financial brand and really the people in the communities that you served? So let's get back to the Tom Story. In Two thousand and fifteen blake had stepped away as CEO, but he stayed on to help drive the company's purpose. He had acknowledged that the story of Tom's and their purpose were so tightly aligned. When he was reflecting...

...on this with with Fast Company, one of the key insights he shared is this at and I quote, he said, I realize the importance of having a story. Today is what really separates company. People just don't wear our shoes, people tell our story. And when we think about that, think about your financial brand again, for a moment. Are People just banking with you? Do they just have a checking account with you, alone, with you, their mortgage with you, or are people believing in your purpose and telling your story to their friends and family? After Blake had stepped down in two thousand and fifteen a CEO, Tom's brought in a new CEO, who is Jim Aling. Jim came from starbucks and t mobile, and Jim was...

...talking through the next steps of Tom's and where they were going to go, you know, moving away from promoting and pushing product but getting back to evolving and growing the spirit of its original purpose of improving lives. But at that point, you know, it might have been a little too late for Tom's to save themselves because they had lost their way. And that's a key lesson for all financial brand marketing cells and leadership teams, because in December of two thousand and Nineteen Tom's was in a really bad play. They had to bring in some new private equity, new investors. But the hope is this. The new owner still had faith in the brand and we're willing to invest further to double down on Tom's purpose. And so Tom's has continued to evolve and...

...change their strategy, coming back to their core purpose, and there's really no denying here, if you look at the story of Tom's and what made them successful in the first place, that purpose those two words improving lives. But then they lost their way when they started to focus on growth for maybe even growth sakes and commoditizing their product. There's no denying how hard it can be for a brand to make the kind of changes that Tom has had to make over the years to find their way back to their purpose. But in the case of Tom's, it's really their boldness and their courage that could be what helps them to continue to move forward and create value in a world beyond just...

...selling a commoditized product. And that's my hope for you, that's my hope for your financial brand, that you can have that same boldness and courage throughout your entire organization to begin banking on purpose and position your financial brand beyond the commoditized promotion of of look like products and services, but really commit to put the transformation of people, the transformation of people in the communities that you serve, over the traditional transaction of dollars and sense, as always in until next time, be well. Do Good and wash your hands. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Laigh. Like what you hear, tell a friend about the podcast and leave us a review on apple podcast, Google podcast or spotify, and subscribe while you're there.

To get even more practical, improven insights, visit wwwigital growthcom to grab a preview of James Roberts best selling book banking on digital growth, or order a copy right now for you and your team from Amazon. Inside you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprint framed around twelve key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate ten times more loans and deposits. Until next time, be well and do good.

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