Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 2 months ago

233) #ExponentialInsights - How to Think Like a Brand, Not a Bank - Part 1


Banks have a branding problem. Too often, their offerings aren’t in line with customer expectations. 

It’s time for financial institutions to step out of their comfort zones and embrace the tension that comes with positive change. 

Allison Netzer (, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at NYMBUS ( and coauthor of Think Like a Brand, Not a Bank, joined us to talk about the branding mindset in banking.  

Join us as we discuss:

- Data trends in financial services branding (6:25)

- Why a disciplined branding mindset matters (12:32)

- How financial brands can navigate tension with confidence (23:32) 

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

- Kantar BrandZ study -

- Think Like a Brand, Not a Bank - 

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

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Banking on Digital Growth in your favorite podcast player.

Brand speaks the language of returns every single time. There's really not a way you can look at it where it doesn't provide a return. 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 Exponential Insight series, where James Robert Lay interviews the industry's top marketing, sales and fintech leaders, sharing practical wisdom to exponentially elevate you and your team. Let's get into the show. Greetings in Hello, I am James Robert Lay, and welcome to episode to thirty three of the Banking on Digital Growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the Exponential Insight series, and I'm excited to welcome back Allison Netzer to the show. Allison is a friend of mine and the chief marketing and strategy officer for Nimbus, but she's also the best selling co author of the brand new book Think Like a Brand, Not a Bank, who she co wrote with Liz High. It's a fantastic read and one that I look forward to talking through in detail with Allison, not just on this episode, but we're going to continue the conversation going forward into episode two thirty four as well, because Allison and Liz offer a corner copia of practical insights and ideas to empower you, to empower your team to maximize your future growth potential by simply thinking like a brand, not a bank. Welcome back to the show, Allison. It is always good to share time with you. It's wonderful to be here, James Robert, thanks for having me. Well, you've been busy. You've got a lot of positive things going on in your life. Of course with the book Think like a Brand, not a not a bank, which we're gonna get to here in just a bit. But what is good for you personally or professionally. It is always your pick to get started on a positive note. Well, I love I love the way you start this, and we actually start our real life conversations with this question every time I talked to you, I think right now, besides the book, which has been amazing, is you know I moved my family recently back home to North Carolina, which is where I'm from, so discovering you know, places for the first time, and you know, figuring out where the grocery store is and and all of that stuff. It's just kind of given me a, I don't know, just this sort of a renewed sense of of of life and being. So so that's been really good here last couple of weeks. Well, when you change your environment, it opens up entirely new perspectives to to see things differently, to think about things differently, to experience and feel things differently than you did before, which is you know Dr Benjamin Hardy organizational psychologist. He wrote a great book called Willpower Doesn't Work on the subject of change and behavior and and his whole thesis is the environment that you know we are in has a much stronger gravitational pool than our willpower does. Our willpower is like a muscle, and it will eventually tire and we'll probably fall back to previous patterns of behavior ie habits. And so if we're really wanting to truly experience transformation, we must transform the environment. And that is a great segue into our conversation with your book Think like a brand, not a bank, because there's a lot of transformation that has to happen when it comes to just this idea at a macro level and then practically applying that at a at a micro level. You've done a fantastic job. Um, you and Liz High writing through this experience of thinking like a brand not a bank to begin? Why write this book? Why now? Why take the time to sit down and bring this into reality? Yeah? No, I...

...mean I think it's it's it's our life, right, It's Liz and eyes life, you know, much like you know, much like your book is writing what we know, um and what we experience, and I think you know for me personally, you and I've talked about this. I'm not a classically trained marketer. So this book was really kind of a labor of love, maybe to my younger self of what I wish I would have known when I started, and just being able to show and you do this as well, the way forward, right, not not spending the time the little bit of a platform that we have on banks or backwards. Here's what you're doing incorrectly, but more you're almost there. There is a path forward. You're closer than you think. And so that's that's really what we what we were trying to to do it was it was a fun adventure. UM, it's been a great experience. UM. Hard work, of course, but we have a lot of you know, friends and colleagues help with the book as far as their examples of how to actually think. Well, you know, back to your point not being a classically trained marketer. I I have really appreciated your dedication to your dad, Mike, and you wrote that he taught you that you don't need a classroom to be a teacher. UM. I really connected with that because this is this is a essentially a classroom, if you will, with a cover. Um, because inside you have these five principles. UM. And I always like when things are distilled down into a manifesto or into principles of sorts that it's easy to understand number one, but then take action against number two. And and it's that idea of turning the insight into action. And you open up the book, you know, being written to financial brand leaders who are very smart, they're very analytical, their left brain driven leaders, but maybe they perceive brand as emotional, touchy feely or as you write in the book, soft and fluffy, um, which is where there's often a gap around conversations that transpire within financial brands around brands. So you open up with some data, why start with data? And then more importantly, what are some of the data trends for our dear listeners, Maybe just to plant one or two into their mind that they can then relay back to others in their organizations saying, hey, this is important stuff. This is about data, this is about numbers. It's not just about back to your point, soft and fluffy stuff right right, yeah, no, not an art project, you know. I think starting with with data, I mean, it's actually where we start in real life, in the work that we do. But it's important because we make the point in the book. Brand speaks the language of returns right every single time. There's really not a way you can look at it where it doesn't provide a return. Rule Number one in marketing is knowing your audience, right, and so having to sell the idea of thinking like a brand. Internally, you need to match the language and the motivations of your audience and so the returns that it brings, whether that is retention when you're talking to someone who's you know, on the kind of customer care or loyalty part of it, customer satisfaction if you're talking to call center operations and teller leadership, financial returns if you're talking to the CFO. So we try to provide all of that because even though we explain step by step how we also make very clear it is not easy to carry this water uphill when you're talking about change management. So we do. We do try to deepen in data. And there's there's two that I...

...always go to when I am trying to, you know, zig when someone else is zagging or kind of you know, have a debate on the power of brands. One is we have in the book, which is the Cantor brand z Study, which is really the only one that puts a dollar amount on the brand alone and I'm not talking about the products and the revenue, but the brand itself as if brand were a product. That's the first one, and that's publicly available. Um. And the second one I've come to know here recently, which is data on the emotional experience and the return that that brings. And I actually get that through a new friend in Connection of Mind, Billy Howard, who's the CEO over at Brand Throw, and they put out a ton of data and reporting on emotional experience and kind of going beyond demographics. I think that idea, if we're able to quantify this and show some external examples, back to the Cantar model, it really is powerful. It tells a powerful story at the value the bottom line value brand can create. And before we we we get into the idea of mindset here, what's the problem? Like, what are we seeing today? Because as you mentioned before, I think we're very similar that we're always looking forward, we're always looking to the future, we're always hopeful and optimistic. But I do think it's important to maybe just reflect a little bit on where we've been as an industry when it comes to branding in financial brands UM bank, credit Union, maybe even fintech neo bank. What are the problems that the dear listener needs to be thinking about, like, because I think sometimes we don't even know the problem. Yeah, I know, I think. Um. I think there's two kind of primary challenges. One is, and this is going to sound a little strange maybe outside in but I think industry wide, we have a crisis of confidence when it comes to really being our brand and being able to think and do counterintuitively, so, even though it's a big time industry with some big time personalities and a huge responsibility. I think there's a real crisis of confidence um. And the second I think is this the binary thinking that we we talk a lot about that in the book. Maybe it's our you know, high risk, you know, high stakes types of transactions and relationships, and bankers are in so I appreciate the need for kind of that buinaria or black and white thinking. But but where you and I both have spent so much time is the amount of growth that's in that gray area between is huge, and it's it's not only huge economically, it's also just more fun to do, which is important and as a real factor. So so I think it's both of those things, crisis of confidence and and just sort of a natural inclination towards binary thinking that we just need to build some muscle um to recognize when we're thinking in a binary way in some ways, to to bring some some great thoughts to it. And that's a great point about the gray area in the middle here. Growth is in the gray area really massive opportunity. You mentioned that it's more fun. I think that's just an important takeaway for the dear listener because as we continue forward into this decade of turbulence, um, I do feel it's going to be a little bit rocky. I think it's the brand. I think it's the brands that invests in branding that are going to come out feeling better. On the other side...

...of this, once again, it's the counter intuitiveness. I know we're gonna come back to that here in just a bit, but it's like when when when times get tough, the very first two things that organizations cut are typically marketing and then training development coaching. And marketing is like the external brand side, and then training development coaching, like that's the internal brand side, making sure that we're all aligned, which is where the role of mindset comes in to play. What is that role? What is the role of mindset when it comes to thinking like a brand. But the longest chapter in the book is Mindset Matters. That's really where we start, and to your earlier point, we begin with the data, right, depending on how your mind works to to get there, and it it's it's easy to say, harder to do, but it is a discipline, right, any way of thinking, any way of being and doing is a discipline. And so you know, there are ways to prepare your mind, to prepare those you work with, to prepare your approach to work on a day to day basis, and also ways to think about when you do slip. Like you mentioned before, right when you talk about willpower, right, mindset is very similar. So what do you do when you slip back into say binary thinking? So it matters completely because how you feel about something internally, whether it's you or internal to the f I manifest externally and we all have stories of amazing products and services that weren't successful and then awful products that are hugely successful. But it's a lot of times because of the internal conviction that the mindset of this is not going to fail. So it matters. It matters immensely, and that's why we why we wanted to start with it. Digital growth is a journey from good to great, but sometimes this journey can feel confusing, frustrating, and overwhelming. The good news is you don't have to take this journey alone because now you can join a community of growth minded marketing and sales leaders from financial brands and fin techs who are all learning, collaborating, and growing together. Visit Digital growth dot com, slash Insider to learn more about how you can join the Digital Growth Insider community to maximize your future digital growth potential. Now back to the show. I appreciate your point on discipline, and I was just having this conversation with my kids as they have now gone back to school and we have we have two who are in orchestra. Our oldest is in the advanced eighth grade orchestra. He's playing the cello, and then our second oldest as just started playing the cello as well, And I said, you know, there's a gap between the dreamers on one side and then those the doers on the other, those that actually do it. So we all can dream about having an amazing brand, amazing brand experience, but for those that escape the dreaming and actually do it, it all comes down to the one word that you just shared to bridge that gap between the dreamers and the doers, which is discipline. Let's get real practical here. To create a discipline. You have these five principles if you will, to provide that guidance to bridge the gap between dreaming about this and then actually doing it and applying. Because back to your point, it's a bit of a journey. It could be hard, particularly if you're trying to do this alone. Um, like any epic story, the hero does not go on the journey by themselves. They definitely have a helpful and empathetic guide, which which which that can be found through your thinking in this book, but it can also be found internally...

...with a team, with a collective, with the cohort, so that they're going on this I think of Lord of the Rings, it wasn't just Froto and Gandalf. They had, you know, seven or eight other key characters that were guiding Froto along this journey. And so we'll call call these guides the supporting characters, these five principles. Let's start with principal number one here. What do you mean that? It's that we sometimes need to do the counter intuitive thing. So, you know, it can be tempting when you're thinking about a change or a new direction to sort of take a a blank sheet approach, right, you know, throw everything out higher a huge consulting firm and just you know, years out the window. Let's start fresh. And the counterintuitive thing there is actually no don't it's not a huge blank sheet you know, exercise, you don't have to throw everything out You don't have to spend tremendous amount of money to make a lot of progress in terms of brand first thinking. You can actually take a lot of what you already have and think about it and frame it up and interpret it in a new way. So doing the counterintuitive thing doesn't mean, you know, be An example we use is, you know, going golfing in the rain, Like, it's not doing crazy stuff all over your bank, Like, that's not not going to work. Well, I can just tell you right now, that's not gonna work. Well. It's not being contrary for the purpose of being contrary. It's being very intentional but realizing that you already have a lot of the raw materials. But what folks are not expecting you to do is to take that and make really powerful combinations. They're expecting you to throw everything out, which includes your momentum, and start with a blank sheet of paper. And and big change doesn't have to start that way. You mentioned the knee to be open to odd um. I think about Seth Goden and I referenced his work a lot, particularly he when he wrote a book called We Are All Weird. I think it was written about two thousand eleven and It was so predictive of the idea of what you and I have talked about before on the podcast niche Um Digital and the decentralization of entire verticals and the democratization of entire verticals, where really micro brands have the potential to be macro brands going forward into the future. It's a whole another conversation. And I know, you know, my wife Delina, we've talked about that extensively, and I started telling her that in twenty nineteen, I said, just watch, I said, the next decade. This was before COVID. I said, watch, the next decade, micro brands are gonna start beating the mac which she said, what do you mean? And I said, I used fashion as as a common language for us, And I said, you've got these large brands, you know, you know everyone for um, like a J. C. Penny to a Sears. They were kind of like on the bleeding edge of you know, the the the crumble. But then you see even higher in brands like say and Nemon Marcus Um or a Sax fiveth they're now struggling. But who will survive this are gonna be the fashion houses that go back, you know to you know, hundred hundred fifty years of legacy, they're more niche um. But we're also seeing the rise of influencer brands, people who have built communities on Insta or on TikTok, who are now watching their own brand. So it's just a fascinating thing, and I think it's important for the your listener, you know, who maybe has come from a traditional model, a traditional perspective of what banking is should be quote unquote, but being open to odd, feeling weird, I mean, Austin the whole thing, keep Austin weird. What do we mean by that? Odd is a feeling, it's and so you being it's another way of sort of it's...

...embracing you know, we talked about embracing tension and creating contradiction, and as you know, you talk about mindset, right, that's sort of how you frame things, how you approach things. But then there's also how you feel. And if something feels extremely comfortable, or you have an idea and you're like, yep, that's a hundred percent that's going to work, that's not that's not far enough and more than likely that's that's unfortunately probably banked. First thinking, right, which is again binary terms, thinking of people as either a bank customer or not a bank customer. So you know, things that are odd or just sort of things. Again, it's not just to be contrary, just to do something crazy, but it makes you think twice. And if you kind of define well, what is branding, a lot of times you can say, well, it's actually something that kind of makes you think twice. You know. You know, ample that we're all kind of familiar with in this space is you know, is uncle bank and calling their branches stores and having a phone where you can call the CEO at any time. That's kind of odd. That's a little odd um. And there's you know, good examples and bad examples of odd right um. But doing things that are a little bit odd means you're doing things that are outside of your comfort da and you're feeling a little weird about it, but you're deciding to go forward anyway. And that's where the build comes from, right You've got the discipline with your mindset, you've got the feeling with doing things that are counterintuitive, and you just kind of want to keep going with that. That's that's how you actually know you're on the right path when it doesn't feel completely comfortable. I think about this idea of Zappos, um, you know, looking outside at another example you mentioned Umpqua. But but they even have in their core values, which is value number, recreate fun and a little weirdness. Um. Back to the call center experience. You know, it could be so run of the mill, it could be so boring. Press one for this, press two for that. But what Zappos did, um, I think it was either press three or press four in their call center tree experience for the joke of the day. Um. And it's just that one little thing that just makes you and if no one ever presses that. And I'll tell you the few times that I've actually had to call into Zappos for something, you know, with with my wife running shipping, receiving, with fore growing kids, we've got Zappos coming in. It seems like once a quarter with a new shoe. Just you know, someone's outgrowing something and then we can't pass it down because there's holes in it. Um. But it's that one thing if no one listens to it, it just like, ha, that's interesting because there's so much back to your point own mindset chemicals even in the mind and we can go down like a rabbit hole of like you know, dopamine and how that all plays into this. We're not going to go there because I want to come back to the to the second principle here that you you touched on this before, but it's this idea of tension in the book you note when it comes to tension, beautiful brands are born from tension, and it's it's it's it's in those moments of in comfort that we experience sometimes the greatest growth. How can financial brands embrace the tension and then navigate through that with confidence because otherwise, back to the point of what we're talking about before with behavior modification, the environment can sometimes be so strong that we tend to go backwards to what we know as right, yeah, embracing tension, and then we give some examples. I mean, there's so there are so many examples in the world of beautiful tension. Right. We talked about you know, canvas stress show over a frame or you know, strings...

...on a musical instrument like the like the cello. So tension there there are ways to really lean into it and embrace it. We talked at the beginning about using data even if it's not your natural language to meet other people internally where they are when it comes to change management. So that's an example of embracing tension. The zappost example, if you think about why it was created. You know, when you and I were kids and our parents take us down the sears to try on the shoe and getting it smashed in that metal thing that they remember shoes. Yeah, okay, so yeah, which is your feet and it's gross, right, It's a totally discussing experience and then you forget your socks and all the things. But you know that, but the business was born out of a really kind of tense Some would argue, you know, horrific experience. You know, same thing when you think about um, some of the major folks in terms of eyeglass and so taking those experiences that are kind of frought with tension and creating something beautiful. Banks are making progress on this, right. If you think about branch design, you think about some of the call center pieces, right, and being able to speak to an agent or trying to have something look a little bit less, you know, sterile and made out of marble when you walk into the branch. So that's the kind of tension that I'm talking about and and really embracing that, and like, what can we do here to bring the tension down? And it's it's not just a feeling thing. The business case behind here has to do with accessibility, It has you know, it has to do with diversity, it has to do with you know, all of the pieces the banks of any size are wrestling with today. So embrace saying that and owning it can create a lot of business opportunities. And you mentioned you know, Niche Banking is one of those new banks or another one. Yeah, And that idea of embrace embracing the tension. At first, you might be thought of as a bit crazy. Um. And I want to take you back to nine four. It was July five, is the day after fourth of July here in the United States, and that was the day that Jeff Bezos founded Amazon. Now, thinking about where we're at almost thirty years later, if you would have said that you'd be buying things online, you know, number one, just that at a macro level, But then you get more specific because back to the point of buying shoes, you know, that was not possible in many people's minds back then because the previous experience was this what is now anequated. You know, you get your your foot shoved into that little wealth thing. Um, and it's just it is gross. It is gross that I think back, Um, my kids will never experience that because you can. You know. It's that two way free shipping kind of a thing. And x Apples really pioneered that. X Apples went on to be acquired by Amazon. But then Amazon and how they're continuously you know, expanding the business model. They're looking for the tensions, I would say it's this, they're looking for the common people problems that are causing common people pain and then creating a solution to bridge that gap. Um. And and then you touch on this in the book, um with with principle number two. Here it's about keeping things simple. I think we as as people and I'm just as guilty of this, we tend to over complicate things inadvertently, but we do. Um And I think a lot of it is because we inadvertently... our past experiences into the present moment and we don't we forget either. We forget I would say probably more often than not, we choose not to let go of the things of the past that have gotten us here to the present moment. And when we do that, that creates complexity. So what's what's an opportunity? You see when it comes to thinking like a brand and not a bank, to keep it simple, well, it starts if you think about brands like consumer brands. We've been talking about a few. Some of the best brands aren't afraid to not have something, aren't afraid to not be the store for x y Z Bank. And if you connect that to bank and bank thinking. Banks want to have every product for every use case for every person, and it comes from a good place. You know, I don't think it's because what we can really get our profits up. It's like, no, we're the community bank of x y Z. We want to make sure we have all of the banking services that could could possibly be needed by our community. But a brand first mindset is to really say what can we do that is the absolute best for our community And a lot of times that's going to be an answer of depth and not breath, which again brings up some counterintuitive situations, intense situations. You know, sorry, James Robert, we actually don't have invoice factoring at x y Z Community Bank. You know that is that is okay, It is okay not to have that because I can refer you to someone who can or I can have a conversation with you about is that what you're really needing today? And that's a that's a positive thing as well. But not being afraid to be one thing really well, I think is the glaring difference between brand first thinking and bank first thinking. Oh there, and then once again, it's that kind of like that gray area, a tremendous amount of opportunity um to solve the you know, common problems causing common people pain. Um, it's just pattern matching at that point. Even if you know, coming back to the Zappa's example, I know one of the big things that they were trained on is if you can't find something on Zappos and you're talking with someone, you're chatting with someone, you're gonna go find that thing for them somewhere else, give them a link and then that way you have helped that person find what they need when they need it, because they're probably going to come back whenever it and that and that's the whole thing of like, you know, how do we view the world. It's it's are we looking at through a lens of scarcity in competition, or are we looking at through a lens of abundance and collaboration and that there's so much opportunity out there that we're okay by focusing on a few things that will create the greatest value for these people that we want to create value and that requires just letting go. Why why is that? Why do you think it's challenging? And I would really probably say more as leaders facilitating some of this thinking internally to let go of things, to let go of what got us to this point today, because it might not Those things might not be the things that get us to where we need to go over the next I think that the fear of letting go of something because if you know, if you're listening to this, you're like, oh, that's great, James Robert Allison like send people out of my bank to go do business elves where like that's that's not a good idea. UM. I think we're hesitant... release the things that we actually haven't fully examined, to be quite honest with you, not to get to like philosophical here, but the you know the example of a community bank choosing to have three or four things maybe that they really provide exceptionally well letting the rest go. It's not just philosophically something I would agree with, it's financially something that you would agree with. Because if you want to have I'm beating up an invoice factoring, but if you wanted to have that or a strong commercial lending practice, you have to have people. You have to have folks who have expertise, and the regulatory and compliance piece, you have to have the marketing, all of the things for if you probably isolated it pretty small return. I'm talking about in terms of not just brand re term, but financial return. So I think we're hesitant to let go of things we haven't fully examined. I think it probably hurts to say you don't need me for everything, but it can be extremely affirming to be but you're going to want me for the three or four things that I do exceptionally exceptionally well. Well, think about healthcare, Um, you know you have a g P general practitioner who can kind of give you a holistic view, and then if they find something, they're going to send you off to an expert, you know, to really help solve that pain point that you have right there. So I think that that that idea of the health care model. But back to your point about you know, we don't examine this and I can't help but think of like just some stoic wisdom, like if you don't take time to just simply pause and reflect into just ponder, we're probably not going to do some of you know, have some of these conversations, and they're challenging conversations, but I think they're ones that could probably just be a thought exercise, like and it's the Parado principle, like what's the what we do that creates the of the value? Because it's there we know that pattern exists. And when it comes to value, I want to I want to wrap up today's conversation here and and and turn this into a two part dialogue discussion because there's just so much goodness that you have put together with Liz in your book Think like a brand, not a bank. But I always want to send people off with just a very practical, actionable next best step. And I want to frame this back around really I think bring it back to mindset, because that's where it's all real. It's the longest chapter of the book. So when you think about mindset, will continue the conversation, will continue the discussion in the next episode and get into principles three, four and five. But when you think about mindset, what is one small thing that the dear listener can do to continue to or maybe not even continue, maybe they need just to begin, begin to develop this idea of mindset that we've been talking about here today. Sure well, actually you stole my word, right, which is start or begin right begin a fresh mindset. So think about visualized back when you used to do New Year's resolutions. I don't do them anymore. I resolved to not do things as opposed to doing things. But think think back to those those mornings, right fresh year, fresh start, anything is possible. Maybe you've got your journal, maybe you've got you know what, you've got your environment right, um, you know, on New Year's Day, think about that literally in your mind and just start right, just start now. It's all there. I just I truly believe and can't emphasize enough as many people as I've talked to in this industry on a daily basis, it is all there. And I just my belief is so strong that I think, if if folks just start now, um, they will be done a better path than having not started.

Do you mind if I give maybe a framework to into this, because I'm I'm thinking that a lot of times if you give people and say, hey, here's a blank piece of paper, go think, go right with without any type of prompt I mean, I even think about Anson Cooley who just wrapped up a conversation on a recent episode and that was his key takeaway, that was his action I and he said, just start journaling. And I'm thinking about this as I'm writing Banking on Change, because journaling and reflecting is a really big part of this idea of achieving exponential growth in the age of AI. It's almost like the idea of pen and paper can be a tremendous strategic asset because it's a great way to do some self reflection and dialogue and discourse in your own mind. But then you've got to get that out and put into the physical world. And so when it comes to a framework, my question is this, you know, how do you want to grow as a financial brand or how do you want to grow your brand not your bank? I think that's the better one. How do you want to grow your brand not your bank? Or credit union. And what I mean by grow is what are your goals, what are the roadblocks that stand in the way of those goals, and then what are the opportunities to begin to overcome those roadblocks and make progress towards those goals. And the goal is this back to the idea of resolutions. Um, imagine that we are having this conversation, we're having coffee, we're having cocktails, and it's three years from now, and you're in a really good place. The first and most important question to answer is what are you drinking? And so like, if we're having like we're doing this like mental dialogue discussion here, like what are you drinking? Alison, It's three years from now? What are you drinking? Coffee? Coffee? What type? How you How are you taking your coffee? Black and extremely hot? I put it back in the microwave every time. Okay, I'm right there with you. And if you don't have one, you need to get an ember. Um. The kids. The kids just got me. So I had an ember for two years and then finally I don't even know that it broke, but Delina saw the light. She goes, your cup is not working. I was like, no one not getting cold. So the kids just got me a new ember for my birthday. So we're both drinking that black hot coffee. Okay, great. I want you to take a sip of your coffee, and I want you to look back to today's conversation, and I want you to tell me three things that need to happen between now until then for you to feel good about the progress that you're making to build a brand, not a bank. And then literally just right through that leap ahead in your mind, look back to the day. Because what you're doing is you're creating the future reality in the present moment, and you're really beginning to bring it into the physical world outside out of your thought of your mind, which was where all creation begins in the first place. And then you're putting it onto pen and paper. Now, imagine doing this not just as an individual, but you do this as a team. And then you do this within teams of the organization. What are the common patterns that you're seeing. And then once again it's about pattern matching. And then the follow up to that is like, Okay, here's the future reality that you want to create. When it comes to thinking like a brand, now a bank, what are the roadblocks that stand in the way. Because now the mind will immediately shift because it's so easy, I think for us to set goals, but many times we don't think of like what are the roadblocks and the present reality and the present moment that are going to stand in the way of that future creation? And and then so you you know, right down three and I always say three because omni triumperfect them, which is Latin for all good things come in threes, and so three roadblocks. And now this is where the real interesting part of this mental exercise comes into play. Opportunities. What are three opportunities to overcome those roadblocks to make progress towards...

...those goals. And notice how that's framed. It's that achieve them. It's just to simply make progress towards the goal, because I think that gives us more permission that if we don't achieve that future state in three years, it's not a complete utter failure. It's just what do we need to do to reevaluate to optimize our next best steps forward. But the mind will immediately begin solving problems when presented with an oppsoit uh with a roadblock, an obstacle, and there's a lot of stoic wisdom with this. Ryan Holiday has a great book called The Obstacle is the Way, And I think when you when you present obstacles, the mind will create the opportunity or begin to see opportunities that weren't possible even before that the the initial goal was set. So I like your idea, and I think if we give the dear listener of framework that will help guide them forward to not just give them a blank piece paper, but something to guide they're thinking back to. You know, what are their goals, what are the roadblocks? What are the opportunities when it comes to thinking like a brand at a bank, good stuff, good stuff Allison, what's the next next best step for people to continue the conversation that we've started here today with you number one and number two, get the book and then we'll continue this discussion in our next episode to get into the next three principles. But how can someone reach out? And so absolutely so best way is through the website. So it's think like a brand book dot com. So it kind of hard, too hard, too hard to type, easy to say, and you know, they get in contact with me, get in contact with Liz. We put all the data, all the quotable pieces, and a couple of decks that folks can totally steal and use. We love for folks to use the data pack. You can buy the book there. You can listen to episodes like this kind of everything all in one place. That's it. Think like a brand book dot com. Visit the website. Just get your phone, do it right now. If you're listening to this on your phone, pull it up. You know. Simple next best steps think like a brand book dot com. Get a copy of the book, Get a copy of all the data, all the insights. Have some conversations internally. Use the thinking exercise as a way to frame and guide some of this and connect with you Allison on LinkedIn. Fantastic Allison, Always a pleasure, absolute fun. Thanks for joining me for another episode of Banking on Digital Growth and I'm looking forward to our next conversation absolutely Thanks for having me until then, and as always, be well, do good and make your bed. Thank you for listening to another episode of Banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Lay. To get even more practical and proven insights, along with coaching and guidance, visit Digital Growth dot com slash Insider to join a community of growth minded marketing and sales leaders from financial brands and fin techs. Until next time, be well and do good.

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