Change. Change is a good indicator of growth. But every now and again, there’s some growing pains that accompany the change.

These “stretch mark” moments are non-negotiable for a young company, and about six months ago Resound had one. We all looked around our office and said, “We need more space.”

Last year about this time we had four people working in the 8400 S Kyrene office.

But by October, having doubled in size, we were starting to feel like sardines in a can. Plus, our design team was sequestered in another room. We’re a branding and experience design team, and we operate as a team. In our culture, we put a lot of emphasis on collaboration, so an inclusive, idea-sharing space is . . .

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Trusted. Secure. Convenient. Simple. Blah de blah de blah.

Talk about a saturated market. It only takes one morning commute to see a bank or credit union operating on every other corner. Between the FDIC and the NCUA, there are about 12,500 banks and credit unions in the United States.

That means you’re more likely to see a financial institution than you are a Starbucks.

The Problem

The banking and credit union industry is in crisis. Everyone looks the same, and is saying the same thing. Nobody’s communicating anything special.

“Financial security,” “friendly service,” and grey suits on the homepage don’t mean canned peas when 10,000 other organizations are exactly the same.

As a result:

Marketing programs are ineffective.
Competitive differentiation is absent.
Growth initiatives, such as a merger, acquisition, or . . .

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Flush. That’s the sound of a shockingly large number of marketing dollars spinning down the toilet. I hope you waved goodbye.
Marketing has always been more of an art than science, but that art form has become extremely complex. With all the strategies, calendars, campaigns, digital tools, and activities involved, many companies have resolved to simply try to hold on to the bucking bull as long as possible. I don’t blame them. Technology has blown the lid off this marketing beast.

It’s incredibly difficult to run an effective marketing program, and at times it can feel like absolute chaos.

We hear these kinds of of “headless-chicken directives” all the time:

“We need social!”
“Get us on Google advertising.”
“I heard video is the next big thing,”

Am . . .

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Growth. You’re as likely to hear this word come out of a CEO’s mouth as you are to watch the Cubs not make the post-season cut. In today’s economy we use words like:

acquisition
merger
new products or services
geographic expansion

Each of these situations presents its own set of challenges. Mergers and acquisitions include bringing new people into an existing culture and trying to retain a consistent customer experience. They’re extremely delicate situations, and a lot depends on organizations being able to transition well. Many a CEO has suffered sleepless nights during these transitions.

New geographic markets and new products/services imply an intentional effort to expand the reach of an organization, and are likely backed by substantial financial resources. Board members and senior leadership are . . .

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