Adrenaline’s 2022 Financial Industry Pulse

New insights reveal how brand drives business success for the financial services industry

Adrenaline's 2022 Financial Industry Pulse Report_Insights from Financial Brand Forum

A new report highlights data from a survey of decision-makers at the 2022 Financial Brand Forum and finds an industry focused on brand transformation as a top priority

As financial services came together for the largest gathering of banking leaders focused on building brands and bottom lines, Adrenaline used its position to take the pulse of an industry on the precipice of change. Whether attendees arrived at the Financial Brand Forum with a clear charge for brand transformation, to focus on the imperative to grow or they simply wanted better tools to market more effectively, it’s clear that the financial industry sees brand as a key to unlocking institutional power and potential.   

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Brand Means Business 

From a survey of more than 200 attendees at the conference and hundreds more online, we gathered industry-leading data about the challenges that banking leaders are faced with every day. While some banks and credit unions haven’t fully made the connection between a strong financial brand and the business performance it drives and delivers, three-quarters of respondents do understand the business value of brand. This majority clearly acknowledges what 25 years of research has definitively shown – that a strong brand experience is the key to attracting new customers, supporting market entry and deepening relationships and loyalty. 

Chart depicting how financial institution views the role of brand

Rising Relevance

To attract audiences and build in resilience for the future, banks and credit unions must move beyond customer-centricity to become more “life-centric.” These brands leverage customer data to put people first and deliver personalized experiences. Finally, financial institutions must rethink the role of the branch. As more customers use mobile and online banking for their transactions, the branch serves as a place for advisory-driven connections – meaning that banks must evolve the design, programming, staffing and merchandising to deliver the human-led, digitally-enabled experiences consumers expect.

Chart depicting 42% of financial institutions consider new market expansion top challenge

The Growth Imperative 

Whether through new customer acquisition programs, digital or geographic expansion, or mergers and acquisition activity, most banks and credit unions view growth as essential. For regional and community financial institutions seeking scale, one of the first considerations is naming. With approximately 5,000 instances of the most common 20 names in banking, financial brands with similar sounding names struggle to develop ownable identities that will help them distinguish themselves in the marketplace. Branding will help institutions identify a name that’s true to their organization’s legacy, unique offering and distinct audiences.  

Chart depicting most common names of banks in the US

As the industry continues its post-COVID recovery, now is the time to address the demands of brand for the future. Financial institutions provided responsive solutions during the pandemic, and the entire industry undertook massive digital transformation initiatives as consumers became accustomed to the convenience of connecting virtually for many transactions. Even more, since 2020 more than 75% of all companies have rebranded or refreshed their brands. What clearer signal is there that it’s time to consider your brand’s story and future-proof its relevance?  

Download the full 2022 Financial Industry Pulse Report to review all of our findings and take a deeper dive into the industry’s most pressing brand growth priorities. To learn more about our smarter brand, branch network and marketing strategies, or to speak with one of our financial branding experts, contact us at Be sure to also stay tuned in to Believe in Banking as it highlights industry news and views for banking leaders and to Adrenaline’s Insights channel for additional strategies to build financial brands that drive success.

Adrenaline is an end-to-end brand experience company serving the financial industry. We move brands and businesses ahead by delivering on every aspect of their experience across digital and physical channels, from strategy through implementation. Our multi-disciplinary team works with leadership to advise on purpose, position, culture, and retail growth strategies. We create brands people love and engage audiences from employees to customers with story-led design and insights-driven marketing; and we design and build transformative brand experiences across branch networks, leading the construction and implementation of physical spaces that drive business advantage and make the brand experience real.

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