BB&T Suntrust Merger: True or Trust?

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 – After last week’s announcement of the new name for the BB&T-SunTrust merged institution, now Truist begins its crusade to convert its new name into conviction in the consumer marketplace. With a name that is quick and ownable, the new name combines two positive attributes – true and trust – into a word that can represent the brand with authenticity. The American Banker’s “Hard sell ahead for BB&T-SunTrust as ‘Truist’ lands with a thud” takes on this topic, speaking with branding and naming experts, tapping their instincts and initial thoughts, and their strategic counsel for Truist moving forward.

Adrenaline’s chief experience officer Gina Bleedorn believes it may start out as a dud, but time is on their side. She says, “I think it will hit them initially not well, and then it will grow on people. SunTrust and BB&T will need to put the right brand story behind it, and they can make that happen in the right way.” She says the naming environment can be tough. In a name change, especially one with this type of visibility, it is a very, very difficult task because it’s incredibly subjective and the landscape is just so crowded. They are trying to carve out the path of least resistance here, and I think they are ultimately hitting on what’s important.”

One of the challenges using a new word that’s combines two other ones is pronouncing it, especially since it doesn’t just roll off the tongue. Gina says, “They should also be mindful of addressing challenges with pronunciation of the new name. I don’t think that’s an insurmountable challenge, but it’s one they’ll need to address in their communications, and it’s one they can probably have fun with addressing in audio media.” Not unlike the new name for eBates, Rakuten doesn’t flow naturally, but ads show the brand’s prize machines spitting cash rewards for consumers who pronounce it correctly. Given that the combination of two words for Truist are net positives, there is a lot of runway for the brand.
To speak with Gina or any one of our branding and banking experts, contact us at

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