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Make Your Company’s Name Your Brand Promise

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Earlier this year, I had the pleasure and honor of being the keynote presentation for River Valley Bank, soon to be Incredible Bank, as they merge the names of their brick-and-mortar banks and their online bank. I love that word, incredible, almost as much as my favorite word, amazing. If someone told you the customer service at a bank was incredible, you would only think positive things. What do they do that’s so incredible? I want to try some of what they call incredible.

What Incredible Bank is doing is interesting. They are putting it out there. Their name is a bold statement that is not just a name, but a brand promise. So as a customer, we will expect nothing less than an incredible customer experience. And those three words, incredible customer experience (what they refer to as I.C.E.), are the backbone of the name.

What a great mantra! For those that don’t know my definition of a customer service mantra, it’s a short sentence or phrase that summarizes the service vision. The three words that Incredible Bank has chosen is perfect for what they want their customers to experience. As Todd Nagel, president of the bank, says, “I.C.E. is how we do business; everywhere, every time.” It starts with each employee owning the moment, which means they recognize that every interaction with a customer is an opportunity for that customer to decide if the bank is delivering on the mantra and its brand promise. Every employee must own that responsibility.

Related: Doing the Right Thing Is a Habit Worth Mastering

How does Incredible Bank operationalize I.C.E.? They start with a playbook that lists the standards that drive the vision, which include something as simple as the proper way to greet customers as well as more detailed processes. As I read through the handbook, I could sense the bank’s vision and values coming through the pages. Ethics and behaviors are covered. Questions to trigger discussions and personal reflection are found throughout the book, implying that this isn’t just something to be read, but to be used. More than a playbook, this is a manifesto, a declaration of what they stand for.

So, if you were going to change the name of your organization to accurately describe what your customers would experience when they do business with you, what would that name be? What adjectives could you work into that name? I’m not suggesting that you change your name, as Incredible Bank has done, but it makes for an interesting conversation that will make you think about what you stand for when it comes to the amazing (or should I say incredible) service you want your customers to experience.

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