Well, readers, I’ve got pie on my face today.
I’ve written about more than one bank rebranding recently, and one of those was Reading Cooperative. Rebranding campaigns are interesting to me because they often reveal some interesting or quirky aspects of a bank’s personality and they tell you a little bit about the people who make up that organization. When Reading Cooperative rebranded, they affirmed the “cooperative” part largely because they found it was really important to their customers, and that drove their latest promotional offering.
“We always talk about how you’re an owner and you have a say,” Shanna Cahalane, the bank’s head of marketing, told me last week. “Then we started talking about dividends. We had a good year and this is something that we considered sharing with our customers.”
The way she tells it, the bank’s management ran the numbers and considered 1 percent dividends, then 2 percent … Then when they figured out that 3 percent was doable, they figured, “What the heck” and bumped it up to a dividend 3.14 percent (of the interest earned on interest-bearing accounts) to make it work with Pi Day.
For Cahalane, it was a chance to have a little fun with bank marketing. She recounted, “My head starts spinning, ‘You’re an owner, you’re getting a dividend, you’re getting a piece of the pie.’”
And besides, who could resist the yummy, punny fun of a Pi Day promotion?
Cahalane was delivering individually boxed single-serving pies to Reading Cooperative’s branches when we spoke last week. Of course, since then, forecasts have Mother Nature dropping upwards of a foot of snow across Southern New England (as of this morning, she’s yet to deliver on that promise – that’s an observation, not a challenge). Reading Cooperative’s branches are closed today, and pie will have to wait until tomorrow.
Reading Cooperative’s customers still get their dividends today – and hopefully they’ve stocked up on bread and milk ahead of the storm.