Brand Fatigue Case Study:

Webster Bank

Webster Bank, headquartered in Waterbury, Connecticut is a $19B dollar financial institution with a focused footprint—serving Western and Southern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Westchester County in New York. Although Webster is a public company, its majority owner and CEO is the son of founder Harold Webster Smith, who started the bank over 75 years ago.

Big Picture

Webster needed a facelift. It was a strong regional bank with good, solid financial-service products. Unfortunately, the bank suffered a reputation blow during the “Great Recession.” Unlike their competition, however, they never forgot their customers and were one of the first banks to announce a moratorium on housing loan foreclosures. Webster also displayed greater willingness to lend to small business consumers when no one else would. They understood what their customers were experiencing and wanted to help.

webster ad 1 webster ad 2
Webster Billiboard

Core Challenge

  • Competed in same footprint as banks with 10 times the marketing budget
  • Had isolated business units with differing messages that did not support overall brand
  • Needed a corporate brand strategy that was broad enough to allow for product line emphasis, yet delivered a singular benefit to all audiences

Opportunity

Research held during the beginning and middle of the financial crisis found that customers were dedicated to Webster because of the bank's local affiliation and unwavering support of its customers.

Solution

Prove to customers and prospects alike that Webster could be trusted to go the extra mile, even when times were hard. We demonstrated this commitment through the development of a new positioning: “The Type W Personality.” We created a multimedia campaign—including television, radio, print, billboards and guerilla creative work.

Results

Our spending was millions of dollars less than the big competitors. Research proved, however, that our media efficiency was 25% better and we increased overall brand awareness by 10% in key markets.

Webster Radio