In its prime, Wachovia Bank was in a neck and neck battle with Nations Bank, now Bank of America, and First Union for market share in North Carolina.

Based on a lot of qualitative research, we had significant consumer insights that told us Wachovia was seen as the “old money” bank for wealthy North Carolinians. Nations Bank was perceived as the aggressive bank for up and comers while First Union was the bank for the tobacco farmers, textile and furniture manufacturers and their employees.

Wachovia used quantitative research to track awareness, market share, switching preference, and spending every two months. This provided a lot of data to run single and multi-variable regression analysis to determine how different variables affected awareness, market share and switching preference.

Since Wachovia did not have the media or production budgets of Nations Bank or First Union we looked for other ways to differentiate the bank and make our bank more attractive to people moving to North Carolina, as well as people who were considering switching.

We developed a series of five “head” commercials that gave very logical reasons to bank at Wachovia — typically rate, product or fee driven. And, we developed five “heart” commercials that provided more emotional reasons to bank at Wachovia — the “sundown rule” and dog biscuits at drive-throughs.

We ran these commercials for more than a year. At the end of the year, we were able to show a significant positive correlation between the “heart” commercials and greater awareness and switching preference than did the “head” commercials.

This research affirmed, quantitatively, that making an emotional connection with the customer pays — even for banks.

How do you make an emotional connection with your customers?

How do you know if you’re making an emotional connection with your customers?




Tom Smith

Experienced marketing professional who has worked with more than 120 clients in 18 different vertical industries. ♦ Differentiate products and services by improving UX and delivering memorable CX to create an emotional connection to the brand. ♦ Obtain insights from analytics to solve business problems and drive revenue. ♦ Develop and implement marketing campaigns that double traffic and leads in three months. ♦ Certified Marketing Automation Professional ♦ Certified Voice of the Customer (VOC) Professional