Farmers State Bank

Banking on a Fresh Brand
The Situation

Westmoreland-based Farmers State Bank, an over 100-year-old community bank, came to 502 because they were looking to modernize their brand as they aimed to grow market share in Manhattan and Onaga. Farmers State Bank knew that more consumers were choosing to bank online and many shopped around online before considering a community bank, so they wanted to make sure their website and branding reflected their forward-thinking business.

The Approach

To evaluate the performance of the Farmers State brand in a digital environment, we conducted internal stakeholder workshops and primary research, including split testing and digital analysis, and conducted a UX/technical discovery process using heat mapping and traffic analysis to test website performance. We found that their outdated branding was causing them to be perceived as less trustworthy than more modern community banks, and because their website was difficult to navigate, their bounce rate was extremely high. 

 

Based on this information, we knew we had to develop a brand that highlighted Farmers State Bank’s technology and online banking capabilities without losing the traditions and values the bank was founded on because those remain the guiding principles of the bank’s culture. Therefore, we developed Modern banking. Timeless values. as the brand tagline and used this messaging to create the brand’s visual identity. Everything from Farmers State Bank’s logo to collateral to advertisements integrates modern and traditional design elements for this reason.

We then used the new branding to update essential identity needs such as outdoor signage, business cards, letterhead, envelopes, and more to maintain a consistent look.

To launch the brand, we planned a family-friendly community event called the Farmers Fall Festival that over 200 people attended.

After the brand launch, we ran multiple product-specific marketing campaigns throughout the year, which led us to develop new brand collateral such as a new customer welcome kit, switch kit, home loan guide, and youth finance guide. 

The Results

By creating a brand that was modern, yet true to Farmers State Bank’s more traditional culture, the bank was able to reposition itself in the communities they serve. The launch event demonstrated the bank’s community involvement and raised awareness of their brand, the new website’s functionality and content reduced the bounce rate by nearly half, and the marketing campaigns allowed the bank to consistently communicate with customers throughout the year and drive traffic to their website. 

Overall, through rebranding, a brand activation, and multiple product-specific marketing campaigns, we were able to help Farmers State Bank grow its total deposits by 14% within one year after their brand launch. 

 

One year after the brand launch, Farmers State Bank grew its total deposits by