Alternative marketing thinking

iCONTRACT

Banking Unbound

Umpqua is one of our favourite examples of a bank unboxed. And going by this story in New York Times, there’s more we can learn from the little bank in Portland.

Umpqua, according to the bank is not a bank, but a community hub. The company trains its employees through a program offered by the Ritz-Carlton hotel chain, with the goal of providing service that’s better than what you might expect from a bank. And it gives its managers the autonomy to, for example, stay open during a snowstorm if the manager thinks the customers will want that. But the community-hub notion also plays a role in the curious-sounding decision to start selling CD’s (the kind with music on them) through a program called Discover Local Music.

Originally, Hayward says, Umpqua simply planned to offer free music CD’s to people who opened new accounts; it was part of an effort to woo younger customers. The bank worked with a Portland music marketing firm called Rumblefish, which put together what has become a 214-song library of tracks by local, relatively undiscovered talent in the markets where Umpqa operates.

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