Branding for Growth:

Is Your Bank Known as a Hershey…or a Godiva?

Branding is a hot trend…but almost everyone has it wrong. A truckload of dough is wasted every year by missing out on what brand really means.

Let’s make it simple.

Holiday gifts are filled with one of my favorite things: CHOCOLATE. It’s right up there with the meaning of life.

But here’s an observation I’ve made over the last few holiday seasons:

If someone delivers a box of cheap chocolates to our office, they last for weeks. If, on the other hand, the chocolates are exquisite melt-in-your-mouth types, they’re gone in a few blinks. Everyone knows who sent them, and everybody loooooves the person who sent them.

So if you were a chocolate, would your clients call you a Hershey or a Godiva? The answer has a greater influence on your future profitability than almost anything else.


A Hershey will match prices. A Godiva never goes on sale and never demeans its brand by having coupons or sales.

A Hershey is perceived as a commodity. If something better comes along, people will drop their Hersheys in a New York minute. A Godiva merits a special trip, because the best is worth the effort.

A Hershey is undifferentiated, it’s okay…it’s nothing to write home about. A Godiva is a talkable experience. People will rave.

Positioning yourself as a Godiva brand, and living like it, is one of the best things you can do to prepare to kick off the New Year–it assures more profitable relationships, higher-quality relationships, and a brand that is insisted upon.

But that brand has little to do with traditional “branding” offered by marketing firms. It has everything to do with the client experience–the feel and culture of an organization.

So this year, instead of thinking like a two-pound box of cheap chocolates, savor the taste of greatness. Let that feeling stimulate your thinking every day as you live out being a Godiva.

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