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Back to basics, Banking style. (Marketing News).

They tell us to sell the sizzle and not the steak. Good advice, but it doesn't hurt to mention the steak now and then, too. Since 1997, First Community Bank (FCB) in Olympia, Wash., has been doing just that.

As a bank, First Community's product is, of course, money, and the bank has worked hard to associate its name with money.

When it opened new branches last fall, the bank displayed billboards sporting the image of a roll of dollar bills, with the bank logo superimposed on it. The headline read: "We're On a Roll." The picture of George Washington that appears on the dollar bill--the actual picture scanned at 4500 dpi--now graces FCB ATMs, and an eight-foot-tall image decorates the drive-through facilities. And there are ashtrays, billboards, canvas tote bags, brochures and even an Intercity Transit bus.

They've had some success with this approach: assets have grown from $176 million at the end of 1996 to $376 million in 2001.

"Part of the appeal (of the campaign) is the fact that we had a fun and entertaining way of letting people know that we had money to lend," says Joseph Beaulieu, FCB senior vice president of marketing. That was the original purpose of the campaign: to promote the bank's loan business. But when the campaign began to develop a life of its own--even noncustomers dropped by to comment on it--FCB extended the concept to its other products: credit lines, business banking, financial services and the like all began to sport the dollar bill image.

All good things must come to an end, of course, but it isn't going to happen soon. "We've been kind of branded by now," says Beaulieu. Still to come are mouse pads, coloring books and silk ties. Lately, FCB has been plugging its electronic and wireless banking services with a billboard that features an image of a roll of bills attached to a computer mouse. The headline reads: "Wired, on a Roll."
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Title Annotation:First Community Bank, Olympia, WA
Comment:Back to basics, Banking style. (Marketing News).(First Community Bank, Olympia, WA)
Publication:ABA Bank Marketing
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2002
Words:327
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