BMO CEO William Downe says, "We take pride in the fact that people choose to bank with BMO because we make money make sense.” But is BMO taking its own promise seriously?
The somewhat surreal television campaign treated the idea very lightly. In contrast, a series of videos on BMO’s YouTube channel provides parents with concrete guidance on teaching kids about money. However, none of these videos are tagged with Making Money Make Sense. This, and the television campaign’s absence in 2013, could be signaling BMO’s lack of commitment to its own brand idea.
The bank’s brand is felt in local and professional sports across Canada, through ongoing support of youth soccer, Toronto FC, Montreal Impact, BMO Field and BMO Centres in Halifax and London. BMO is also the official bank of the Raptors and sponsor of the 2013-14 season. BMO has presence.
Now BMO needs consumers to understand what it stands for. Like the rest of the Big Five, BMO is seen as focused on profits over customers and lagging behind in innovation. How can it stand out?
Perhaps BMO could relaunch Making money make sense, only this time with more commitment, deeper meaning, and activation through social media. It could even extend the promise to “Making banking make sense” – responding to consumers’ desire to better understand banking fees and services. Or it could create something new, compelling and differentiating.
Bold action is required now, because letting the brand continue to coast in neutral makes no sense at all.