It’s that time of year where brand new Peer to Peer payment systems are used for unsanctioned gambling in office pools and Americans lose millions of hours of productivity with employees checking basketball scores… and I love it. I’m a basketball fan. In fact, I barely missed a home game this year for my team, even with a busy travel schedule, and they lost most of their games.
But win or lose, many financial leaders simply want to be Dick Vitale. Consider it for a moment. We dream of being that character always surrounded by literally thousands of excited millennials taking selfies with you and making ridiculous signs with your brand on it. And smooching Ashley Judd, woah, too far, way too far, definitely not ok.
Jubilant Cats fans 34-0 pic.twitter.com/Gn48L7NXgp
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) March 15, 2015
So what can financial brands do to emulate this sort of fandom? Can they? What makes college students crazy about their teams, yet indifferent to their financial institutions? Here are a few tips:
Have Energy. No, none of these college students think that Dick Vitale is one of them and he’s not trying to be. But his energy level is always at a high level. Energy means a lot in your marketing. Yes, he’s 75, but he’s always giving it.
“Go on TV and have some fun,” said Dick Vitale’s wife when he was going to turn down his first TV deal. Many finance leaders need to heed this lesson. Jumping into a new channel whether it be social media or live TV takes a little courage and you have to find a way to enjoy it.
Your job isn’t boring. If you apologize for it, it is.
If you think your job is boring, then quit.
That’s what millennials want to tell you. Show me you are passionate about your job and I’ll likely be far more interested in it. The leaders I know who succeed in financial services are passionate about what they do and know that it has a positive impact on the world.
Be unique, baby. Your institution may have a name similar to many others, but that doesn’t mean you can’t let out a little personality. It might be quirky, but at least it’s memorable, even if your brandname is not memorable, chances are good you can find a phrase that people can latch on to.
We are missing @DickieV baby. @UNC vs Duke not the same without him! #bringbackdickieV @GoHeels #BeatDuke pic.twitter.com/IHkjEsHtXV
— James Overman (@JamesOverman4) March 8, 2015
Show them that they make a difference. The thing that makes great college basketball student sections is that they realize they can mean several points difference to the home team in a close game. Having an engaged fan base doesn’t mean everything, but it can sometimes mean the difference between winning and losing. Survey your fans, we often use Facebook to conduct surveys, gain public opinion and even learn from non-customers.
LOVE that Fox shows the MildCats free throws in split screen to feature #CurtainofDistraction #GoDevils #BeatTheCats pic.twitter.com/5dPZ7TNuZM
— Todd R. Wilson (@radiomantodd) February 7, 2015
While Dick Vitale has his quirks, and we may not be able to give him a pass on his creepy kiss with Ashley Judd, his brand continues to provide inspiration.