I = Aldo.
P = Paul.
K = Karen.
B = Boris.
N = Neil.
Pb = Pablo.
START ((INAUDIBLE 0:30))
I:: My name is Aldo, and I’m going to be moderating. I have you for about 2.5 hours or so - and we're going take a little break sometime in between - to talk to you a little bit about some stuff. You’re in here to give us your opinion and use to that right side, that creative side, of your brain to help us. I'm going be showing you some stuff, going to be some stuff that you like and stuff that you don't like. You get a chance to improve on the material as well. I've got nothing to do with what I'm showing you. I didn't write any of this stuff. I didn't come up with and conceive of it. Much like yourself, I run my own business. I'm an independent moderator doing this for a bank client. So, don't feel like you're making me happy or making me angry. What I do want you to do is when I ask you something I just like your honest opinion. And try the best you can to use that creative side of the brain. I'm going to keep pushing you there. I know sometimes we want to just go back into the rational. When they ask you on the phone how your friends would describe you mostly you said some things like I'm a good storyteller, I'm creative, I'm inventive. So, that’s side of you I really want today. Frankly it's a lot more fun working with that side of the brain than it is working with the right side of the brain, what are we going to do today. Is that good? Has anybody ever done one of these things before? Has anybody done a focus group before?
B:: I did.
I:: What was it about?
B:: A few minor stuff. One was quite interesting, I think the beginning of the slowdown in 2007. I suspect that the government called in businesses to talk about how they feel, how the intercession starts to affect them. Probably, they were trying to come up with some remedies to ease the situation.
I:: The rest of you folks haven’t been to one? Let me tell you a little bit, these focus group things, what they’re about. They call them focus groups, discussion groups. I'm what they call a moderator, facilitator. My job is to get you guys talking about this topic and we're going to be talking about business banking today. A little bit about the room. You’ve probably been in other boardrooms, this one's a little bit different. Other than is there's a lot of white space there, but it's set up for viewing and recording. As you can see there's the cleverly disguised microphones hanging from the ceiling, there is a video camera there taking just a video of us. Like in the cop shows there's the mirror there, there's my colleagues there, some more might come during the session. They set it up that way for a number of reasons. One is these folks are really interested in what you have to say. So much so that they're paying you to actually give your opinions. It's one of the only places in the world where you actually get paid to give your opinion. They put them back there so that they can view, they can listen to it, and and once in a while we can go back there and see if they have any questions. The recording is mostly for my benefit. We're doing several of these and you have to the report at the end. You'll see I won't take many notes, so I have to play back what you guys said. So, recording, that’s what it's basically used for. Rest assured, in this day of social media you’re not going to see yourself on YouTube or any other kind of social media. Rest assured that stuff you say is kept confidential. Reports never mention any names at all okay. Privacy is really important in my industry, market research. It's just your opinion, your honest opinion, and your creative side of you. Let me get to know you just a little bit. If you can just say your name. I can read your tag, but the folks in the back can't see. Just tell me… One thing you do all have in common here, your all business owners. That's one thing you have in common. I want to know what kind of business your in, how big it is, do you employees, that kind of stuff. I’ll start with you.
P:: I’m Paul. I have a couple of different businesses. One is a retail chain here, 6 stores around the GTA. Another one is an ecommerce business in both Canada and the US. Then, we have a manufacturing. Small manufacturing for a couple of products that we sell.
I:: What kind of stuff?
P:: Normally outdoor, birding, nature, gardening types of stuff. We operate on both sides of the border. We have about 50 employees between the two of them.
I:: Who do you bank with?
P:: I bank with TD, CIBC and Bank of America. in
I:: Which one would you consider your main bank?
P:: For one of the companies CIBC would be, for the other it would be TD.
I:: And you are? I can’t even read your name.
K:: I’m Karen. (INAUDIBLE 5.36))
I:: What’s your business?
K:: I’m a partner in a baby clothing business. I came out of baby retail and then went into the baby… We manufacture in China and then we have a distributor here and a couple of other countries. That's how we work. We have our own warehouse and then we have a distributor.
I:: How many employees?
K:: There’s 4 partners. We don’t really have employees on this end. You’d need to look at China but I suppose that would be a different ballgame. And one distributor here who does the whole country, everything from mass like Indigo, May, right the way down to Ma and Pa operations.
I:: Who do you bank with?
K:: CIBC, and I’ve done that for a long time.
I:: And you are?
B:: I’m Boris. I'm a land surveyor, alternate land surveyor. Licensed surveyors. For people that don’t know what the profession is, it’s professional ideas but we deal with the boundaries, develop land division. I have my own practice. I employ about 20 people. The business is running well.
I:: And you bank with who?
B:: CIBC privately, and the company has been - I took over from my partner years ago - the company has been in the market since 1954. I think they’ve always been with CIBC.
I:: What kind of relationship do you have? What are some of the products?
B:: With the bank?
B:: Of course, we have a current account. Then, we have credit cards, we have a line of credit. There's an advisor assigned to us. I think very much this is what we're using. I think we both have set fee paramount for all the dealings, it’s a flat fee that we pay.
I:: Karen, what about yourself? What's the relationship that you have?
K:: When I was by myself and started my previous business, CIBC was the bank that gave me a chance. I had my new (INAUDIBLE 7:41)) alone, I was super excited about that. That's it, that's how I stuck, right or wrong, that's how I stuck.
I:: What’s the relationship now you have with them? What do you have them? Current accounts, credit cards?
K:: Yeah, we have credit cards, I use FX or for wiring, we’ve got a checking account, US account. We get everything under one umbrella.
I:: Paul I didn't ask you, but you were TD, CIBC and Bank of America. What do you have with CIBC?
P:: CIBC? Line of credit, checking account, overdraft.
I:: Would you say it's a main bank for the three businesses or is it main bank for one of the business?
P:: Yeah, it’s the exclusive bank for one of the businesses.
I:: You are?
I:: Chloe, tell me about Chloe. What’s your business?
C:: I have retail stores; two right now concentrating on e-commerce, and some other ideas that are brewing. Bank with CIBC and RBC. With both I have checking accounts, credit cards, lines of credit.
I:: You are, sir?
N:: Neil. We have an online business, incorporated about 20 years ago. It buys and sells on the internet vintage costume jewellery, exclusively. We’ve done reasonably well over the years. We bank with CIBC, we deal in US dollars, we deal a lot through PayPal payment, we have a credit card processor who’s recommended through CIBC – CIBC doesn’t do that now, obviously – so that’s global payments. That’s one of the financial things we have. The business account with CIBC is in US dollars.
I:: And you, sir?
Pb:: Pablo. Sorry about my English, I’ve been here 5 years.
I:: Don't worry about your English.
Pb:: I have a factory here and I have a factory in Israel around 28 years. I start with something that after that in all the world, the automatic air fresheners. I start with it in 1986, before 6 years I decided to open another factor in the world. (INAUDIBLE 10:24)). Because it’s my profession to take that second level and I decided to open a Factory in Canada. I start before 5 years in I manufacturer automatic air fresheners and not (INAUDIBLE 10:40)). In 5 years, I start with another (INAUDIBLE 10:48)). It’s come like, put around 4,000 dispensers. (INAUDIBLE 10:53)), retirement home, all the restaurant (INAUDIBLE 10:58)). So, the people don’t (INAUDIBLE 11:00)) now because it’s not… I have a special fragrances that is good for lawyers, for bakers. I start and I work only with CIBC.
I:: Let’s get into… it’s always nice to know about the folks that are in the room, a little bit about you. Let’s start a little bit thinking about using that right side of your brain. Think about when you were a kid and there was a toy. A toy that you always wanted but you never got, for whatever reason. Your parents didn’t want you to buy it or whatever. Is there a toy that you say, “I wish I had that toy.” Karen?
K::: Katy Copycat. I’m English so maybe it wasn’t even here. She had a desk, and you sat one side and the doll sat on the other side. There was a pen in her hand, and when you wrote she wrote the same thing. Katy Copycat, I wanted it desperately.
I:: I was going to ask what’s so brilliant about it, but then I saw it’s kind of brilliant.
K:: I was little.
P:: Sounds like my business partner.
I:: Could you think of something Pablo? A thing when you were a kid.
Pb:: I always like from childhood motorbikes. But too young to buy.
I:: That was the reason why you couldn’t have it. Chloe, anything you could remember?
C:: My mum only let us have gender-neutral toys. Anything that was girly, but it came and went pretty quickly. It was fleeting so no. I understood where she was coming form, so no. I mean maybe Barbie because I wasn’t allowed it, but I quickly realised it was a good thing I didn’t have it.
B:: I guess miniature trains, that would be little things. But it was always expensive, I didn’t even dare to ask my parents to buy it. I finally got it, I was too old for it.
I:: What about yourself Paul?
P:: It was actually going to be trains as well. We never had enough room to set up in. They knew once I set it up it would never come down, so I never got it.
I:: What about yourself, Neil?
N:: It was a thing called a Johnny Seven. It was a combination weapon that had seven different ways to kill people.
I:: Gee, I wonder why your parents didn’t buy it for you.
N:: I wasn’t actually sure that I wanted it because (INAUDIBLE 13:33)). It looks kind of neat, but I’m not sure about it, but I kind of wanted it. But I never got it. I got a shoot round the corner gun instead, and various other things, but never quite that.
I:: I’ve got a similar story. I always wanted a pool table and we kind of had the space but my parents didn’t want it. I did end up getting one. Sue asked if I ever got one when I was older and now I don't have the space, because living in Toronto, it’s crazy to get anything with that size in Toronto. But I did small one, so it’s a little bit of a compromise. Sticking on again, just want to kind of get the brain warmed up a little bit, especially the right side of brain. I want you to think of a brand that has some kind of personal meaning to you. A brand that you admire. It could be something that you admire. It could be any of you know the big brands that you see advertised on TV or online and so forth. It could be a small brand. It could be in your line of business if you're in retails, there’s this really great brand that we sell. Just think about it and write it down on a piece of paper.
I:: We've done this exercise with different folks, and when we asked a person in one of the sessions they came up with Apple. Anybody pick Apple? Okay, you can stay with Apple. Once I show you this you might want to do another one. We asked them to do this thing called how is Apple positioned in the market. What is it's positioning, what is it all about? There’re different things that we asked them to fill in for example. This is done by an individual just like you, it’s not done by a professional. But market professionals like myself, we actually do this exercise as well, but we ask people like yourself to do and this is what this person came up with. Who's the target? Who are they going after? Who is the customer that they want to attract? That main kind of bull's eye target. The targeted they said - it’s for apple – absolutely anyone old enough to work the products. So, it seems like they didn’t put much of a barrier, it’s universal, it’s for everyone. Not all products are like that, but this person believe that Apple is like that. What makes the brand unique, original? You go back to when it first launched, the iPhone, there was nothing like it on the market. They have all the products that match, which I personally love and each one links in with the other. So, there’s a couple of things going on. They were first the market something that's really, really unique. And the ecosystem that they built is something that seems like this person thinks that makes it unique and original. What does the brand stand for? The most successful products to date, leaders in breakthrough products. When you think about that, probably yeah, that seems like it has some truth to it. What is the brand's personality? And that’s kind of a strange question. But all brands have some kind of personality, they give you some kind of feel. If you think of them as a person - maybe if you ask your customers they could probably do this exercise about your companies, as well, in terms of you what they’d think of it if it was a person. This one they said it's this lively, bubbly, respectable, trendy kind of person. So what aspect of the brand would make you choose one over the other? They mention about reliability. What is the essence of the brand? If you take Apple, all it does, makes these great products, different products. What is it that they’re really, really about. Distil it to its essence. They came up with a short sentence that says, ‘sleek, user-friendly products, you trust and rely on. So, what we're going to be doing in in a few minutes, after you guys do this exercise, is going to be a little bit of a similar exercise. What I want you to do now is to do it for the brand that you picked. Just to go around the table. Paul, what brand did you pick?
B:: Icebreaker, this is a manufacturing company of outdoor clothes.
C:: I chose one from my industry. TOMS Shoes.
N:: I actually chose Macintosh, but I can do FedEx if you like.
I:: Do you want to do FedEx. What about yourself Pablo?
I:: That’s interesting. I'm going to give you templates to fill in, and just give you a few minutes. This is more exercise to get your brain moving. I’m just going to leave this as an example that you can refer to.
I:: I’m going to just start. Chloe, you want to start us off? What was your brand again?
C:: TOMS Shoes.
I:: Tell me a little bit about them.
C:: So, it was a guy - I think he was a reality TV star actually - who during, I think he did survivor or something like that. He realised that children around the world were disadvantaged were held in that space because they often didn’t have shoes. And so most third world countries in the world, you have to shoes to go to school. Shoes are so important because something like 90% of diseases come up through your feet. He recognised that if he provided shoes for children around the world they would have better opportunities and better health. So he started the brand TOMS, and for every pair that you bought or the consumer bought he would then give a pair to a child in need around the world. And he did this by choosing different countries and dropping shoes as they needed them.
I:: Who’s the target? Who do you think is like that bullseye target? What kind of person is he going after?
C:: I believe it would be anyone who’s socially conscious / trend wearing shoe shopper. There were people who cared about what he was doing and bought the shoes for that reason, and then there were the bandwagoners who just bought them because they became trendy.
I:: What do you think makes it unique? What’s original? Maybe you've already talked about that. Let's move on. What do you think the brand stands for?
C:: My answers end up becoming a bit samey. What I thought made him unique was that he was the pioneer. Now everybody's doing it. He actually said a trend not only in footwear, but he's now set a trend for giving back, in general it’s become so popular. The rest of it it's all kind of the same. It's health, kindness, giving back, support of health and wellness, education for kids.
I:: What did you put in personality?
C:: Again, they all kind of roll. Kindness and thoughtfulness.
I:: What's the essence? What do you think is the essence of the brand at the bottom there?
C:: I mean after the fact that he built major, mega brand and probably made a fortune, I think that originally, he did want to do good by the children.
I:: That’s doing good by the children, that’s what it’s all about?
B:: I picked up icebreaker, they make the clothes or garments from merino wool. I discovered this material a few years ago, I just love it. Now, I don't know much about the brand itself as you know, how they started, how it developed.
I:: That’s fine. What’s your impression of them? Who do you think they're going after? Who do you think their main target is?
B:: People that are doing a lot of activities outdoors.
I:: Is it work activities or athletic activities?
B:: Very much athletics. Skiing, running, anything outdoors. I think it is, for me, rediscovering of wool as a material. It's of course probably specially engineered in a way that is not too itchy, and the insullation and the sensation of the warmth is just fantastic.
I:: So, that's what makes it makes it different than other products?
B:: Correct. You just enjou every minute in it very much. Particularly if you’re called or if you come back. A thin layer will put you in a very comfortable situation. It's also safe if you get wet, you’re not getting more cold because of the wool.
I:: What did you put as a personality? If it was if the brand was a person how wouldyou describe this person?
B:: Well I didn't know what to put here. I just said cosiness.
I:: Cosiness? You get a warmth kind of feeling from the brand?
B:: Correct. Absolutely. It’s nothing better than a cold day on skis and you put this on yourself and you sit down in the armchair.
I:: Are you getting that from the product or is it the brand?
B:: You see them. You have to go to a specialty store. They have their racks. You have some stores in Vancouver. I think that rather keep a low profile but for people that go outdoors.
I:: What did you put as an essence?
B:: I put, they keep your body the right temperature all the time.
I:: Okay, there’s a function there. Paul what about yourself? You pick Volvo, right?
I:: Tell me, who do you think the target of Volvo is?
P:: Any driver.
I:: Any driver?
P:: But the subcategory would be families.
I:: Families, yeah. So, that would be the bullseye. The bullseye would be families. What makes them unique?
P:: Just their driver safety profile that they've always played that up. They were the developers of anti-lock brakes and things like that. But they still promote that image of sort of tree-hugging, outdoors, outdoor lifestyle. But their selling point or their brand aspect would be car safety and reliability. The essence would be a performance car that's safe. They’re still playing up that the car actually is a performance car, but it's got that safety profile. It's targeted to the family where they still want performance, but they want to make sure the kids in the backseat aren't flying out the windows.
P:: Actually, personality was a bit different. I said tree-hugger, outdoor, well-built. That's more because of their marketing. Their marketing is reinforcing that, but it's not so much their brand.
I:: So you're getting that from some of the communication they have. Pablo, how about you? You picked the SmartCentres, right?
Pb:: Yeah. The first impression of people when they come to Canada is the victory of money, like SmartCentres. They are very clever. The target of them did they bring the best stores to every plaza. They bring unique, that you can come to the plaza, you can find whatever you want. They always take Walmart, like this at the centre of the plaza. So, if you need to buy food you have the place. But you have everything in the plaza. So, the target of them is, if you need something you can come to SmartCentres, you have everything. This is very clever and very successful. If you try now to buy in every place in Canada or every part that they open now, a village or something, they buy everything.
I:: What did you put as a personality? Did you get that far? So if SmartCentres was a person what would they…?
PB:: That probably is to do a build in a nice area, in quiet area, that you can come to (INAUDIBLE 31:33)) a nice time of fun and to expend how a lot of money.
I:: Neil? You switched to FedEx.
N:: What do you need to know about FedEx? Everybody knows about FedEx. We do a lot of shipping.
I:: What do you think the target is?
N:: Anybody who needs to ship something really fast and reliably. That’s the main thing, it’s so reliable, in our experience. Of course, this is a mixture of our experience and what you might imagine it would be, the salesman line or the advertising line for a brand. I guess FedEx has got a lot of competition, so it marks itself out by its logo but it’s also various thing. The actual customer service, the level of customer service that we’ve had at FedEx over the years, there’s nothing to compare with. We’ve tried other shippers, we’ve tried Trailblazer, we do use the post quite a bit. But it’s really top notch.
I:: That's what makes it stand out? That’s what makes it unique?
I:: You got a personality for them, like if it was a person?
N:: Well I put down friendly, efficient, human, and reliable. In that order. Reliable is the most important one really, that’s why it’s last.
I:: And an essence? What did you put as an essence?
N:: That’s the last one. Essentially it delivers your stuff on time, accurately, with the minimum fuss, and reasonable rates.
I:: Karen, I didn't hear from you? You picked?
I:: That’s right. Who do you think the target of Lululemon is?
K:: Predominantly active individuals. I mean, they’ve voiced their opinion of who should and shouldn’t be in their clothing. Predominantly actively individuals who want their clothing to perform with them. So, if your active, yes you look good in it, but.
I:: There's a performance aspect?
K:: There’s totally a performance aspect, absolutely. It’s gear, it’s equipment.
I:: You see it more as gear. Would you have said that about them 10 years ago? They were still like that in your mind?
K:: Yeah, that’s what they brought to the market. A new lease on life of looking at your fabrics - like your merino wool, which is awesome and merino wool is fantastic, it’s the same thing. You see all these kinds of things, anti-wicking components, etc. So yeah, it’s performance.
I:: What do you think they stand for?
K:: I think they stand for integrity. They're Canadian company. I think it's integrity. Integrity in your products, it's not about price, it’s about quality and integrity. Family. They operate each of their stores according to the neighbourhood they sit in. I think that's really nice, I think it's really important, for any business aspect.
I:: Do you mean more community?
K:: Yeah, they’re community related. They totally work.
I:: What's their personality?
K:: I have got serious, fun, and family for personality.
I:: Serious, fun, okay. Do the two combine? Those are usually opposing kind of personalities.
K:: I think athletes are having fun, but it's serious. They’re competitive people, so it’s seriously fun.
I:: That goes back to the performance thing. Any essence?
K:: What did I have for my sentence. My sentence would be, helping athletes be comfortable in clothes are working just as hard as they are.
I:: That’s brilliant. You guys did a good job by the way. I really love the brands that you picked and kind of stepping out of the box in terms of thinking little bit a little bit more creatively. I want to again reinforce that I want that aspect to carry through for next couple of hours. Let's move on to the business banking. I'm going to show you a couple of things, what we call positionings. Before they wrote these positionings, the folks that did it would have been some kind of an exercise like this. I don't want to show you something like this and react to it, I want to show you something a little bit more written in a narrative sense. So, positioning is what a company aspires to be. They may not be that today, it's something that they want to be. Something that they want to rally around. They organize themselves around, to become. Typically, when companies do this really, really well, they differentiate themselves from the rest of the market. So, a lot of the stuff you guys were talking about got to the essence, got to the positioning that differentiates one brand from another. Like the Lululemon versus, say there's another brand and all they are is about price or all they are is about whatever. The essence plays into differentiating them. That's what positioning does. So, it's going to be written in longhand like this. I got two of them, one is called ‘pro-to-pro’, and the other one is called ‘real-world experience’. This is for CIBC. I'm going to hand these out to you, I’m going to hand some sheets out to you. What I'd like you to do… In front of you have a blue pen and you have a red pen. I'd like you to read through it on your own, and I'd like you to, with the red pen – you know a hot and cold exercise - so the red pen you're going to highlight those areas, those sentences or words or ideas, you see on this page that appeal to you, jump off the page and you get a good feel about them. With the red. Red is a hot colour, something that resonates with you, something for you and your business. And the blue one, use that for those areas that, “I don't particularly like this or it doesn't really resonate with me.” You don't have to fill the whole page with red and blue, so most of the page is probably going be white, it’s going to be as is. But just to pick out those key areas. Again, this exercise is not about saying, “I'm going to bank with CIBC if they give me a better rate.” It's not about doing the product, this whole exercise. This whole exercise is about positions, and what does the brand stand for. What is the organizing principle of the brand, in terms of business banking? This is really related to business banking, not so much in the other aspects of banking. Did everybody understand?
N:: Could you just go over the blue again?
I:: So, the red. You're highlighting in red what appeals to you. The blue is things like, “No that's not really pulling me too much.” Or maybe I don't understand it. It's more like things that aren't resonating with you as much. If you're neutral about it just leave it, don't highlight it.
PREPATAION 38:53 - 41:04
I:: I forgot to mention, don’t think of this as advertising. You would never see this in a magazine or online. It’s more like an internal document. We’re asking you take a look at it, just to get the feedback. You might not like the language and so forth, but I'm more interested in what the ideas behind it are. If the idea resonates with you or doesn’t resonate with you.
PREPATAION 41:38 - 43:11
I:: The other thing I want you to do is give each one a score from 1 to 10. After you’ve done both of them, give them a score from 1 to 10. The whole thing together. So, give the ‘pro-to-pro’ a score from 1 to 10 and give the ‘real-world experience’ a score from 1 to 10.
PREPATAION 43:35 - 45:45
I:: Just a show of hands, who had heart for the ‘real-world experience’? Who found that one interesting, gave it a higher score out of 10? Paul? What did you give it? What score, like a 7, 8, 9, 10?
P:: (INAUDIBLE 46:00))
I:: Karen, what did you give it?
K:: Real-world got a 6.
N:: I gave it 5.
I:: You gave it 5, so you’re in the middle.
I:: Paul, I think you gave it the highest score. Why as that resonating with you? What was it about it that was resonating?
P:: It’s actually people that have real experience, that understand business, they’re specialists in that field of business.
I:: Why is that a benefit to you?
P:: Well, a lot of times you get the impression that bankers are, “Well, let me put it into our formulation, and the formulation says you qualify, you don't qualify, that you have to do this or that.” Not so much as, “Well, I understand the seasonality of the business.” Probably in the farming and agricultural side they do it a bit more. But there's seasonality out there. There's different changes in all businesses but generally banks don't seem to appreciate or understand that.
I:: You have some red there, what are some of the things that stood out for you?
P:: The line, ‘you’ve been there, and you’ve done it.’ Applying actual real experience, it’s not some kid that’s out of university, “My textbook told me to do this.” They have experience running real businesses and that they're specialists in a different or in that industry field too.
I:: Then you have a blue on just one of the sentences there.
P:: It's sort of that they’re getting it because they’ve struggled with ‘some things you only get when you struggle with them yourself’. Well, no you don't. It's actually just doing it. You may have been struggling you may not have been struggling.
I:: Pablo you gave it a 7, right, you gave number 4? Why did you give it a 7? What was interesting to you?
Pb:: It's interesting, but I don't like when they come repeat again and again the same things. If I want to read something, I give to myself 5 or 10 seconds to see to myself if it interests me. If I come and I see the same word two times, I take this, and I put it down.
I:: Let's focus on the idea? Why did you give it a 7? What was working for you?
Pb:: It's interesting because you see they are professional, but they repeat the same thing again. I don’t have patience for it.
I:: I understand. We can always work on the language of it. Repeat again why you gave it a 7. What’s the important...?
Pb:: The 7 is because there’s really many important things here.
I:: Tell me what they are.
Pb:: What you can take from yourself, what you can be, what you can do. This is very important because they can, the experience of the real world, what you can take the real things. But when they come, and they repeat the same.
I:: So that's good to me in terms of I understand where it’s not working. You have the bottom in red there. Why is that?
Pb:: Yeah, because I like when you finish with a strong word, with a strong sentence. Plus (INAUDIBLE 49.38)) what do you say it right here in one sentence here. The real-world experience, they're really more business, this is true.
I:: Who else gave it a 7?
B:: I gave it 7.
I:: You did, Boris. Tell me tell me why, you have quite a bit of red there.
B:: Very similar to what Paul said.
B:: Pablo, sorry. That company, they started on the fact that they know the real life experience in business. They get my sympathy, because of course every day you struggle, there’s big pressure, you have clients you have to serve them. Okay, this is my guy from my, this is my folk. When he presents himself this way, that he experienced that.
I:: Sorry, the other folk, do you guys feel that way? In terms of what's written in that first paragraph. In terms of the struggle and everyday kind of thing or is that you guys just love what you do, you never feel like your struggling.
B:: If you have 6 different clients calling you in an hour, and you have to serve them. And you don't even put down the phone and there's another 2. And there’s somebody else at the door.
I:: Those challenges.
B:: Oh, maybe I should use the word challenges.
I:: Maybe that’s a better word than struggle.
B:: But really sometimes you’re just at war to keep your head above the water. Then, there’s a better day and it will work out, of course, because you’re still in the market and people like you, they keep calling. But it’s not a sitting job in an office, that you just enjoy your coffee, you do one letter half a day.
I:: What’s the benefit to you of this? Any other important things there?
B:: Well I understand that if I have some needs, they will serve me well without any bureaucratic red tape. They would understand where we're coming from, they will apply common sense to submissions to assessing my applications, and I will get the served promptly and then on time as well. It’s very frustrating but when you and your business make decisions based on assessment of the risk, and is it good or not, is it going to work or not. If they require me – I have just recently had this experience with CIBC - bunch of papers, and you know that you already proved beyond the point what they wanted. But, no, they have to go back half a year. That's very frustrating. That presentation how they start, yes, I love that. I would be buying into it.
I:: And the whole notion of the real-world experience. What does that bring up there?
B:: I think they overdid it over here, I think. This I have blues. I think a lot of this writing it’s like a cheap copyright. They present themselves… First of all, like when I put blue it’s like correcting a kid in high school. It’s like expertise, what is expertise in parenthesis, that means no expertise to me right away. Or this saying, ‘just lightweights in expensive suits.’ I don’t like that language, expression.
I:: Okay, so it’s a language thing.; expression. Okay, I understand that.
B:: Also, other words, like ‘running a real business’. What's the point of running unreal business? And, ‘gained experience that counts’. So, again experience that doesn't count, that’s not experience.
I:: It’s got a little bit of redundancy. I think what they’re trying to say is relevant experience. Because you could have experience in whatever, it’s not relevant to you.
B:: That would make more sense. Experience I would understand, as experience that I need.
I:: So, it’s more relevant experience. Paul you were going to say something.
P:: I was just going to comment, a comment Boris made triggered it for me. The first paragraph sounds like it’s a music song, ‘I’ve fallen and got up’. It’s a Whitney Houston song, not what I think of as banking. And I don't think of as business, this is just too dramatic.
I:: I don't think the intent was to… The intent of the first paragraph on all of these, and you'll see a couple more than I'm going to show you, is to get what they call – I’m being very pedantic here - an insight. So, it's trying to get into the mind space of folks like yourself. Like Boris was saying a minute ago, yeah, there's these daily challenges that you know, like running a business. It's more like trying to say, we’re trying to understand. It kind of sets up a little bit of like… Know what I mean?
P:: I think it’s probably way too dramatic for what a business really is day to day. We’re not falling, we're not tumbling, we’re not picking ourselves up and trying it again.
I:: I’m going to get you to improve on that. So, maybe I'll get you guys, because you guys gave this a pretty high score, probably work as a group and try to improve on the language there. I think there was something that you nodded to when he was talking about the daily challenges of business. Well said. Who else gave this one like a 7 or 8 or 9? Why not? Karen?
K:: It’s too much. I’m not sure what they’re trying to achieve. And from here down I don’t believe a word they’re saying. How can they possibly all have owned a business? Really? So you lose me right there, I’m like, really? Come on.
C:: Because a business owner would never go into banking.
I:: It would pretty (INAUDIBLE 55.59)) when they said they all did. What about it there was a certain portion of people? Some people just like, you know what running a business is – I mean I’ve been running my business for 11 years.
K:: Less would be more here. All the fluff, we’re past the fluff. We’ve run business we’re pat the fluff.
I:: I just want to get to the idea of maybe it’s not all people that work in the business banking area, but there are people in the business banking that have run their own experience.
C:: It just doesn’t come of like that.
I:: So, it was too categorical. But would that be okay if they had people there that actually? Or is it still not believable that they could have people?
K:: I don’t think it’s believable.
N:: If they were successful businessmen they wouldn’t be working in a bank.
I:: It could have been people that got fed up, could have been successful and sold and just wanted something to do. So, there is there is some… Anything else about it? Neil, you gave it a 5.
N:: I didn’t like the suits that just make me think of (INAUDIBLE 57.07)) or whatever.
I:: So, that's the language.
N:: It's just distracting, and also there's bad-mouthing the competition here that's poor I thought.
I:: Is there anything that you pulled out that was interesting to you?
N:: I thought the idea that unless you've driven some way yourself, you can't find it again. If somebody drives you somewhere, then you don’t know the way. That's a good point. They've overstressed it, ‘struggling to get up’ and all that. But I that was a resonant point. If you've got some experience in CIBC who can show the way, about whatever it is that they’ve had expertise in. Whether or not they’ve been businessmen, or it doesn’t really matter, but they know the ropes. That’s a reasonable point.
I:: I’ll start with you, Chloe; you didn't give this one a high score. What are some of the things that you put in red there for that one?
C:: I do like the idea. Again, like these guys said it’s a bit too much. I do like the idea that you don't know unless you’ve done it. When I speak to my friends and they have office jobs, or they have corporate jobs, they really don’t understand what it is that we do. And they’re very flippant about it. Really you can’t know until you’ve done this because you’re an everybody in your own business, whereas they have a job. I’ve got like 50 jobs. I liked that part of it.
I:: That’s a different way from the way it’s written. It’s written a little bit differently but that’s an interesting way you talked about that.
C:: I didn’t like the ‘struggle’ either, but you only get it if you’re in it.
K:: It would be more helpful to write down, ‘we wear many hats’, rather than we struggle like we’re (INAUDIBLE 58:52)) on the floor. Struggle is real, we’re standing and struggling, not laying on the ground.
P:: There’s challenges.
I:: You’re not tumbling, rolling around?
C:: Learning experiences and then there’s (#59:02). This just doesn’t… I just don’t believe it. There’s absolutely no way a farmer would be a CIBC specialist, I don’t think.
I:: What about this one here, number 3, ‘pro-to-pro’? What are some of the scores you gave on that one?
Pb:: You know, what Chloe said is very interesting. I think we are everyone around 50 years. When we say 7, 6 or 5, and you know I think again it's very dependent, people that sit here. because we are many years in the market.
I:: That’s why I’m asking you.
Pb:: Because if you come to some new. Say then because for him “Wow, I open a business.” Because when you put me for example beyond traditional banking, I don't think that necessarily it's good. Because I want a new mind, to say new ideas. I don't want the old ideas. So, for me beyond traditional banking it's bad.
I:: What score did you give this one?
Pb:: 7 too because like young instead of old.
I:: No, no, no. Just think about yourself okay. Only yourself, okay. Because I can always ask younger people, new business owners as well. Think about your lot in life right now.
Pb:: You have a very strong sentence like, ‘if you want the best want go to me’. This is a good intro to take me to call you. But when you put after that ‘beyond traditional’ I go, “Ha, I understand.” After that, in the total you have a very good sentence there typically, but it depends to which age you connect you it.
I:: Sure, but from now on it's more about yourself, okay. I want to know what your opinion is versus - because we can always ask younger people.
I:: Karen, you give this one a better score.
K:: I'm a 7/8 here.
I:: Tell me why? What’s working for you here?
K:: At the top end the ‘warm, fuzzy’, ‘people do depend on you’, that is true. ‘Being in business is a team sport’, fully believe.
I:: You believe that, yeah. You resonate with that.
K:: ‘Fully believe you cannot do it by yourself’, and then it just starts slowly falling apart. The CIBC banking will go beyond tradition, the A-team specialists, it goes on and on. It's like, really? Really?
I:: Is there stuff there that you would like to see? This is something that they want to set themselves for the future, right. Is there anything in there that resonates with you and (INAUDIBLE 1:01:48))
K:: I do have a personal banker, and I will say I had a personal banker when I first started, and I will never forget her, she was absolutely fantastic. She was a salesperson beyond. She was wicked. Had a product? Call me. Wicked. I haven’t had it since. You get that in life as you go through, I’ve got a banker and she's lovely, etc. But I don't feel that this is being represented. So, if you’re a specialist and you’re representing something, you’re not calling me with it. And I'm not going to pop into the bank to find out what's going on. It’s your job to call me I think, I don't know, I'm confused sometimes as to, you know. This sounds very good, but it’s not happening.
I:: So, think of it as aspiration, something that you would like to see. Anybody else give this one a 7 or 8?
N:: I gave it an 8.
I:: So, tell me Neil, what is it about this one that works for you?
N:: I thought it was better than the other one. There wasn’t anything that went clang or was really bad. I didn't like the idea of the sport team, but I thought the team of experts is a useful thing to have at your disposal. I thought it was fairly clearly expressed. I thought that helping your business run effectively…
I:: Why is that team at your disposal important to you?
N:: Because I’m not an expert on most of the things that banks allegedly know. It’s not that we’ve had any input from CIBC or anything of these things over the years that has meant anything very much. They’ve put is in touch with people when we needed to do things or expand this area or even process credit cards, we didn’t dot hat start with. As a concept this is reasonable.
I:: What are some of the reds that you have?
N:: The reds. I thought an A-team of specialists, that was okay. You need people on the team who are the best at what they do. Yes, that’s reasonable. But I didn’t like the ‘tax geniuses’ or the ‘wealth management masters’, ‘client captain’. It’s like a pirate ship.
I:: I hear you on the language, but the underlying it worked for you. You also have the last line, it seems like you have that.
N:: This is the tagline. I think that’s an okay tagline, ‘the ultimate team to help you shine.’
Pb:: It finished well.
I:: Chloe what did you give this one?
I:: A 7. This one is better than the other one?
I:: Tell me what was working for you in this one?
C:: All over I liked it better. For me and my business I don't really have a team. So, that team mentality I feel like I do everything, other than my employee team. But I don't have partners. And I had that team, so it's lonely and I’m by myself doing that. Where I did, the a team of specialists would be would be handy. You're saying, I don't want to have to go in and ask the bank for what's available or what might help me, be really nice if they came to me. Even in this some situations where I have gone to the bank I've actually ended up answering my own questions better than my banker. I have my own personal banking specialist as well. ‘They're here to help you run efficiently, grow, create wealth, and free up to do what you do best’, this would be ideal.
I:: Which paragraph is that, sorry?
C:: ‘They're there to help your business run efficiently, grow, create wealth, and free you’.
I:: So that would be a benefit, the free up.
C:: I always get ‘no’. So, if I say for example, “Oh, well I have a credit card that's at 12.99 and exactly the same credit card that's at such-and-such. Why can't this won't be this?” For example. “Oh no, I'm sorry we can't do that.” Well obviously, you could at one point have done that because you did it without even asking here, and now I'm asking, and you can't. So, it's that, wishing that there was someone who'd say, “Yeah, you're right. If at one point they gave you a 12.99 let's see if we can get you another one and get you out of this 19.9.” That kind of trying to help.
K:: Some creativity.
I:: Boris what’re your thoughts on this one?
B:: Very low, 4. for-
I:: So, it seems like a group of you liked the first one and another group of you liked the second one. First of all start, because you have quite a bit of red there, what did you like there.
B:: Red, I like the CIBC business banking beyond traditional banking. I know like there is a lot of Technology in the banking now that I learned from the kids very much, young people, that I never heard about. For example you can take a picture of a check, even a business check, you could take a picture of a check, you don't have to go to the to the branch and deposit the checks at the end of the day. You can do it with personal checks. I think you can do it with business checks as well.
N:: Unless they’re US dollars.
B:: Probably there are many things like this that we’re not aware of, we’re not being informed. And even if you get a message from the bank you’re not going to read it.
I:: Anything else was working?
B:: A team that would support my business. This is good, I like it. And this is the statement, that they would help me to be efficient and I like the sentence, ‘free you up to do what you…’ Well to do the best, maybe not. But free me up from thinking about it. That portion of the business, if this banking specialist takes it away from me, I don't have to worry about it. I'm happy with it. Anybody who's helping me take away my workload or my people’s workload, I welcome it. How can I work under such a service?
I:: You guys been doing this individually. You made some comments before on some of these that you could help improve. That's what I want you guys to do now. So, I'm going to put you in teams. Pablo, Boris and Paul you're going to work - you seem to have a lot of heart for the real-world one. The real-world one was the one that worked better for you. So, I want you to get up and go to that station there. And Neil, Chloe and Karen seemed that the pro-to-pro was resonating a bit more for you, definitely Neil and Karen. Chloe I'm not sure with your other score was but you seem to have higher for that one as well. So, if you can go up to that station. Just grab a blue pen or a red pen there. The first thing I want you guys to do. You know you did it for that brand that you chose. Based on what’s written – we’re going to start working through this - but based on what you think the overall idea is. What would what would you write as an essence for this area? And you guys what would you write as an essence for that area? Remember what the essence was? It's just a short sentence.
K:: What we feel it should be or how it stands now?
I:: Let’s see what think it should be but based on this. Based on this idea of pro-to-pro. I know you have might have some issues with, but I want you to step this up so that it’s something would take it from a 7/8 to a 9/10. That’s what the exercise is going to be. It’s within this idea, you’re going to start building a bit, starting with an essence. Saying, this is what we think this idea at its best would stand for, this would be an essence for it.
I:: Paul, want to take us through what your essence was?
P:: Ours was business banking; “real-world experience for your business.”
I:: Okay, so it's not much of a change from what they have at the bottom.
B:: ”This is real-world experience for real-world business”. No; "Real-world experience for MY business.”
I:: Your business, okay.
B:: Personalising it, sectorising it; so that it's actually someone that has retail experience or construction or whatever.
I:: So it's that relevant experience you were talking about.
P:: I don't really want to sit down with a mining guy who's been in the mining industry for fifty years; it’s no relevance to me. The target being; mature business owners.
I:: Why mature and not just-
P:: Very big difference between someone that's starting a business - maybe looking at all the trading options and all of that stuff - as opposed to someone that's been in business, that is looking to… They pretty well know their business, they're looking for someone to help through the bank stuff, save them time, do things like that.
B:: I also speak to business owners, small business owners; somebody has a little specialty store. A lot of those people - it was at a focus group, as a matter of fact - were on day-to-day banking, and are interested in little incentives like winning something because (INAUDIBLE 1:32:00)), CIBC; getting a laptop, raffle tickets, little things.
I:: So it's not really higher-level-
B:: Correct, if you introduce us at the high-level banking of the company; I'm not interested in day-to-day rates.
I:: And the insight, you paired it down to one sentence.
B:: ”Some things you only get when you've done them.”
I:: That's interesting; tell me tell me how that…because how did you get from all that kind of stuff that you crossed out?
P:: This is more on the second one; we just thought this was all fluff. This was more relevant; we just sort of narrowed it down. If you've done it you know what the challenges are; all this, it just was a bit more focused.
I:: Chloe, you were talking something like that; when you're trying to explain what you do to your friends, they just don't get it because they've haven't done it. That kind of feeds into what you were saying earlier.
C:: My friends say “Oh, I had a rough day too” and I’m like “Yeah, but do you owe your suppliers $100,000?” There’s big differences; the stuff we take on is sometimes enormous, and people can’t possibly fathom that feeling, that stress. The stress they get is, they’ve been given too much to do; pretty much why they're stressed. They can't get it done in the allotted time would be their main reason. Mine’s is bigger than that; it can be very intense, way more stress inducing and just having a project finished by the end of the day.
I:: It’s interesting; if the person on the other end had that real-world experience for your business-
P:: They know what you're going through.
I:: So that works really well.
P:: In particular also, if you’re changing bankers at the bank and you have to re-explain the entire sector to them; no, you want to sit down with someone that's been doing it for 20 years and understands retail/manufacturing.
I:: So you picked a couple a couple of the activations.
P:: Industry specialists - because once again, that's go for someone that knows our business - so when we start talking about terms and things like that, they're not actually asking us to explain how we do things. Meet You Anywhere, mainly a time for us is the most important thing. For a business person, time is the thing that we never have enough of, and if we're running around at the bank, spending time having go meet with them or getting referred from them onto someone else; I want one person, I want them to be able to get it done, and show up when I need them. This was the Business Veterans - which sounds good, but I don't think any of us believe that a bank has a bunch of business veterans sitting around - and then the Business Academy, fresh talent and things like that; this goes back to what comment about mature business owners.
I:: Would it be relevant to-
B:: It's more every company’s problem to get university people trained, get them up to speed and later their get experience. If someone says “I’m hiring top talent”, we know top talent is great- huge potential - but it's not there yet.
I:: Onto number 3 - Pro to Pro. You wrote an essence?
K:: In essence we feel this is saying that they believe in helping all your needs with full understanding, Pro to Pro, person-to-person.
I:: And your target is?
K:: We feel it's probably speaking more to the small to medium side of business owners, who are interested in growth & development.
I:: Why interested in growth? Because you guys had a discussion there, isn't everyone interested in growth; that's not always true, right? This area, why would the essence appeal to people who are interested in growth?
K:: I don't think - unless you're interested in growth and development - you're even going to read this.
K:: If you're coming out to business, closing business - retiring or whatever - this is of no interest to you. What about those that have a business and just want to go steady - they don't want too much hassle, making a decent income-
P:: They’re probably going out of business?
I:: I know a lot of people in my business that is like that; they have a steady group of clients and they don’t want to-
P:: But they're not looking at selling the business?
I:: No, just intention of making a living.
P:: Just speaking for myself, I don't see myself as a job, I see it as a business; and I think there are some people that run businesses as a job, and then they'll do it for twenty years and get out of it. Whereas other people, if they build up the business, they're looking to either continue to build it or build it so that they can sell it or something like that; I see those business people as very different. So growing a business and-
K:: I think it depends on the business.
I:: I think that's a distinction, I truly believe that, but why would a person who's not interested in growth… I don't understand why they wouldn't go for this area.
K:: I wouldn't even read it, because I don't care what you're offering. I think people tune out; I think sometimes they get swamped with this stuff as well, and sometimes at a certain point you're done. That's enough.
I:: What's the best?
K:: So we feel that this is trying to put these together; so this one, “We’re always on the lookout for opportunities for you, suggest ways to save time and money without being asked” - that is the proactive planning - that should be part of this, which is Cash Management, Experts to Save Time, Financing. This is all part of this; you should telling me all about this with this phone call. This is my point of contact, so she should be calling me to do this about this. This is all the same thing reflected in here, we feel. This one - we keep on timing - I’m sorry, shouldn't everyone keep their word on timings?
I:: Well maybe, some other banks don't do that; or maybe they're not doing it now.
K:: This should just be a given, and this “Our team will get to work to create a personalised plan for your business”; yeah, that ain't happening. They’re overworked, they've got a million people on their agenda; if we can get this rolling…
PB:: If it's true.
BREAK + QUESTION/PREPARTION
K:: So, I think the title “Power of Our Network”…
C:: Okay, so I think the title, ‘the power of our network’, we think we know what’s coming after that. So, this is good. Yes, this is very true ‘we had a dream, we did it, went for it, good for you’. And then I’m lost because now what I want to know is what’s the network? What are you talking about?
I:: Is there any guess or inkling of what they’re trying to get at?
P:: I couldn’t see it until you put these things in.
N:: That’s right, the first paragraph doesn’t seem to be anything to do with the network, it’s just a dream and burdens on the bank and all that stuff. Then, off we go into networking for the next two paragraphs. That’s kind of (INAUDIBLE 2:01:58)), the first bit they’ve not been doing much with networks.
I:: So, I think at the start it said, ‘you want to take it to the next level and you need…’ They’re going to offer you this network. That's going to help go to your success. So, that's what the logic is there. You said that after you read these you understand what it is they’re actually doing.
N:: That’s a power grid over there. I thought this was Facebook, I mean that’s Facebook’s aim is to connect everybody. Networks a trendy thing. This could be describing Facebook. How does a bank make a network? Okay, well you’ve kind of explained it there, but that does (INAUDIBLE 2:03:33)).
I:: So, how do you understand it now after you've read some these ones? Some of the activations.
N:: None of them are very useful to me. But I can see how they would put you on a network of skills exchange. You’ve got people who you’d network with there. Go to lunches with groups and things, actually one of the people here suggested that sort of thing.
C:: I think it’s very cool that they’ve got something for different levels. This is kind of like where I started, this is beginning.
I:: Tell me what it is so the folks at the back know. ‘Start strong’?
C:: Right. This one I love, because this to me reads as if it’s like an entry level. So, you’ve got people who are fresh and new, you put them together, you talk about business and obviously what the bank can offer them. I think that’s wicked. Then, you start going into, this is like a group thing.
I:: So, which one is that one? ‘Peers to power your ambition’. You’ve got couple of stars there?
C:: Peers together, getting together, talking. That’s kind next level. They've got nothing to talk about yet because they haven't done the business yet, but now we've got the next level. And then we're getting more advanced. I think we go over. Like this is more advanced.
I:: ‘The expert grid’.
C:: The expert grid is definitely more advanced. But I think there's a nice variation of things that could definitely network. I think it’s a nice groove.
I:: Is this dimensionalised network a little bit more in terms of ((INAUDIBLE 2:03:50)).
C:: Yeah. I can see where it’s going. There’s a pattern here.
I:: Would you change some of the blue, or you may even want to reword it, stuff like that. What is it about?
C:: I’d want to know afterwards, as a business owner, we’ve got two seconds to read what it you want us to read. I don’t have all day.
I:: You’re never going to read this somebody's going to come to and tell you, hey. What’s the benefit to you, in terms of the promise of the network? Now do you understand it and gives you a little bit more context.
C:: I think it gives me hope that there’s help. It gives me hope that you actually do understand, and there’s different levels of help. I think there has to be something in her that would appeal to everybody.
I:: Fr you personally something in there?
C:: Yeah. I kind of started here. I'm still here, so it must've helped. I drank the Kool-Aid, yeah.
N:: I think there’s a lot of waste here. I mean it says (INAUDIBLE 2:04:37)).
I:: I understand. Now that you understand the network. Is any of this stuff relevant to you?
N:: Not to me.
I:: Help me understand for your business why it's not?
N:: Well, we don’t sell in Canada, we don’t buy in Canada. This sort of networking, Canadian resources. It’s not relevant to us.
I:: Let's move on to you guys. You guys had some red, and some heat and some cold there. And I think Boris, you’re going to talk about this. What's working for you in that one?
B:: I just struggle with networking. I think that, at least in my field, networks seem to be a valuable tool. It brings people together from the same area of operations, professionals. I’m not necessarily saying that it’s exactly the same profession but same needs. Developers, you will get developers, management companies, surveyors, engineers. I know that it used to function something like breakfast, people meet for breakfast once a week. You meet people face to face. You know they’re around. Maybe they will come with a business, you welcome that person. If there is a personal connection, “I know you from CIBC network.” Or there is a list of specialists that operate in your area, like little communities, they do work. I’m from some part of, I’m from (INAUDIBLE 2:06:25)).
I:: How do you see CIBC helping?
B:: Well, if they are talking about a network. I know that people find from – it’s not Facebook – it’s like this LinkedIn, people do find jobs. They know each other. I’m not sure if it’s too generous but if you go to a branch and you see other specialists in your field. Or they’re making them helping you out or some kind of exchange, get to know other people.
Pb:: I come many years in Israel. In Israel the bank every two months take the owners of industry, they take to the branch or to the dinner and they bring specialists to talk about the industry. Every two months. The people coming because they bring good people, interested people. Because if you come and you listen and it’s boring, nobody comes. But they bring someone to say some jokes, so he first of all broke all the tension. After that, they start. And you know, everyone waits for the day.
B:: This is excellent, what Pablo is saying. I know CIBC would (INAUDIBLE 2:07:47)), they have brilliant economists. They know the biggest situation, they focus on their job, they follow. Yes, for your business this is very important, to see more than the sale today or tomorrow. Organising a meeting like that, getting people from different industries at a certain level, and getting their specialists to talk with them will create (INAUDIBLE 2:08:12)). It would be absolutely fabulous.
I:: You have a lot of red on this. This one as a group seems to resonate a little. Tell me about the ‘as unique as you are’ area.
P:: I think the thing that appealed to us was: A, that they are unique, that their banks are going customize things for us, they're going to focus on what our specific needs are, they're going to be flexible, they’re going to actually adapt. We actually said if that's true. But the idea of them actually changing. Then, the comments down here some of those things.
I:: You didn’t have any blues on this? Other than if it's true, that would be a blue. The ‘3 to 1 continuity’, what’s that about? Why did it get so many stickers? Somebody start?
Pb:: Because it's important because if they tell the team that one it will be specially for that, and the second, but not because normally nobody knows everything. So, if you know that you have a good team after you, you know that you can take better chances or big chances because you know that you have very good people after you.
P:: Also as simple I need something done at the bank and I phone whoever my contact is, “Oh, he’s out at a meeting.” Well, then I’ll talk to my second, I’ll talk to Cathy instead.
I:: So, having a team, okay.
Pb:: And these are the 3, the team?
I:: Yeah. Here’s another one that got 6 stars. ‘Flexible benefits and charges’, that fits there as well. Why did you guys give it 6 stars? Why is that important?
P:: This plays up to the sort of doing things unique, building a plan that fits specifically to what I need. It may be very different from what someone else needs.
B:: With a business again, you might be sitting on a pile of cash, and then half a year later you’ll be waiting for a cheque to arrive. Flexibility is great.
I:: Here’s one, ‘whole view you’. 3 stars
P:: 3 stars. That was sort of the integrating of business and personal.
I:: I wanted to ask that, it hasn’t come up. Is that important to you guys?
P:: As long as it doesn't become so much that they're focused just on the personal side, and that's what I actually find with most bankers. Are more focused on your wealth management side of it, and the business side of it becomes secondary.
I:: What about you guys? Business and personal?
B:: I think it’s a little nice perk, that I get special treatment, privately at the bank. Because I have a business (INAUDIBLE 2:11:07)).
I:: Do you talk to the same people?
B:: I used to, but I changed. One is a business advisor, the other a personal advisor. But I think it goes hand in hand, just a little still off I think.
I:: What about the rest of you guys with the business advice. Is that something that should be separate?
K:: I don’t like them mixed.
K:: It’s not that I don’t think they have anything to do with each other, I just like to keep them separate.
I:: Any reason why?
K:: Legal reasons, you know. Anything. Your business could tank in tow seconds. For a small business, as much as I’m personally my business in a sense, I believe that those two funds should be separate.
I:: Chloe, are they separate for you?
C:: Yeah, they’re separate, one point of contact is fine. I feel as though what you have personally is how they base their decisions on what you get business-wise. So say like, “Oh, well we could maybe get you this line of credit but that's only because you have this mortgage which we're going to want as collateral on this line of credit.” That way it bothers me. It's like taking my personal achievements. That's my paycheck, as in my mortgage (INAUDIBLE 2:12:22)), that’s not. It's like taking my paycheck when they say, “Ok, well.” I get the security, and what-have-you, but it bothers me.
K:: It’s like being hostage.
I:: So, you're kind of mixed in terms of whether it should be or not?
C:: I'm not sure that if they didn't see that, say they couldn't see what I owned and my assets so visibly, that they would have as much of a bearing. If you like it's a quick to like, “Oh, well she's got, and so she can have.” And I know no matter what you were getting they would still want to see a list of assets. But I think it just so visible on the screen there makes them quick to make decisions about they’re going to go about financing you at all.
K:: I like to hold no cards at all.
I:: You guys had mostly blues on the ‘unique as me’.
Pb:: Because they finished the red.
I:: Tell me about that one. What doesn't seem to be working for you? Neil?
N:: It's just that the uniqueness thing just seemed to…
I:: Seemed what, sorry?
N:: It seemed that it was very unspecific. Even about how exactly unique you were going to be.
I:: What do you think the promise is? I know you put a lot of blue. What’s the promise to you?
P:: I don’t think I did this blue.
K:: It was just like, ‘your business is unique because you are unique’. Okay, get it. Enough, it’s overkill. It’s going on and it drives me crazy. So ‘why do your customers choose you, because you respond to their unique requirements. Why shouldn’t you expect that from a bank?’ I’m warm there, yeah you absolutely should. Obviously, this is why we’re having this discussion, because it’s not happening. Then we kind of lose the personal touch. If you’re going to talk about unique and you want to get personal, then get personal. There’s no beef after this.
I:: What would you expect if they promised that?
K:: Well, it’s very loosey-goosey. Like, ‘we flex, we adapt’. Are we talking about yoga or are we talking about banking?
P:: Back to your yoga-wear.
K:: Let’s talk about yoga-wear. I know where they’re trying to go to, but.
N:: This bit here with the caps, when you go into caps (INAUDIBLE 2:15:02). It’s desperate.
I:: It sounds desperate? I’m giving you a hear for a reason. I do like you guys but that’s not the reason. I want you to go around. We saw four areas, a couple of them we've rework so look at it in terms of the way we reworked and not the way they were originally. If it works for you the way it was originally, that's fine as well. You have the option of looking at how it was reworked. I want you go around and pick your favourite area. I want you to write the reasons why you picked that area. What I want you to do is write the reason why you picked that area.
K:: And you’re talking like, “This is my area.”?
I:: Yeah, the area of pro-to-pro, the area of the networking. Whatever you want, whatever resonates with you the most.
PREPARATION 2:16:08 - 2:19:10.
I:: Okay, so we got some conversions to – Oh, there’s Boris. So, nobody picked ‘real-world’, we have two for unique. So, who picked ‘as unique as you are’? The two gentlemen here. Why’d you pick that one?
P:: Because I am unique. Dame Bassey says I am my own special creation.
I:: Who says that?
P:: Dame Bassey, Shirley Bassey. I don’t want the bank to treat me the same as everyone else because my needs are unique. I don’t want them to give me a template as to, you have to do this, this, and this or that. When I go in there I expect them to be able to solve my problem, save me time, and get me out of there so I can get back to running my business.
Pb:: Yeah, I agree 100%. Because if I’m unique, and they know what I need, I can grow up to be the best in what I’m doing. Because I am unique. I agree 100%.
I:: There are a couple of folks on ‘the power of our network’, who picked that one? Chloe and Boris?
B:: I think I did the network.
I:: Chloe, you want to start us, why did you pick that one?
C:: I don't want to go to coffee meetups with like-minded individuals or anything like that. I want a team, or whatever you want to call it, of access to people who's been in business for longer, they don't have to have been in my business. Who have perhaps gone out and got funding to grow their business or who have opened up multiple… Look whatever it is, whatever I want to do, who might help with the answers from a real-life perspective. And who might be interested in collaborating. That kind of thing where I see growth comes from getting someone else involved that's not the bank, because that hasn't really worked. But if they could send me to other lenders, which of course they wouldn’t. I just feel like if there were a bigger group of individuals who could help me. Mentors, I don't like the word. Option, people who would bring options to me, and help.
K:: It’s funny, you used a word earlier, you said it's lonely. I used to always say that, how lonely it was running a business. So lonely.
C:: I don’t want to sit around bitching about what’s wrong, and what we can’t do, although today it might seem like it. That’s not what I want
I:: It’s been one of those days, right.
C:: I want someone to bring life, and energy, and money, and thoughts, and ideas, assistance and that kind of thing to my business. Because sometimes it’s hard to muster it up after 20 years, to keep going, and you’re doing the same thing.
I:: Thank you. Boris?
B:: Very much the same. To get opportunity to hear maybe a voice from higher up with broader knowledge. Get people doing more or less the same as what you’re doing together. At least the opportunity to connect with types of people but facilitate these kinds of meetings. Maybe like a website, make those names visible on the website.
I:: Don’t worry about how they do it, but something that they can do.
B:: Feel something of a community of business, their owners in your own field, that you can put up a field if you want to join.
C:: It can be enormously inspiring too. One of my best moments in business was recently I went to see Jack Ma speak, who started Alibaba. When you get that it just brings up so much excitement. When you see someone, who has gone from nothing to something so major. And my dream sometimes is that you the Jack Mas or the Jeff Bezos or whoever else, I want there to be people like that who then help people like us. They've got hundreds and hundreds of millions of millions of dollars, and I know they give it to charities and what-have-you, but it would be really cool to have access maybe to a bit maybe. If we had like mindedness or perhaps Jack Ma, he really loves young female entrepreneurs in particular, he thinks they should come up. Maybe there's an opportunity. I know it’s extreme but…
I:: You can dream.
C:: I do.
I:: That’s good, Chloe, I like that. Neil, you picked, what did you pick?
N:: This one here.
I:: That’s the pro-to-pro.
N:: Yeah, the team thing. It’s really a comparative thing and I found that was more credible to me, and my experience with 25 years at CIBC, than the others. Because there’s a certain amount of expertise at the bank and it’s accessible. It’s a good story and it made sense to me. These are the ones I find less precise, less exact.
I:: What’s the benefit for you on that one? What’s the take away? How would you benefit from that?
N:: I’m not sure that I would need to benefit from that anymore, because it’s a mature business that I’m running. If you’re asking me that.
I:: Because you said it was for those interested in growth, not development, right?
I:: Karen you got the last word, you picked that one as well.
K:: I picked that one. I just think it's actually got a little bit of everything rolled in there. I think that a professional to a professional, banking professional to a business professional should be rolling a bit of every aspect of this in. Yes, you should be treated as a unique individual, because you are, and that respect should always come. They should be offering their services, that's their job. They should be on time.
I:: Okay, some of those things are…
K:: I think that whole piece, that just professionals professional. I don't need beefing up, thank you. I don't need the marketing particularly. I need a professional discussion. Just like sitting at the table with you guys is a professional discussion.
I:: Right, is that the feeling that you want when you're interacting with the bank?
K:: With the bank? Yes, I want to be treated as an equal with that person, who apparently understands my business. That's great, what you got to sell?
N:: I think that's true, I mean about the networking, that also is part of this team idea. We use foreign exchange at CIBC, as well as the US dollar stuff. It’s a similar sort of idea, but it’s expressed as a team rather than some sort of power grid.
I:: Last word, just a couple of minutes over. You have the opportunity in this room - and it does get back to senior managers, senior people at CIBC, it does get back, they do take this stuff seriously. I work with a lot of clients and they do marketing research or consumer resource, my clients do take what you say very seriously. So, here's your opportunity. I want it to be something to actually give them a piece of advice. Try to keep it positive - I'm not looking at you Chloe - it's something that would help you. And it would actually really, really help you. And it's not a little niggle, like yeah, they should be on time. It's not those kinds of little things. What is it that you would give them advice, that it would actually help. Something that you would like to see. Something a little bit powerful. Boris, is there something that you would tell us? We’ll just take a couple of minutes. You want to start, Neil?
N:: Not particularly, for 25 years or so we banked with CIBC banking and that’s changed. We started the business in 2000, but before that we were working in various jobs that involved sorts of banking that were fairly significant. The needs of banking have changed over that time, but in many ways the person who’s dealt with it stayed the same for a lot of that time. He ended up as the business banking interface, as well as the personal banking interface. That didn't actually work out in retrospect very well. So, what I would say to the senior people at CIBC, is that you really have to make sure your guys are up-to-date with the products that are on offer, and make sure they're offering them to your clients when they become available. And to be looking at your clients’ portfolios, whatever they’re managing, whether it’s accounts, whether it’s investments or whatever. Mortgages, whatever, lines of credit. And make sure they're getting the best possible rate on those things, at all times.
I:: Anybody else, Paul?
P:: I'm looking for a bank that's going to have one person I deal with, that’s going to actually save me time, make my business more efficient. And when I call them and I say, “I need a brokerage account set up.” They’re not going to tell me, “Oh, here's a contact, go talk to them.” No, no. You're my banker, you set it up, you get it done, it's your bank. So, I have one contact and I don't care whether I go to them or they come to me or I do it with them 90% of the time over the phone. But I want one person where I can call up and say, “I need information on your payroll services.” Not to be referred to five other people that may be able to give me information. I want them to say, “I know your business, I know what you need, and I will get the information for you. I'll set it up for you. I will make it done.” Consider it done after I talk to them.
I:: Any other big ideas?
Pb:: I think that if they call sometime every month or every two months to talk, first with everyone, and to hear they need it. “Pablo how are you?” “Oh, I am flying.” “If you fly so much you need maybe to change the visa to fly to receive points.” Really, you don't receive what you need because they never call to you. You don't have time to sit with them to drink, but you know if you're the person they call to you every month, every two months, “Pablo, how are you? You need something?”
I:: Okay, so be a bit more proactive. Any- any?
B:: Myself, I appreciate the change that CIBC is going through. I can notice they’re trying to improve and adjust to the markets and the technology, the branches and they look the way they do, banking. It’s good to see it, I welcome it very much. I also appreciate the fact that they call us and look for our feedback, for our opinions. I have an impression that they're still not very friendly or willing to take a risk with the small businesses.
I:: Is that from a personal perspective?
B:: From my personal. But it was a few years ago. I want to apply for a higher line of credit again. Again, the process and the time it takes to approve it. And then, I'm not going to get probably as much as I should, or I get. Maybe I’m skewed, but what I read in the papers about the banks in Canada, I'm expecting pretty much the same process as I had, say 10 years ago. I was saying, the revenue went up 30, 40%, even more 50. And our line of credit got increased only maybe by 20%, because the bank was not willing to take the risk. I think this is a problem, it's my problem, and I would expect the same.
I:: So, that’s a specific line of credit.
B:: Specific, but I think this is important. I was going to say, we're talking about this networking, I would appreciate sharing their knowledge. With, say you’re a business account, it woud be nice to brief us on how the bank sees the situation with the market, what’s going to happen.
I:: That’s interesting. Chloe, do you?
C:: I'm very similar to you, I mean their earnings are posted and they're extraordinary. Everyone expects, as business owners, for us to take risks and we do. Their risk tolerance has plummeted, while their earnings go up which of course makes sense. But then, even things like I go to the corner here and they don't have a receptionist. My bank manager has been overloaded with three other people because they've got rid of them or they've left. And so, their resources- it’s like they're spending less, they're risking less, and that we're having to spend more, and risk more.
I:: So, the risk thing is a bit complicated, but you mentioned something about their resources. DO you feel like they need to put more resources against your business?
C:: Yeah, I think yeah.
I:: Or dedicate more resources.
C::: And I think the woman I’m dealing with right now, after having been through 3 bank managers in the last year, she's got 2 other people's workload in the last year as well. So, she can't possibly manage me effectively, I don’t think.
I:: Karen, you got the last word. Any big idea?
K:: Big idea. I think at the end of the day it’s simple when you look at it from a human perspective. We’re humans, we’re unique humans. They’ve got it all right. We’re humane, we want business to business, we want a network. Then talk to us. And I get the technology is taking over and I get that it’s all very automated, I’m happy for them. We still, in the medium to small business sector, we need a personal touch.
I:: That’s it guys. Sorry I kept you guys a few minutes. That was brilliant. Thank you for helping and working through, and I know it was tough to do. I really enjoyed having you and I really appreciate your comments.
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