I = Interviewer (Sue)
S = Syndey
M = Maria
J = Joe
JA = James
P = Philip
INTERVIEW STARTS (INAUDIBLE 1:40)
I: I’ve already introduced myself, but I’ll just remind you, my name is Sue, because I don't have a name badge on. I work for a company called Fusion, Fusion Learning and Fusion Fuel, and we’re an independent marketing and market research company. We work for lots of different clients including banks, including soup manufacturers, noodle manufactures, beverages, loads of different things. We do quite a lot of pharmaceutical research for those of you who are doctors. It's a whole wide range of things that we do. What we're going to be doing today, as I’ve already mentioned to you, is we're working for a bank, it's a bank who you’ll know, and we’re looking at their position in the market. Now, all brands that you interact with all have a position in the market. What a position in the market actually is, is it's the backroom. It's like a football manager or a hockey manager. You never see them on the pitch, they direct the play. They direct the strategy, they direct the tactics. And that’s what the positioning of a brand does. The strategy might be the advertising strategy, communication strategy. The tactics might be things like cashless banking or something else. But that's what a positioning does, it drives everything that the brand does. Today we'll be looking at a brand of business banking. We’re trying to look at a new position, a refined position. You guys are going to work with me to help them develop that. To help them develop a better one, an improved one, a more up-to-date one. So that's what we will be doing. We’ll be looking at some rational ideas, we’ll be looking at some slightly less rational ideas. We’re asking to engage both your right and your left brains. To start that off… Key point, forgotten as usual. You’ll have noticed this really big mirror behind me. Got a few of my colleagues - that's it give them a wave, let's get it over and done with – see I’m good because they just see the back of my head for the most time and occasionally my backside as I bend over. It just depends, it's not always great for them. They’re watching. We're also audio recording it and video recording it. Now the audio and the video is just for me, it's not going anywhere else. It's so I can listen to you properly. Going to take the odd note but primarily I'm listening to you because I want I want to talk and discuss with you. This helps me remember when I get a load of transcribes and I read through and I think, “Oh yeah I remember, that's when Joe said this or when Phillip said this or when Sydney said this.” That makes me remember because I read really quickly. That's how we're using them, all right. Are we all okay with that? Yeah? Anything we report back you're not named, they can't identify who you are, they can’t identify your practice, they wont even necessarily identify we're about you’re from in Toronto. It's just very this is a group of professionals that we're talking to, so that's how you’ll be reported back on. Okay, righty-o, so to get going what I'd like you to do - because obviously we've got some guys at the back room, they can't see your labels and they know who I am - but we're going to do a little bit of an introduction. Say who we are, say what type of business we have, how long we’ve had it, a little bit about our relationship with our main bank, who our main bank is, what our relationship is. I'm going to kick off with this and give you an idea so you don't think, “Oh God, how am I going to remember all of this.” That's the rational stuff, the emotional side is I'd like you to think about when you were a child and think about the toy that you never got, that you really wanted. There was always something in somebody's childhood we think, “I always wanted that.” We did this earlier - I wasn't doing the earlier discussion, it was my colleague – and somebody - obviously I'm British - somebody had grown up in the UK, and they said about this toy. As soon as she described it I thought, “My God, I remember that, I never had one either.” That's what I'd like you to do. I'll kick off, give you the idea. My name is Sue. I am a market researcher. I do actually have my own business as well. Had my own business for about twelve years. I have my own business banking. It's obviously in the UK, it's a little bit different. But seriously, the challenges are exactly the same, just a different country. I have a good relationship, but I have changed. Had a business banking account with one bank, they teed me off for various reasons, so I switched about four years ago. Same as my own personal bank now. It's working very well for me on the whole. Always niggles, but on the whole. In terms of my toy. My toy that I never got was something called Tiny Tears. I don't know if you had them in Canada. It's a little baby doll, about this size. It cried, cried real tears and it peed as well. I really wanted one of these, never got one. That was my toy. Never ever got one. I always start on my left, so Sydney over to you. Off you go. Tell us a bit about yourself, what do you do, what's your business?
S: Well, basically I’ve been a practicing Dentist since 1961, 57 years. I do dental anaesthesiology. In our practice I’m the one that does most of the surgery and I also do the anaesthesia in the practice. I’ve been in same location for the last 35 years. Lived in Canada all my life, that’s 70 years. That’s it.
I: Okay, so who's your primary business banking with?
S: Right now, the primary Bank is CIBC. They have been for the last 3 years, 3 to 5 years at least.
I: And what toy did you never get as a child that you really wanted?
S: I really was never into that. I never thought about it and I can't think of anything that I didn't get that I really wanted and really needed.
I: Ah, not about need.
S: Well, I was the youngest in the family, so I was always spoiled. It was no problem.
I: Look at you Sydney. Okay, next to Sydney. Maria.
M: My name is Maria. I'm a dentist and I’ve been practicing for 33 years in the same location. My primary banking is CIBC. I had two practices before, so my other practice was Royal Bank. Then the guys I had with Royal Bank moved to CIBC. So, then it became CIBC when I sold it, so I bank now with CIBC and mainly with HSBC. But every business is with CIBC. The toy that I never got was a walking doll.
I: Memories, memories. Okay, Joe.
J: My name is Joe. I run a search company. We provide...The very simple way of putting it is that we search and file records for lawyers in the legal industry. Business documents etc. I've been running it since University, so it's been 23 years. It’s been CIBC ever since. As far as a toy. Nothing specific but I was always a fan of remote control cars, and they were always a little bit more expensive than the basic toys.
I: Brilliant. James.
JA: Family physician. I’ve been practicing since 1984. I was with CIBC from the beginning and I’m still with CIBC for all my main banking for my business. I switched a lot of my investments to BMO because my adviser switched over to BMO and took me with him. I had a good relationship with him and CIBC keeps switching their managers on you. I really don’t want to be doing my investments with different people.
I: And what about a toy. Is there a toy that you always wanted but never got?
JA: There was those sketch things, you know.
I: Yes, Etch A Sketch.
JA: Etch A Sketch, yeah. I ended up getting it later but I remember just wanting it so bad.
I: Me too, I never got one actually. Right, Phillip.
P: My name is Phillip. I’ve been a lawyer, been practicing since 1975. But really I’ve been involved in land development and corporate structures most of that time. Now I’m approaching retirement I've been using CIBC as my own personal business bank since 1979 but I've used other banks as business banks in other businesses.
I: Okay, right. That’s been really helpful. I’ve forgotten your toy, sorry.
P: Because I remember it vividly. It was a two gun holster set that I wanted when I was 9 years old for Christmas. Roy Rogers or Hopalong Cassidy or something. And Christmas has never been the same since I didn’t get that. I wrote Christmas off after that and I’ve never enjoyed it since.
P: I hate Christmas.
I: You need some good gifts.
P: It’s no problem getting gifts now, it just soured me on the whole thing.
I: Oh dear. You see deep memories, deep memories with these things. Sydney was looking.
P: I hold a grudge against Santa Clause.
I: Now do you remember when I met you, I said we're going to talk about brands and about the position of brands. What we quite often do when we talk in this way is that we send through some homework for you to do. Unfortunately, we did not have time to do that, so we're going to do it in this discussion today and it's really to get you in the right mindset. Simple as that. So that when we start talking about these positions that we’re going to look at you think, “Yeah I know what you're talking about. I'm able to split this out and work with you on that.” So, it makes it easier for you and it means we can speed through things, do things in lots of different ways. What we're going to do is we're going to break down a brand. We're going to think of a brand that means something to us in some shape or form. It can be something to do with our businesses, it can be a personal connection. It could be both. Really doesn't matter. But it's a brand that means something to you. If it means something to you, you’re able to start to split it out and analyse it. We split it out in this way, we look at who's the target for the brand. I'm going to give you an example in a minute. Who's the target? What makes the brands unique and original? Most brands that succeed have something about them that makes them unique. It might be that it was unique to begin with and now they've become a bit more mass. But there's always something there. Then, what does the brand stand for? All brands stand for something. What do they stand for? There will be a bit of crossover on some of these. You'll notice as you go through you’ll think, “That’s really similar.” Doesn't matter. What’s the brands personality? All brands have personalities. Doesn't matter if they're at financial bran, doesn't matter if they’re a consumer brand like Apple. They've all got personalities. Most of those personalities come from the advertising that you see or experience. But they have a personality. It's like thinking of the brand as a person. Then, what aspect of the brand would make you choose it over anything else? What really pulls it apart? Why would you choose it to another in its category? So, why might you choose an Apple Mac compared to something that's from Microsoft? Then, what’s the essence of the brand. Now the essence of a brand is how would you sum up this brand in one sentence. It's like a praisee of what the brand is. I have an example that somebody else has done here earlier and this is from a group like this. It's not it's not professionally copywritten, it’s not an advertising agency who has written this, it’s just somebody like yourselves who's come up with this. They chose Apple as a brand that meant something to them. I'm hoping you're not choosing Apple everyone. So, what was the target? They came up with this. The target is absolutely anybody old enough to be able to use one of their products. What makes the brand unique and original? There was nothing like it on the market when they launched. That’s what they felt. Brand personality? Lively, bubbly, respectable and trendy. What does the brand stand for? The most successful products to date, leaders in breakthrough products. That was their view. What aspect means you choose it over anything else? Reliability, that’s the one aspect they went for on this one. What's the essence? Sleek, user friendly products you trust and rely on. That was their view of what the essence of what Apple is all about. So, what are we thinking on brands? What brands would we each choose?
S: I would choose Google.
I: So, you’re going Google, brilliant. We're going to pass these out. So, Syndey is going Google. What else have we got.
JA: A big pharmaceutical company, Novo Nordisk.
I: All right, okay interesting. Looking forward to this one.
JA: It’s in my area.
I: Good. Joe what are you going for? Phillip? Still thinking? Pass this down to Maria please. So, what are you thinking? I need to know the brand before you start writing.
J: I’ll choose Lexus.
I: Lexus, right, love it. Maria, what are you going for?
I: Sandals. We’re going very luxurious here, aren't we. Like it. Sandals, Lexus…
I: Google - short term memory - Novo Nordisk. And Phillip, what are you doing?
I: We had Harley-Davidson yesterday as well. No, it doesn't matter, we've had two Volvos so far as well.
P: I could switch to Bugatti.
I: No, don’t. Stick with Harley-Davidson. Just a reminder we've got about 5-ish minutes. I don't want you to think too deeply, want gut instincts here. Who's the target? What makes the brand unique and original? What does the brand stand for? I’ll leave this here for a little just to give you some ideas. What's the brand's personality? So, if the brand was a person, if Google was a person what would they be like. What aspect of the brand would make you choose this over another? Why choose Google over another search engine for instance? What is the essence, how would you sum up the very essence of what Google is or what Harley-Davidson is? So, just give you five minutes.
PREPARATION 17.30 …. 21.15
I: Right, Google. Tell me about Google. Who's the target?
S: Target is everyone.
I: Everyone? Has everyone always been the target of Google, do you think?
S: I think so because it's just… even the word itself you’re focusing in on it. I find it an honest and instantly informative product.
I: What makes the brand unique and original?
S: The thing that to me makes it unique is if you want instant knowledge, if something happened a half hour ago you go on Google, it's there. It's amazing. Just amazing. Anything in the news. If something happened anywhere all of sudden. If you want to google it, you’ll find out it’s right there. It's just amazing.
I: I think in you’ve already mentioned some of its personality, but just reminders of what you think the personality is.
S: Well, I think it's honest information. Gives you honest information, without going into their opinions above it. I’ll give you an example. I wanted to know why is one fella by the name of Booker - I watch all the politics of from the States - and this fella Kavanagh is running for the Supreme Court judge, or justice. There’s one guy Booker's who’s from the Democratic Party and he's being thinking (INAUDIBLE 22:39) ) himself, actually. And I put it in, just for fun, I said, “Why is this fella Booker such an a-hole when it comes to the discussions about Cavanaugh, whether he should or should not become the next Supreme Court judge in the United States?” So, they change it and they do it very nicely. Immediately the day that I asked the question was the day I was listening to the news about him. And they call him a jerk and said that he was (INAUDIBLE 23.09) . And then they said, “Yeah this guy was a jerk because.” And they gave you a whole praisee of it. I thought it was really quite good.
I: Okay. What's the essence then? What's the essence of Google? If you had to sum it up in a sentence?
S: Google to me, it's like instant knowledge. It’s just amazing how fast it is. And in my field - I do specialty of the dentistry called anaesthesiology - and patients come into my office, I do a lot of surgery, and have to do an update on their medications and their drugs. I just Google a drug in. I used to keep a huge pharmacopeia, an American one, a Canadian one in case it was an American patient. Just go on Google they know everything. It's unbelievable, they'll tell you all about the drug see. They'll tell which drugs, the symptoms, the interactions, what you can and can't use with it. Your knowledge is all there. It's like having a library on your computer. That's Google to me.
I: Good stuff, good stuff. Now hard bar to reach here guys. Good summary there, thank you. Right, I am going to choose a luxury brand next and I've got 3 to choose from. Lexus, I do like a Lexus car, so come on. Just read them through. Obviously remind me of what we're talking about. It is who is the target.
J: So, for target I would say executives, young families and sports car enthusiasts. The uniqueness is its quality, the performance, and the luxury aspect of the car or the vehicles. And the brand stands for, I mean this is one of their tag lines, but pursuit of perfection. That sums it up to me. Personality I would say is just the overall quality of the product.
I: So, if you had to imagine Lexus is a person, what sort of person would they be?
J: Sophisticated, clean-cut, well-dressed.
I: What about the essence?
I: The summation of what the brand is.
J: I said vehicles that satisfy people who enjoy the driving experience.
I: Okay, brilliant. Right let's go as a total contrast. Let's have Novo Nordisk now. How many of you are familiar with them? It's a pharmaceutical firm basically.
JA: Yeah, it's a pharmaceutical firm and basically the target for this firm is the diabetic patient. I mean all kinds of diabetes things. Initially it was just insulin but lately they’ve come up with some great new products. What makes their product unique? They’re specialists in diabetes. What does the brand stands for? Unique and top of class products. Personality? Versatility, professional type of company.
I: I'm going to play devil's advocate here. What if I were to compare… Just remind me of the personality. What did you say the personality? Professional and…
I: Okay. So, what if I were to say GSK for instance, as a as a comparator pharmaceutical company. How would their personality be different?
JA: Professional. But yeah, I guess they're professional as well. But they’re specialists in asthma.
I: Ah, we’re not talking about why they’re unique, we’re talking about what makes them different for a personality. Because they will have a different personality, they will be different. And you'll get a different sense of them. So, try and think how that might be different for Novo Nordisk. See you thought you'd chosen an easy one here, didn’t you?
JA: Their reps are very friendly, so it gives you a friendly sort of feeling for the company. And it’s also a… I think it's a company that’s private still. So, that's why they have a lot more from friendly attitude towards a physician.
I: What's the essence?
JA: The essence is easy to use, safe and effective products.
I: Thank you. Right, let's go Harley-Davidson now.
P: Target? Male and female, 30 to 60. Affluent or just able to afford the payments. People with a self-described sense of adventure. The brand’s uniqueness? It’s been an industry leader for 100 years. The cruisers style motorcycles with the essence on - certainly it's not their emphasis but it's their image – of sort of a bad boy image.
I: So tell us about the personality. What's the personality of the brand?
P: The personality brand is Marlon Brando in The Wild One. That’s what the bike is. Although he doesn't ride a Harley-Davidson, he rides a Triumph in the movie. He created an image that still exists today. Whether you're in a motorcycle gang and you’re living that life or you're a dentist who's off on Saturday for a ride in the country and has got a cut-off jacket and he’s got a headband and stuff. It’s that image that everyone is living up to.
I: So, what's the essence? What's the essence of what Harley-Davidson is?
P: It’s strength and power. It’s muscle.
I: Excellent. Right, Maria. Finishes us off for it.
M: Okay, so my brand is Sandals. What’s the target? Family and adult, who wants to have a great holiday. And then the brand uniqueness? It's unique that it’s created Sandals foundation itself, it didn’t pocket all the money, and then give it back to the poor of the countries where they're present. Because I just came back from their foundation. What does it stand for? It’s strength, it’s uniqueness, and it’s integrity. It gives you what it says.
I: Personality? What’s its personality then?
M: The personality. Once you say Sandals everybody will say, “Oh, that's expensive. Oh, it's going to be romantic. Oh, it's going to be good service.” My first time in Sandals and yes I would say so.
I: Anything else? Do you think anything else about the personality based on what else you’ve said?
M: Based on personality?
I: Yeah, what are the personalities? Because you've said what you expected, and you saw that. But in terms of what you said about the brand that's unique, you said quite different things about what’s unique. How does that impact on its personality?
M: It's the giving back that other hotels never did.
I: What does that give to the personality, do you think?
M: They give their heart into it. Yes, they take cheap land and develop it; but in the same token they return to the people what's there.
I: Brilliant. Give us the essence then. What's the essence? Your summation of what Sandals is.
M: It's a great management to give back all the countries where sandals are in.
I: Okay, lovely. Thank you very much that's been hugely useful for me, and I hope for you. So, we're now going to move down onto business banking. So, we're going to spend the next hour and 3 quarters roughly, I think I've got the timings right, looking at CIBC business banking. Your all customers so we're going to focus on CIBC. We’re going to look at business banking because that’s what you all do as well. First things first I'll take that, I’ll get the other ones from you in a minute.
PREPARATION 31.40… 31.52.
I: What I've got here, I've got two potential positioning. This isn't what they are at the moment, this is how they might like to be. So, position in the market. If you remember this is our soccer manager, he's off the field driving the brand with strategy and tactics. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to give you each a copy of these and I'd like you to lie them next to each other and I want us to do the hot cold exercise. Basically, what you’ve noticed, you've got some coloured pens. Red is for hot blue is for cold. When you read through some of these words will engage you. You’ll think, “Yeah, actually, I relate to that I connect to that.” Some of them wont.
JA: Are we looking at individual words or individual paragraphs?
I: It can be paragraphs, it can be words, it can be sentences. It’s what grabs you or doesn’t. If there are words there or sentences or content that you think, “That is so not right for me.” Now, think in the context of you and your businesses, but you and your businesses are as one. It's both a personal and a business response. Some of these things you’ll think, “That is so not me and it's so not right for my business.” You might think some things are cheesy. If it's cheesy but there's something behind it that you like the look of put it in red. But if you don't like it put it in blue. You might be the, “I can take it or leave it I'm fine with it either way.” Just leave it as it is. The reason we do the comparative next to each other is that sometimes you look at something and you'll have a quite strong reaction, but then you look at something else you think, “Yeah actually, maybe this is just as strong.” So, it's quite good to have them next to each other. It's also quite a quick way of doing it. I’ll hand you out these. Red is good, it’s hot. Blue is cold. That's the way I tend to think about. You can mark as you go, everybody works slightly differently, some people like to read and then mark others read and mark. So, we have about… and can you also give each one a score out of 10, and it's how much it engages with you and your business. Think about the concept behind not just the words when you’re giving it a score out of ten.
M: It says the second part here, ‘My manager just moved to a different banking.’ So, I don't know whether I'm supported still because she moved a month ago.
I: This isn't current. This is what they want to be like in the future. And they might not go these routes because this is the whole point of doing this work with guys like you, is to understand what's working, should they go in this direction or should they go in another direction.
I: Don't forget the score out of 10.
S: How do we do that, sorry?
I: Score out of 10 is how much does this overall idea engage you.
J: We write the score on here? Sorry, you probably said that.
I: Yes please. I probably didn’t, actually. It's a good clarification.
P: When you say score out of 10? Each one of these?
I: Yes please. No, the whole thing. You've got two options there, number 3 and number 5. What would you give number 3, what would you give number 4? So, it’s an overall concept really. Then we’ll have a little chat through them. I can see some differences certainly between the two of them.
I: We are going to start with Pro-to-Pro. Call me out some numbers, what have we scored it out of 10.
I: Quite a difference then. So, you were 6. You were 5, weren’t you Phillip? Maria and James, tell me what you like about it. What have you highlighted in red? I can see some blue on Maria’s as well, but let's go the red first. Specifically, what really caught you with one?
JA: I like the fact that they mention the team sport; you’re part of a team and trying to get the best out of your business and yourself. ‘We go beyond traditional banking’, because banks are usually very limited in what they’re willing to do and what kind of products they’re willing to sell. I want them to help me run my business and efficiently grow it; and my wealth as well, the fact that they engage several specialists. You have your regular business advisor for your bank and bank account; you have investment specialist; tax advisers, the geniuses, because you can make interest but then if you get taxed to death on interest it’s not worth it for some people. So, you want to make it efficiently. And then, wealth management, how do you put your money into places so you’re going to end up having something at the end. So, it gives you an overall thing and traditionally CIBC doesn't do that. That’s why I’m using the other services of BMO.
I: Any blue on there for you, James?
JA: No, I liked everything. And their final line, ‘The ultimate team to help you shine.’ I like that line.
I: Joe and Maria. You both gave it good high scores, but I know you've got some blue on there. What didn't work for you on this particular one, Joe and Maria.
I: Right so what didn’t you like, Joe and Maria, because I can see a bit of blue.
J: I just pick out key words. Like A-team, cheesy. Tax geniuses.
I: Same thing, cheesy?
J: Not cheesy but I mean, is anyone really a genius in the tax world? I mean it’s ever changing, there's so many tricks.
I: Okay, so credibility on that one.
J: Wealth management masters, I don't like the word masters. I don’t like client captain.
I: It's that last paragraph isn't it, bar the tagline.
J: Like, ‘All led by a client captain.’ I've never heard that term before. It makes you sound like you're going be… if it's a client captain you’re grouped in with a bunch of other clients. I like, ‘The ultimate team to help you.’ But I don’t like ‘shine’.
I: What do the rest of you guys think about that last tagline? ‘The ultimate team to help you shine.’ What do we think about that?
M: Well, I had a very good relationship with them since I started dentistry in 1985. All the managers I got really helped me shine. There was good succession, and each succession it was led by the ((INAUDIBLE 45.03)). When the other one got promoted, this one really knows me already. Which is not possible with Royal Bank.
I: So, this idea works for you?
M: Yes. I had that good, but I had a fall down with Gundy, which is their brand. When he had a personal issue, we were doing so well and then he just dropped out for some reason And then a new one and then everything fell. So, I had to transfer, now.
I: And I see you’ve got blue on the same section that Joe had, in terms of that third paragraph down. In terms of something about experts in their area, business to personal banking. Tell me a bit about that.
M: Well, after that incident I kind of didn't trust them anymore.
I: But we're looking to the future here. So, not what's happening now. How do you feel about that idea, that concept that you've marked in blue for the future? Do you think that's the right way for them to go?
M: To be complete will be because that's why I'm with HSBC. For the very concept that everything, the lawyers there, the financials there, everything is laid down to me on where do I want to go okay.
I: Well, let's have a look…
P: What’s this, I’ve completely mucked this up. I can tell you what I…
I: Briefly just take me through it, Phillip, so I can make sense of it later.
P: Pro-to-pro, I agree with the first paragraph. The rest of it I think is just blowing their horn. I don't think there's CIBC or basically any bank is there with an idea that they're going to make you wealthier before they’re going to make themselves wealthier. So to me a bank that says it's there for you - and this applies to all banks - is they're there for the bank and you’re collateral.
I: Going back to that very first paragraph, we've got a line here that says, ‘For you to perform at your best you need people on your team that are the best at what they do.’ So, what is your - based on the fact that you're not too happy with what followed - what's your expectation to fulfil that? How do they have a team that's the best at what they do? What's your expectation from that?
P: I don’t have an expectation from the bank to manage my business better than I can manage it.
I: Why do you like that first paragraph?
P: Because I agree with the sentiment. Being in business is a team sport and having the best people you can have work with you is definitely an advantage. I have to say over the years of business I’ve been in, there have been some stand out bankers. Not necessarily CIBC. There's been some standouts and there’s been a lot of dregs. I don’t look to them for business advice.
I: We’re going to come back to that. Real-world experience. Okay, tell me about real-world experience. I can see a 3 over here from Sydney, what else have we got what are the numbers that we've got out of 10. Another 10, okay so this is some little differences.
J: I’d give it a 9.
I: James, what have you got?
JA: I’d give it a 3. Sydney and James are on a par here.
I: I’m going to ask Joe first this time because you’ve given it a 9. And then we’ll do one of the 3s and get the real comparison.
J: Going to the images, I like this image, I like the real-world experience. This one to me is more personal.
I: What specifically makes it personal for you?
J: Well, that that one line; ‘Some things you only really get when you struggle with them yourself.’ If I can speak to someone that's going through the same path they're going through the same struggles I think there's going to be a lot more in common, a lot more. And if their specialties in their banking field, they may tell me things that I'm not aware of that the bank does have to offer. So again, and then the second paragraph, ‘Truly understand the something you have to have been there and done.’ So, someone that has gone through your experience, or is going through your experience. Experience that counts, that goes without saying. And they know what matters for your type of business. Mine is a very niche business so that would be a huge asset if there was someone that was familiar with it or that's actually been in the business themselves, that would be very, very useful.
I: And what doesn't work for you, out of this one? Is there any blue on there?
J: Maybe I'm reading into the words too much but, ‘Most banks offer their expertise but really they are just lightweights in expensive suits.’ It makes it sound cheesy. I’m sure people feel that way but I just didn’t like that line.
I: James, I'm going to go to you first for 3, and I can see a lot of blue. Really only blue. But there's some white in there as well obviously. Tell me why it’s not working for you, explain to me.
JA: It’s too vague. It doesn't tell you anything. Some things you only really get when you struggle with them yourself, does that mean that the manager has struggled with that himself somehow, they've fallen and they've been a loser and now they've learnt. You don't want to end up falling and being a loser and then learning. I want to be one way over and I want somebody who knows what they’re doing, I don't want losers teaching me what to do because our visit, the professors they're not just suits, what does that mean, you know it's too big; it's like there's nothing there. They've been there, they've done it and gained experience that counts, they just say they have experience they've been trained really well just be exact in what you say and then real-world experience for real-world business. Again very vague, that sounds like mother nature's thing, sounds good, but what's in it? I just find that this one tells me nothing. I don't know what to expect from the bank.
I: I’m gonna get you to do some work on this one, I think that would be quite good. So quickly Sydney, tell me a little bit about why you’ve given it a three. I can see some red…
S: I agree with a lot of the stuff that James said. Basically most of what he said I agree with. It’s a little bit too flighty, it’s not really pointed in on what you’re doing. They’re trying to be a good guy for everybody and I really think they should be more professional about it. Not as flighty as they are.
I: You've got some red flag there though, so what was appealing to you? Was it that second paragraph?
S: I like the part about the business banking. The fact that you have to have been there and done it. I like that idea. But I don't like the idea where they’re telling you they’re specialising in farmers field, in courtroom surgery. It can’t be everything to everybody.
I: If we’re sort of relating to this idea of you have to have been there to have done it,to understand, to worry about it, how can we make that make sense for you guys, relating to the statement,what's the expectation?
S: I don't think they really know what they're talking about as far as they haven't been there. They’re just giving you their thoughts on the average, what they're looking; at the average situation to give me your thoughts or they're trying to make you think the way they think.
JA: There’s got to be managers that just do dentists so they’re going to be really good at that, and doctors. But they’re not going to do that.
I: What if they did?
JA: You might feel a little more secure that you know more about what's happening because we said you've got those tax changes through Trudeau where they screwed up our corporations, took away a lot of the benefits and so if that person really knows and they have the tax managers to help us with how our investments should shift now that would be beneficial. but that would be another step and I don't think they're willing to do it.
I: I’m going to charge you two cynics with getting this slightly improved, so I'm going to put James and Sidney and Maria together; Joe and Philip together, and you're both going to work on one of these ideas. We're going to do a number of exercises which are breaking it down a bit and building it back up again. It's by doing this, it helps me really understand where you're coming from and how it's the guys that I then feedback to, hopefully develop something that will work for everyone. So we're going to be a bit active; so getting on our feet, so real world experience was James, Sydney and Maria - this one over here. Then Philip and Joe are going to be working on this one over here. So what we're going to be doing as the first thing is think of an essence for this. So you're going to be doing it for yours and you’re going to do it for this one. So looking at this conceptual idea of how CICB can position themselves in the market. What’s the essence of the idea, the summation of the idea? So that's the first thing, I’m going to give you about five minutes.
Then just write it on, we’ve got loads of other exercises.
Now, once we’ve got the essence which I know you’re basically there, I want you to think about who the target is.
So we're going to do next when Joe gets back, is we're going to just present back to each other. So just take each other through what we've done- the two teams are going to just take us through what you've done, how you changed some things and why. Then we're going to do a similar but shorter exercise with two more options. I think we will start with Sydney, Maria and James taking us round through this; and then Philip and Joe can do the other one once he gets back. So I'm going to ask you to come back in over here, I’ll tell you what to do with these in a minute.
Come on Sydney, let's get involved. So we've got real world experience. So first things first you tell me what you made the essence for this one, for real-world experience?
JA: The summary was that CIBC would provide managers specialising in your specific area; will be able to connect us to appropriate advisers.
I: Who was the target of this real world experience ideal concept?
S: We based it as new business, because everything was experience; that they have not been there and now it will be there, so we said it’s for new business.
I: So for new businesses. So when we say new business are we talking six months, a year or real start-up?
JA: Could be up to 6 months to a year, rolling, to get the feel for things; so up to possibly a year.
I: Just to summarise, new business is the target for real world experience. The essence is: CIBC will provide managers specialising in your specific area that will be able to connect us to appropriate advisors. Now take us through the reasons why, what have you gone for and why is it important to you three.
JA: I like this idea of bringing peak speakers in, who know about our field.
I: The Business Academy.
S: “We only hire business banking advisors that have had previous business experience”; so you can be confident that the advice that they offered is based on the real world.
I: So that for you really talks. So that's the Business Veterans, what else have we got there?
JA: The industry specialist which is what the essence was. You try to get people with specialist professional experience; legal, medical, accounting, agriculture, etc whatever the area is so they’ll understand your industry.
I: Does that experience mean that they would have to have been a physician for example or a dentist?
JA: It would deal with lots of auditions (INAUDIBLE 1:25:291)
S: This one here would really drive you or anyone.
I: Smart Banking For Business. Why was that?
S: It’s just simple, and real-time data of your business helps you make smart decisions on the go; for example, (INAUDIBLE 1:25:57) and safe to spend, an indication that helps you avoid cash flow headaches.
I: What I’d like you to do now is give this based on these changes; I’d like you to give it another score out of 10. It might still be the same score, that's fine.
Joe and Philip are going to take us through this one now. This is Pro To Pro. So what is the essence?
P: We thought this was just too wordy and this was more me than Joe, but the idea that you're exceptional at what you do is condescending. That was my perspective.
J: I like the compliment to lead you with; saying that they know you’re a pro and that they know you know what you're doing.
I: What do you think of the more casual language; as you know you’re a pro, is that better than saying you’re exceptional?
P: I don’t like superlatives like that.
I: OK, we’ll move on.
P: Then we took this out, ‘your advice and your expertise to help them’, because you're targeting the business decision making.
I: Tom is the business decision maker; just read out that essence.
P: We know your business and we can make it better, but as we were saying this decision maker could be a single person in business, but the people depending on this could be family members.
I: So it could be much wider.
J: You’re the leader, they depend on you.
I: What’s our tag line?
J: I was saying to Phil, maybe it doesn’t lead in to each other because it’s saying people depend on you - but I read it back to myself and he read it, and it does work. People depend on you but being in business is a team sport; they depend on you, but they're depending on you and your team.
J: You don't want to take all the credit, you want to be in a team.
I: What have you done to the tag line for this one?
P: The use of the word ‘ultimate’, like exceptional is just too(INAUDIBLE 1:31:44) We both didn’t like the word shoving.
I: “The team to help you with your success!”, or help better your success. “What have we come for in terms of what it has to offer to make this live for you.” Shall I read them, and then you can tell us why? So we've got: “Our A team includes”, then a whole list of potential inclusions. We've got Personalised Growth Plan and we've got Timings Promise. Is there any sort of rank order on that or are they of equal importance, those three?
P: I don’t think there was any rank to it.They all support each other but timing is important, you're promising that you’re gonna get things done when you say you’re gonna do it. Personalised growth plan- that was sort of collateral, it’s not something that is going to appeal to everyone in this but then the other offers shows you what services we’re offering. That's the team of pro’s, what they can bring to the table.
I: Remind me, how did that A team work? Was that a good description of the A-team?
P: I don’t like the term A team. The team of guys that can help you in specific areas.
P: The one thing that isn't mentioned here that I think is very important that I like about CICB is the same people are there for years whereas my wife deals with a bank, the royal bank for instance, they change their staff every six months it seems to me. So that’s what I like about CIBC and also BMO, mainly CIBC. The fact that the same people are there and they know your stuff and you know who you’re dealing with they're not changing all the time.
M: They’ll use the vice to be the manager because he's been there and knew you; then the other ones promoted, then he goes in. He knows you already, there’s no explanation.
I: Some of that might come in for some other ideas before we go so keep that in your head. Score out of 10 for this now.
If I had to ask each one of you what is it that really engages you with this now, you’re really liking this so far… so what is it about, if you had to just give one thing?
P?: Simple and succinct. It’s to the point.
I: What is that point?
P?: It’s explaining it to you in a very simple way, taken out all the sugar coating.
J?: For me the image it says it all.
I: Let’s start talking through them. We can talk through each and you can chime in. We'll do Power of our Network first; so this team here seem to really like this one.
JA?: I like this one I like the way that this particular part of it with the bone of the business on your back, you’ve got to where you are through grit determination basically. the whole concept of doing things on your own and the bank being able to help you with that and supporting, knowing that this is what you're trying to do and having the idea that give me the expertise when you need it but knowing that you did it on your own. I like that.
I: We’re going to compare and contrast over here because you’ve got we’ve got one in the blue one and I know you said that you like the rest of it, theres quite a lot of blue one.
P: We didn’t like the grit/determination.
I: Why didn't you two?
J: That’s beyond the point. We're in business, we need a bank that understands our business. I don’t need to be told, you had that training you did a great thing. It’s nice but it doesn't speak to me at all.
I: Tell us a bit more, why does this speak to you or what is it about it that speaks to you.
I think it's thoughts that people might have said like why shouldn't you expect the same thing as far as customers choose to you. I don't know this one just stood out the message is much more clear. This one is promising the world, a network connecting to the world, it doesn't really speak to the day-to-day grind whereas this what I think does. They’re gonna tailor their services to meet your needs.
JA: I agree with that too. In a small business, like we have, you don’t need all those connections, it’s not like we're (INAUDIBLE 1:49:33) connections all over the world and the united states. It’s too big and it doesn’t apply to me.
P: We thought that the bigger the network wasn’t as important it was the better the network was but you gotta make better connections as opposed to bigger connections.
I: So you guys, what did you like about As Unique As You Are? I know you said the whole thing but also you've pulled out some of the specifics there.
JA: Our businesses are unique and they are unique because of us. You make your business what it is because of yourself and that's true.
J?: That line stood out for me too.
JA: We want to be your bank, We know what makes you and your business special and then we apply ourselves. That’s what they’re saying there.
I: We are nearly there. A couple more exercises.I'm giving you six stars, you do get to vote now you can use all the stars, you can use them all on one of them you can use them spread across so up to you.
So we've got three on peer to power your ambitions we've got experts we've got skills exchange so they're all quite highly rated. Then we've got start strong with one, who put start strong? That was you that's because it's new businesses. We had a reject on CIBC smart banking for business, the dashboard and then nobody chose knowledge network right tell me why you didn't go for those at all because nobody chose.
M?: It was boring.
I: That was the Knowledge Network.
M?: Sometimes you don't want to be pushed that high, because your competitors do; you kind of say, “Okay, I don't care”. It’s how much you want to rest and how much you want to work.
I: So on these ones that you've got three; on which one does power your network have to have? If they could only do one of these three things which would it be for you guys?
S?: I like this one here; Skill exchange.
I: Sydney and Maria have gone for Skill Exchange. What about you James?
I: Looking at as Unique As You Are, what have you gone for? So we've got three stars on your plan, we've got three stars on continuity team and we’ve only got two on whole view. What is it about continuity team and your plan that you both like?
J: I like the yearly review. It’s unique, specific to your needs. That’s interesting because sometimes at the bank people leave so if you have a team of people that are assigned to you, I like that.
I: Yeah continuity team, and whole view, why did you go for that one?
J: They’ll discuss things with the account managers, they know my business and personal requirements, I have both there and sometimes I want to take funds from my personal and put into my business and vice versa or maybe somewhere else. They know what’s there.
I: How do the rest of you feel about this idea of business and personal banking working together. Who else has personal and business together?
JA: I have my accounts in the same place but I don’t usually mix them because it’s too confusing.
I: Do you have the same advisor?
I: So very separate. Do you think that’s a good thing/bad thing? Would you like to have them together? How would it work?
S?: I like it better, CIBC is very good for business and BMO is good for personal stuff.
I: James, what are your thoughts?
JA: I’m just thinking it through. The truth is in BMO I have the same guy looking after my private and business investments and I think it works even better that he does both.
I: So you’ve got a bit of both going on.
JA?: I keep my investments separate in both my business and personal accounts are obviously separate accounts for tax reasons. It's nice, I can go make a deposit and then I can talk to the same tellers, you know what I need some cash cause I’m doing a home renovation, so dealing with the same teller that's addressing your business needs as well as what’s going on in your personal life, getting cash for whatever situation it, means I can mix personal and business but obviously the accounts are always separate. You can talk to them about your personal needs as well as your business needs.
I: How’s your set up Maria?
M: Business and personal are together but I have two personal. One my secretary takes money there puts money there on all my real estate investment but the personal is an HSBC and IG.
I: That is a bit different. Just before we move on to our virtually (INAUDIBLE 2:01:39) task, which of these do you have to have to make as unique as you are work, do you think? If we could only do one of these, nothing else, which one would it have to be?
So you go for continuity team. Ok.
P?: I do like the (INAUDIBLE 2:02:08) , exactly what you want and pay exactly what you want. That you can get unique to your business.
I: The flexible bankers and charges. Great.
We have got four options here; As Unique As You Are, the Power Of Our Network and we’ve got the two that we worked on for a bit longer, in terms of Pro To Pro and Real World Experience. I’d like you to go round, refresh your memories and I’d like you to give one vote in terms of… I want you to put a heart on which one you’d really like to go with in terms of what engages you most, what would work with you and your business the most of the four things. On the heart I want you to write why. I'm not going to ask you about it I'm just going to see what we've got but I do want you to write on the heart why.
S: Does it have to be directly related?
I: No not at all; if you think there's something else that’s really pertinent, you know what we're trying to do, so it's over you.
JA: In family practice, an issue is continuity of care, and continuity of care is provided by IVF family physician that is responsible for a patient and usually a patient stays with them forever. The problem with banks is that they switch managers and you have a relationship with a person and they're gone and you have another person and you don’t trust them. They don’t know what your goals are, they’re new they don’t know you etc. So rather than switching managers, the problem with keeping the same manager is that you become so loyal to the manager if he leaves you leave. That's an important thing for us so switching managers too quickly like every two years or every year won’t work. I think you should have the same account manager for at least five years.
P?: I’ve had to say one for seven years but they don’t often do that.
I: Joe, have you got a piece of advice?
J: Simply I would just get the account manager, the staff, whoever it is, whoever you're dealing with, get them to know your business. If they can do market research on your business and get better to answer questions about your business or what you should do. Have them understand your business.
JA: Maybe have specialists working in different areas on that.
S?: Keeping the same staff you’re used to dealing with. I like the idea somebody brought up that if somebody is an assistant and work with the assistant he jumps up to that position, you don't bring somebody in from another branch to take over and knows nothing above your business and you're going through the whole thing all over again.
J?: The only problem is the world we live in today; I have a hard time, every time I get someone with enough knowledge and experience built up they're gone. The next opportunity is waiting. It’s hard to hold on to people.
S: The (INAUDIBLE 2:10:28) syndrome. The CIBC manager who stole 12 million dollars from his branch because he had too much freedom so they started moving people around. I have a big complaint about the downsizing of local branches and taking away teller services because I have two of them near my office and I can't deal with either one of them anymore because I have a trust account that can't be dealt with through online banking or automatic tellers. I have to have a teller and also with these new information centres, every time I walk in the door maybe two, three times a month, four times a month to do something, it's a different person and they don't have a clue what it is I want to do. I went in the other day just to get a U.S. money order, 45 minutes later I'm still sitting at his desk as he's trying to figure it out.
I: So what would your piece of advice be based on what you've just said?
S?: Stop taking away teller efficiencies and teller services.
M: I agree with him completely. All the facts, the service I got all these 33 years.
I: Based on that, what would your piece of advice be?
M: To continue what they did to me. The assistant becomes the manager and then he move somewhere then this one gets this, then this one gets this.
I: A cycle of continuity.
M: Yes. The hard thing is that if the manager leaves and brings the others in a different institution you’re dead, because the next one will not know you.
I: Sydney, I think you were going to say something?
S: I basically I really don't like the idea that you're talking to a machine as opposed to speaking to people, it really makes a big difference you feel much more relaxed much more secure when you're talking to somebody as opposed to doing something automatically; which is what I'm trying to do- get rid of the tellers and you go in and do everything without talking to anybody again and they don't know who you are when you walk into a bank- that's my wife's biggest complaint with her bank.
JA: It’s personalised service. My BMO guy, I can call him now, I can text him and say help me, how much can I put in my grandsons RESP and he’ll get back to me within about two hours. You have their cell and you can communicate, otherwise you put a message with you wait for their call and he’s out at a meeting and we'll call you back later and it never gets done I could text them and they’ll answer.
J: Is that because you have your personal stuff with him, is it the same guy?
JA: He take care of my investing and everything.
M: I remember buying a Rolex in Hong Kong and my Visa is active there; I texted him and I said I need this much, and he said 24 hours Maria, tomorrow you’ll get it. That’s how it was.
S?: I have one more thing to say about diminishing tellers. To me Canadian chartered banks have a special privilege, and they have provided job opportunities for thousands and thousands of people who have come out of school. They've gone into the bank system, they started at teller level and they move up. We're losing so many jobs in this country through automation and offshore management; this is an important loss of the jobs for our young people. To me it’s un-Canadian.
I: Thank you very much for your time. Two and a half hours is a long time, I know. You’ve been great, frankly, in terms of your participation; really appreciated. I suggest you all go away and have a beer or some wine or some gin or something and enjoy your evening. I shall take some pictures of your work.
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