File: “10264_September 13, 2018_2pm ”


SKIP BACK/FORWARD


I = Interviewer (Aldo)

 

B = Briana

 

C = Christina

 

G =  Geoff

 

S = Sahak

 

Si = Sari

 

V = Bill

 

 

I::  Hi, How’s it going?

S:: Well, how are you?

I::  Good. Oh boy, we’re going to have to mix you guys up, way sooner than I was gonna. It’s ok, you know what, it might happen that I’m gonna put you in teams at some point, so I might split it there. I’ve been doing this for 25 years, and it happens so often, that we get the gender gap. Thanks for coming. Alright. My name is Aldo, and I’m going to be moderating. Has anybody ever done something like this before? Anybody been in a focus group? Briana? What was it about? What was the topic?

B:: Cheese

I::  OK, great. Was it for Kraft?

B:: It was for Boursin. The one commercial really ((INAUDIBLE 00:00:47))

I::  OK, who else has been on one of those things?

S:: My one was about cars.

I::  Cars?

G:: I was on one. You know what, I should know which...

I::  Don’t worry about it.

G:: It was 5 or 6 years ago and they used the little guy with the top hat.

I::  It’s the RBC are they?

G:: Yeah. It was RBC, and it was to decide on the commercial. We sort of did pick the guy they ended up depicting.

I::  Okay, so its your fault then, Geoff. We’ll blame you! So for folks that haven't been to one of those things, really you don't have to have experience it's one of those places where it's good to have a mix of people that kind of into these things that know how it works, and folks that are kinda new to it as well. Anyway, just to tell you a little bit about this. but they call this thing focus groups or discussion groups. I’m a moderator. Some people call me a facilitator, and my job is basically to get a discussion going. I'm going to be showing you some stuff. Some ideas. It’s about business banking. So we're, as you’d probably guess there would have been a banking study that we're doing, a project that we're doing. So I’m going to be showing you some ideas, and getting you're getting your opinions. And opinions are really important to us, and real important to the people in the back, too. So a little bit about this room, is that it's… they build these boardrooms for people to be recorded interviews so, that’s the mirror you see in the cop shows right? Why don’t you wave! There’s a few people back there, and more people may be coming as the session goes on. You can’t see them.

S:: Big Brother is watching?

I::  Big brother! That's the way it is!  Those things are microphones, hanging from the ceiling, picking up our voices, and there’s the digital camera there. The reason for…They have these rooms all across the country, and the reason they do it, is so that people can hear and see what you're saying. You're going to be up there, doing some stuff on the flip charts. But also the recording is more for folks like me who have to write a report. This is my favourite part of the job, is talking to people. I get to meet people from all walks of life. And one of my least favourite things are to actually write the report. And for me to write the report, I can't conduct the discussion. I can't be writing notes. It's kind of rude. Christina’s saying something, and I’m writing notes, right? So I go back, and I review. I actually watch these again and we write the report from there, okay? Is everybody cool with that? They would have told you that you’d be filmed and stuff, so the stuff’s kept confidential. Im not going to ask you anything super-confidential, more personal. Like I said earlier. When we write the reports we don't put anybody's name on it. We may quote somebody that says something really interesting but we never attach anything to it. So you never see any of yourselves on YouTube, or any other social media, okay? We know what that’s like these days too, right? Is that good? Is everybody good with that? Okay so let me let me dig right before we do and I want to get to know you a little bit. You guys are similar in some ways, that you're also business owners. So the mind-set today is more about your business mind-set. What’s important for you and your business. What’s important for you and your business, versus like the cheese one, or a personal one, okay. That being said if there is something that is personal and it’s relevant also to your finances you can bring that in as well. So put your business/banking hat on today, okay? I’m going to go around the room, and get you to say your first name out loud, cause they cant read the label with the tag from there, and tell me what kind of business you have, how long you’ve been in business, that kind of stuff. You are, sir?

S:: My first name is spelled as S-A-H-A-K

I::  You don’t pronounce the E, its Sahak? And that’s the way I’m going to write it, cause otherwise Ill pronounce it Sahad.

S:: We are in carpet sales and cleaning services. It’s a very old firm.

I::  How long?

S:: Since 1906. I wasn’t around then.

I::  I was going to say, you look pretty good for 113!

S:: Turns out I got involved in the 3rd generation. So, I started working there 22 years ago. We do service, all kinds of hand-woven Persian rugs, all other kinds of rugs, and also we sell them.

I::  You sell them as well?

S:: Fine Persian rugs. (INAUDIBLE 00:05:46) We do also in part with our furniture team. They do home cleaning.

I::  How big a company? How many employees do you have?

S:: We vary from Summer, Fall, Christmas time, busy, 35. It goes down to 25 after Christmas. Well, in fact, after 3rd week of January till Easter.

I::  Everyone wants a clean their place for the holidays, eh? You are, sir?

G:: I'm Geoff with a G. And what I am is a kitchen designer. So obviously I design kitchens, I sell kitchens, but kitchens are. So many facets to kitchens, now, because basically I end up almost the personal shopper for the client, or the architectural or designer. They not only select cabinets, appliances, countertops, lighting, flooring. I often end up doing other room because it’s cabinetry and wetbar, the family rooms ,the bathrooms, and the price tag is as insane as the price of real estate. I always say to a client, it's funny they can buy a Mercedes, and think nothing of spending a $100,000 on, and they find out in their kitchens going to be more than double the price of their car, but yet their house they bought was like $7 million, and their car depreciated 20% when they drove off the lot.. And then they’re going to get a new one in three years time. And…but it's really interesting, but you end up playing part psychologist.

I::  Yeah, because it’s not a rational decision…

G:: It's very emotional, and then you're dealing with usually two people. And then one could be the highest spender, and the other can be like, questioning the price of everything, although they’re in, you know, a Giorgio Armani suit here.

I::  I’m sure I know that, on a gender basis, where there was two genders there which one would want to go for the kitchen, and which one would...

G:: Well, it’s not always. I have dealt with clients before, where, the husband was totally into it, and the wife, she could care less. She had no input. She doesn't cook. He's the cook in the house. He's the one who wants the commercial appliances. I once got an interesting argument with a Jewish couple, who kept kosher. When I found out they kept kosher I said “so, you’ll want 2 dishwashers?”. And he said “yes”, and she said “yes”, and he said “no!”. And they looked at each other and had this big meltdown argument, about how they both grew up in kosher households with only one dishwasher.  But my girlfriend knows that we did that this way, and oh my god.

I::  Thanks for that story, that’s great. You are, sir?

V:: I'm Bill, unless you look at my birth certificate, then I’m Vilhelm, but you can call me Bill. Basically, my company buy rental properties and fix them up. I rent them out predominantly in Hamilton. I’ve been doing it since ’93.

G:: Hamilton’s building now isn’t it?

I::  It must be really busy.

V:: That’s about it.

I::  Okay. Good man. You are?

B:: Briana. I’m an interior designer. I run a small interior design company. Any given year, we have like 5 employees. Some of them are a contract basis, some of them do work longer term. We work with people like yourselves, and real estate agents and things like that

I::  How long have you been in business?

B:: For about 5 years. We are on our 5th year.

I::  Okay, brilliant. You are?

Si:: I’m Sari. We have a real estate property management company. It’s family owned.

I::  How long have you …?

Si:: 6 years.

I::  6 years now? How many employees?

Si:: Just over 6. It’s not big.

I::  And you are?

C:: Christina with a ‘CH’. I’m a full time real estate agent, and my mum owns investment properties. I’ve been a realtor for 8 years, and now she manages the properties we own, and that’s her full time job, we have a large portfolio. However, there’s been a lot of overlap, my real estate clients want property management. So now, together with my mum, we’ve created a property management firm, and now we have 6 employees on the payroll, and its very exciting.

I::  Great. This is good all round, guys? I'm a small business owner too, so I do this independently. So I have three employees - me myself and I! I have somebody else that works with me but I’m one of you guys as well, right. Okay? So that’s been a really interesting project for me. Just because of all the stuff I've been hearing over the last couple of days. I relate to the things that you guys have been saying. Just really quickly, I’m going to go around, and tell me, (I should’ve done this when I was going around), who do you bank with, who is your main bank, and what are the some of the services or the connection you have with them. Christina, who’s your main bank?

C:: BO for daily payroll, for daily operating account. That’s how our payroll comes out.

I::  Any other things you have? Loans or lines of credit that kind of stuff?

B:: Yeah. With BMO and in the past, RBC. It’s really whoever offers the best deal.

I::  Okay.

Si:: EMO, for checking accounts and investments with them, and credit cards.

I::  Great. Briana?

B:: TD. And with them, I’ve regular checking account, loans, and credit cards. We don’t have a loan with them. Personally, I do. I’ve been with TD my entire life. Everything, basically is with TD.

I::  Bill?

V:: Everything with me is Scotiabank. I got my first Scotiabank account when I was at university. So I kept it basically, because I was too lazy to change it.

I::  I hear that story quite a bit. What kind of things? Checking accounts?

V:: Everything. checking payroll mortgages, everything. Business accounts, accounts tenants use for renting. Everything. Line of credit.

I::  Okay, yeah. Geoff?

G:: TD. Line of credit, operating account, business credit card, some investment as well.

I::  Okay, Sahak?

S:: Royal Bank. Business account, credit card, also investment account. Payrolls come from Royal Bank. We have also HSBC US dollar account, that’s from far East.

 

 

I::   Sue was asking…that’s what most of this discussion is going to be about - was it a rational decision, was it an emotional decision - and emotions and creativity, that kind of stuff that comes from the right side of the brain. I want you to try to suspend a little bit that left side - somebody that's an accountant is very much like “tick the boxes, tick the boxes” - more that creative side. There’s a couple of designers here, so I know you have some creativity in you as well.

 

TOY YOU NEVER GOT - PREPARATION

 

S::  Little cars…I’m 52, so this is probably in the 70s. My friend had it and I didn’t, and I always wished-

I::   What kind of car?

S::  All the cars.

I::   The Hot Wheels?

S::  Any small minatures. We were kids; we play, I’d go to his house. So when I grow up I got it; even my wife said ‘Are you going back as a kid? What’s wrong with you?’ My son was born, and I bought this thing - it had over fifty cars in it. She said ‘for who’, I said ‘for Chris’. She said ‘he’s not even a year old.’

V::  Kung Fu Grip, GI Joe’s. I’m 52 as well; I wanted one, I remember. My parents grew cup in the depression - my dad went through the war, my mum went through the war, so therefore I grew up in the depression - so because it was over, I got it. Very expensive now.

C::  In the early 90s, I went down to Toronto for some passport stuff, and my mom and I went into the Barbie store near the (INAUDIBLE 00:17:20) centre; they had a Barbie doll house with a ringing doorbell, and I don't know why but this thing was like five hundred dollars. It was so expensive; it was the thing that you put in the store that nobody really buys - they only have one in stock - and I bugged my mom for years. It did nothing expect for that. Later I was staging a house, decluttering it, and in the basement they had one.

B::  I can think back to when I was little; you know those toys that look like Saturn? There was a ball in the centre and you could bop it around.

I::   You didn't get it as an adult?

B::  No, but you know it's funny; there's this one time that always sticks in my mind, where my parents were making Christmas stockings and they bought me this little blue stapler; and it was the best gift. I don't know why but I just loved this little blue stapler; and then the next day or that Christmas, it went missing and I never found it again. When I started my business  I went out and bought a little blue stapler; it just reminded me of my childhood. A like few years back we're with our cousins; we were just talking kids and going to my cousin’s house at Christmastime. My cousin was like “Yeah, it’s random; one time I found this little blue stapler.”

S::  They had this thing - you could have a bowling alley in your house, but it was really small. My mum’s like “No”, then I went to a kid’s birthday party and they had those; I was so jealous.

G::  I was really spoiled; nearly everything I wanted for Christmas I got. One year, it wasn't a toy per se, I wanted a watch; and I watched my brother - my older brother, seven years older than me - unwrap my watch. I look at my mother like “What's going on here?”, because that’s supposed to be my watch. She had this awful habit of buying everything way in advance and wrapping them, and then forgetting to label them. That was not my mindset; I always got what I wanted. I made a big to-do about it after the fact; I don't know how I controlled myself.

 

EXISTING BRAND – QUESTION/PREPARATION

 

I::   Sari, what did you have?

Si::  Tom’s of Maine, the natural products.

I::   Christina?

C::  Mini and Porsche, I’m a car girl.

S::  Mercedes Benz.

G::  Tesla.

B::  Under Armour.

B::  Greenhouse Juice.

 

TARGETS - QUESTION/PREPARATION

 

I::   Jeff, want to start us off?

G::  I did Tesla; who is the target? Eco-minded consumer who’s interested in technology; and I think what makes the brand unique original is the battery mileage, the fact you can go so far on one charge and one power. It’s not hybrid; so many of the other cars are hybrids. What does it stand for; I think helping to minimise our carbon footprint, because there’s no fossil fuels being burned. What is the brand’s personality; I think it's sophisticated, I think they have a good design and sleek inside and out. Love the fact there’s a trunk in the back and the front; the engine’s only this big. What aspect of the brand would make you choose this over; I would say the style and performance. Again, I'm talking about the battery; the fact that you can get a charge and go so far on one charge. And the essence of the brand is that you don't give up performance for not having a gas engine.

S:&emsp I put independent comfort seating; Benz. I was going to say 40+, but I always like to sign up with the 30+ age demographic. What makes this unique; I always gravitated to that stuff. Of course, the quality care.

I:&emsp Is there anything beyond quality? Because a lot of brands will saw quality. 1iThis is different; there are lots of good cars out there. This is something I grew up with. There are much better cars out there - not a lot - but this different to me. What does it stand for; its boldness. Bold and tough look. Essence; just one word, class.

G:&emsp That's interesting, because it's funny, I actually have a Mercedes; I agree with everything he said.

 

I:&emsp He understands the Mercedes consumer.Christina you’re a car girl, self-described car girl. Let’s see what the target is for the Mini, you did Mini right?

 

C:: Yeah, I did Mini just because it’s an easier brand to quantify. So, who’s the target? Urban professionals who value quality and unique expression. Makes the brand unique because they have a historical racing pedigree that they put into their cars. They’re built by BMW, so they have the performance. But also, the customization options, there’s more than 24 colours available from the factory, different coloured roofs. There is actually more than 150,000 different ways you can customise your Mini. So it's someone who wants to be different, can definitely drive a mini. The brand stands for quality, performance-oriented cars for urban markets. The brands personality is fun, trendy, spirited, one of a kind, (INAUDIBLE 00:34:28) The essence of the brand I said, enjoy driving and express yourself along the way.

 

I::  What kind of expression is that? I would say, like the Mercedes you're expressing some kind- People drive Mercedes, it’s kind of prestigious.  What’s the expression there?

 

C:: A lot of designers or artsy creative people like the Mini. Because you can have like chequered roof, British flag on their roof, stripes, no stripes.

 

I::  Is it an individuality? Is a creative expression? Is it like expressing your creative side? Is that what you’re getting from mini?

 

C:: Yeah. Most cars they come in like 5 basic colours, whereas Mini pushes the boundaries with their colours. And also, like stickers and customisation. Also, Mini in North America is their number one car with the most customised license plates.

 

S:: Oh, really?

 

I::  Sari, what did you pick again?

 

Si:: Tom’s of Maine. Who’s the target? People who are health conscious and want to use natural products for their daily activities. Brand unique, original? To me it was the first brand of natural toothpaste without any fluoride and in natural deodorants without the aluminium. What does the brand stand for? Health, wellness using natural ingredients. Personality? It's earthy, natural, warm and friendly. What aspect of bread would you make choose it? It's known for quality using very natural ingredients and has a good reputation. What's the essence? I just said, natural products that keep you healthy.

 

I::  There isn’t any - I know you said quality - but there isn’t like a performance aspect. I know performance in cars is one of those things.

 

Si:: The deodorant or toothpaste?

 

I::  No in the sense that it actually works to either. If it actually works to…

 

Si:: It does.

 

I::  You didn’t put that in there. I was interested why that didn’t come in.

 

Si:: Oh, I just assume, I mean the reputation, right. They’ve got a good reputation. So, that’s implied.

 

I::  They do talk to them about more than their health and that kind of stuff, versus some of the other toothpaste or deodorants like Colgate who’ll say they give 5x cavity fighting ingredients and that kind of stuff. But that's not what that brand is about, right.

 

Si:: To be honest, it's natural but it's never as good as the ones.

 

C:: It’s one of the best natural ones though.

 

Si:: Yeah. But when you’re using natural products like that you have to compromise a little bit. You have to do more frequent applications.

 

I::  So that’s why I guess you didn't talk about that. Sometimes brands will talk about that, the function, but this is more like the health benefit versus. Keep going around the horn. Briana?

 

B:: So, I had – I don’t know if people know what Greenhouse Go is or Greenhouse Juice. It's actually a fairly new company and it’s juicing essentially. They sell juices. It's all natural, organic.

 

I::  Is it a resale or is it a storefront?

 

B:: Yeah, a storefront, they have multiple locations all over Toronto. I don’t know if it’s outside of Toronto, but they started in Toronto. Actually, just down the street. There’s one in Yorkdale and there’s one in…. There’s a tonne of them now. Their brand really resonates with me because they're health conscious and I think that's what I am. So, I think the target audience is anyone who wants to live a healthy life or healthy lifestyle.

And people who are conscious of what they're putting in their body. What makes the brand unique? They were one of the first companies in Toronto to really get on the juicing bandwagon. They use all organic foods, they have a points program for returning bottles, and they have sustainable practices and recycling methods that they use. And they're always bettering their products. Every time you go in there they're changing the bottles because it's more- you can recycle the lids, they’re always trying to figure out ways to actually better use their product or create better products. What does their brand stand? Healthy living or health first. The brands personality is youthful, fresh, clean, uncluttered. What aspect of the brand would you choose this over another in the same category? I said yes. The brand is probably the points program or the fact they are somewhat eco-minded. I like that fact. They’re trying to get back to their customers.

And the essence of the brand? I just said, live well, live longer.

 

I::  So, it’s kind of in the same space as Sari for different products. I’ve done a lot of work with food companies and a lot of times people go, they’ll say, “Taste, taste, taste.” You didn’t say that even though I’m sure it takes good. But I’m curious that you didn't actually put in any of those boxes something that's very functional. You put more emotional things in there.

 

B:: I've had juices from other companies before, and they're just as good. But I think just the fact that the brand is really trying to push the recycling aspect, they're really trying to keep their brand clean. I think that's what really drives me to stay with the brand, even more so over another company.

 

I::  So, in your mind that makes them much different.

 

B:: Yeah, definitely.

 

I::  Okay, Bill?

 

V:: I chose Under Armour. Just because it was the first brand that popped into my head. Normally I'm not really a clothing directory. I normally just buy my clothes from Bobs Country Bunker.

 

I::  You’re not a very modest person, Bill. I have to say. Who’s the target?

 

V:: Basically, it's everyone. I used to think it was, when I first noticed it and started wearing it, just workout people, gym people, martial arts people. And then, I noticed everyone now. I’ll see little kids wearing, I’ll see really out of shape people wearing it. And I'm cool with that. But, the reason I really like it, is it’ really high quality. When I played football in university I found I’d always wear a T-shirt under my pants and it always got ripped apart within a couple of games. I found under armour,

if I’d have had it back then, wouldn’t rip apart. And it really does a good job of sucking the sweat away from you.

 

I::  Who’d you play for?

 

V:: Carleton University, the Ravens. That was back when I had knees and self-respect. Basically, it is just a quality material. It supports you during your workout, it hugs into you, it really supports your body when you’re running and stuff. At my age I need a lot of support. And if it was a person? I think it would be like a fit person, very active, very serious. A lot of fun, like a Terry Crews kind of guy. And the aspect of the brand that made me choose it over another is it doesn't fall apart. It’s more money, but unlike the other stuff- Because I tried the no-name stuff that you get from Joe Fresh and stuff, it falls apart and it doesn't do a good job of keeping me dry when I’m training. And the essence of this brand? I would say is just a quality apparel that it enhances your training.

 

B:: It’s so true, Under Armour stuff never deteriorates. I’ve had stuff for years that I’ve washed 1,000 times.

 

V:: But It’s still snug.

 

I::  If you were doing that for Nike, would it be a different description?

 

V:: No, I like Nike.

 

I::  I know you like them, but would it be like a different target?

 

V:: No, I’d say the exact same stuff about everything. I’ve got a lot of Nike stuff, that’s my go to running shoe.

 

I::  What years did you play, may I ask?

 

V:: Oh, 89 to 90.

 

I::  I probably would have seen you because I was at McGill at the time and I used to go watch.

 

V:: Oh you were at ‘McThrill’, right on man. Yeah, we would have played.

 

I::  I would have seen you play, I used to play on the soccer team. I used to go watch football games all the time. That’s great, you guys did an awesome job. I do this kind of stuff for a living and I don’t know if I’d do a better job than you guys did.

Let's get back into banking, so the rest show is going to be about banking. I'm going to give you the same template. I want you to write your main bank. Can you tell me what your main bank is? If you write your main bank at the top there and do only the 3 buckets there that I have starred. I starred the target, the brand personality and the essence of the brand. So a couple of minutes on that.

 

PREPARATION

 

I::  You done Bill? Good. I’ll start with you, because you finished last the last time. Remind me of your main bank.

 

V:: I’m Scotiabank.

 

I::   Who’s the target for Scotiabank?

 

V:: Scotiabank is everybody with money.

 

I::   Again, it's the business banking.

 

V:: Oh, business only. People with business with money.

 

 

I::   Or the sort of business that I’m under, right. Is there something more. Is there a more bullseye kind of? It’s fine but it’s a bit broad. If you think about the brand?


V:: If I think about their brand per se. To me it’s a bank. Canadian banks to me, they’re all pretty much the same. I mean if you need a business bank account, you can go into any branch or any bank and get one. I could be wrong in that.

 

I::   Functionally you can. But do you get a kind of… Again, using more your right brain, it’s the impressions that you get. Let's skip that. What did you put as the personality?

 

V:: Sorry. This is the danger of going first. The brand personality? I put like a very professional guy in suit. The people I deal with, they’re very professional, they're not very fun, but they’re very professional. They’ve got the suit, the glasses, the pocket protectors. They’re the kind of people you want to roll at recess for their lunch money.

I'm not going to, but anyway.

 

I::   Did you do that when you were a kid, Bill? You didn’t get the kung-fu.

 

V:: I didn’t actually, I got rolled a lot. Me and my therapist are still working on it. No, they’re very professional, they’re very focused.

 

I::   What did you put as an essence?

 

V:: Essence? It's a bank. It's not like the States. Canadian banks, they’re all pretty much the same.

 

I::   What did you put? What did you write down?

 

V:: I just wrote it’s a bank. Sorry, man.

 

I::   It’s okay. Christina who did you have? Who’s your bank again?

 

C:: BMO is my primary for business, but my TD is my primary for personal.

I actually think that TD has slightly better personality than BMO. But I agree that it’s just a bank and I struggled with this.

 

I::   Oh, you did struggle. That’s interesting. Where did you put in target?

 

C:: Target is businesses requiring banking services.

 

I::  Right, so it’s very general, versus some of the stuffy you put for Mini and some of the other brands.

 

C:: Especially after doing the exercise with fun brands, now going to this I agree that the major banks, I can’t even tell them apart. 

 

I::  What did you put as a personality?

 

C:: Corporate and functional.

 

I::  Any essences?

 

C:: Reliable banking solutions.

 

I::  Okay, good stuff, alright. Sahak?

 

S:: I put that they used to be, I remember previously they used to say, it’s a bank for mid to large sized business, and the small guys ignored. If you are not a mid or large you are the small guys.

 

I::  Who’s yours, it’s Royal Bank?

 

S:: Royal Bank. Then, I put trying to be more to small. Getting more to small business and give better service. It’s just like you are in a store and client walks in with a nice suit and driving a luxury car. You go take care of them. The other client walks in with his jeans. You ignore. That's the mentality used to be. But now they try to be a little more modest.

 

I::  Personality?

 

S:: This is a little bit more political, what's the brand's personality? But you ask what your impression is of course.

 

I::  Yes, 100%.

 

S:: So, I’m saying, it feels like royalty, but not a British royalty. It feels like Scottish, I don’t know why. Maybe that guy, maybe that other insurance guy with the blue eyes, blue eyes jacket, “Your infant knows how to print. Your infant knows to play to guitar. Then you need insurance.” From the one, I don't know. I feel it reminds me of a bottle of scotch. That’s what it is. What’s the essence? I would say white glove service.

 

I::  Oh my god, okay. Well, that’s quite interesting. That actually connects really well, that’s good. Geoff, over to you.

 

G:: TD, which I still call Canada Trust. My very first bank account was Canada Trust when I was like 9 years old. For me, the target is someone who expects personal service.

 

I::  So, it’s a little bit different from (INAUDIBLE 00:50:12) 005012.  

 

G:: And that comes from the Canada Trust side of the TD equation, in my opinion. The brand personality I think is friendly. I think their essence is that banking can be friendly. It doesn't have to be intimidating.

 

I::  Excellent.

 

B:: It’s funny, I have TD too. My perception is very similar to yours, and I've always Canada Trust, I’ve always been with TD. Though if I look at it from a business perspective, I think TD would appeal to people who have been in business for a longer period of time. Even though I’m a newer business I just naturally went with TD because that’s my bank. But the brands personality is the same thing. Very friendly, knowledgeable, comforting, they’re stable, very trusted – obviously, Canada Trust.

 

G:: I find when you go to different branches, they all seem to be out of the same…

 

C:: And they all remember your name, exactly. I go to the branch where I opened my first account 25 years ago, and they still remember me and they remember my mum.

 

B:: The essence is just very straightforward banking.

 

V:: I feel like at TD they’re always trying to upsell you, because I was thinking of switching to TD.

 

B:: No? Really?

 

I::  Yeah, Sari.

 

Si:: Okay, so I said BMO. Target business owners who want to work with a bank that is innovative.

 

I::  So, you see innovation as kind of the people looking for innovative solutions.

 

C:: I’m curious as to why you think it’s innovative, because I have BMO and I don’t think it’s innovative.

 

I::  Okay. Hey, I’m asking the questions here. Thank you, Christina. I was going to ask you. What’s that sorry?

 

Si:: Investment, when you’re doing investments.

 

I::  Okay, it’s the investment side of stuff.

 

Si:: Their (INAUDIBLE 00:52:01) banking isn’t so good, but the investment part. Brand personality I guess is serious, but there is a little bit of playful side to it. Essence of the brand? BMO offers the best banking products that meet your needs.

 

I::  So, that’s a very functional kind of.

 

C:: Can I actually make another comment too?

 

I::  Yes.

 

C:: Thinking about this too, I think about actually going into my branch. I find the TD branches are easy to walk around, most branches breaks are the same. The feeling that you get when you walk into the branch is very comforting.

 

G:: It’s those chairs.

 

C:: Yeah, maybe the chairs. But everything is very easy. I think it goes along with the friendly nature of the people there, just the atmosphere.

 

S:: Banking can be more comfortable.

 

C:: Yeah.

 

I::  See, advertising does work, if they play that back.

 

Si:: Their app is great too.

 

I::  You guys are brilliant at this, so I think you’re going to be brilliant at the next thing I’m going to be showing you. What we're going to be working on now is CIBC. It's a bank. I don’t know if some of you may have personal or may have some stuff with CIBC. But regardless, if you have or you don't, want to know what your thoughts are. What Im going to be showing you, it's basically this kind of stuff. You kind of write this kind of stuff up. It will be shown. It will be shown in a more longhand, more of a narrative. Try to write a story about CIBC, and we call it positioning. Positioning is like, what is the place for the brand in the marketplace. In the sense of what's going to be in your mind. When you're positioning we’re looking at 3 to 5 years from now. Some of the stuff you might read here, you think they’re not really doing that now. But it’s what they aspire to be. And this is the business banking side of things. Does that make sense? I'm going to get you guys to look at this individually. You have a red and a blue. We're going to do a hot and cold exercise. You’re going to read through it individually, and if as you’re reading along and you find certain sentences or words or phrases or paragraphs that kind of resonate with you personally, for you and your business, “Hey this is really interesting.” Highlight it with the red. If there’s stuff that really like, “Nah, know what. No way.” You know it's not really resonating, doesn't jive with you, mark it in blue. You don't have to mark everything. If you're neutral about something just let it be. But it isn't really, something that you’re not really liking, just highlighted it. Or say I don't really believe in this kind of stuff for me, so it's not relevant to you, then put the blue. Buy you don’t have to highlight everything. Red is hot. That means you have some passion for it, some relevance for it. Blue is cold. It doesn’t leave you feeling that great about stuff.

 

…..

 

I::  There’s 2 of them. These are two different ways, two different approaches that they can take. Just do the exercises for both of them, then we’ll have a discussion. 

 

…..

 

I::  Also give it a score from 1 to 10. Give each one a score from 1 to 10. If it’s really resonating highly with you give it an 8,9,10. If it's not resonating at all you get a 1,2,3,4. Then, neutral, 5 or 6. Overall. Don’t treat this an ad. Think of it as like an organising philosophy, “This is what we want to do for customers.” It’s a very high level, it’s not like, “What’s the interest rate on my loan.” Kind of thing. It’s more like this high-level kind of philosophy. And the other brands you've been talking about, that you did the exercise for, they do this kind of stuff in terms of positioning themselves in the market. They have a certain philosophy in how they go about. This is something that CIBC has been thinking about for their future. 

 

B:: So, 1 out of 10 kind of thing?

 

I::  Yeah, 1 out of 10 for each one.

 

…..

 

I::  I’m just going to go around the room. Just tell me the score. What score did you give the ‘power of network’? What kind of score did you give?

 

C:: 6

 

Si:: 7

 

B:: 6   

 

V:: 9   

 

G:: 6

 

S:: 9

 

I::  Okay, so some mixes there. What about the other one? What kind of scores did you give the ‘pro-to-pro’?

 

C:: 8

 

Si:: 8

 

B:: 8   

 

V:: 7   

 

G:: 6

 

S:: 8

 

I::  Okay, it seems like the pro-to-pro, if this was a qualitative study, it’d have a little bit of a higher average score. Let's start with the ‘power of the network’. Who gave that like an 8 or a 9?

 

S:: I did.

 

V:: I gave it a 9.

 

I::  So, the two of you. What did you like about that one, Sahak?

 

S:: I didn’t mark anything in blue, so there is nothing I disliked.

 

I::  Okay. That’s really…

 

S:: I had some things neutral, and I realised if I feel a little bit less neutral or negative I was going to mark in blue. ‘You have a dream and made a brave choice to walk a path others couldn’t.’ So, this didn’t jive with me but I didn’t dislike it. It’s okay, it’s nice words put together.

 

I::  So, you took over the business from the family business?

 

S:: I didn’t, I joined.

 

I::  You joined it?

 

S:: Yes, third generation. What I really enjoyed, ‘to move to the next level you can’t do it alone’.

 

I::  Tell me about that. What's that all about?

 

S:: See, that’s why in the beginning it didn’t jive with me much. We all have dreams, everybody can dream. But to get to the next level sometimes you need a push, you need a hand. Or I wouldn't say you need a hand. You need I think either from outside or from within you, to get you to the next step. That’s what resonated with me.

 

I::  What else did you underline in red?

 

S:: Networking is important, obviously. That's when it says, ‘we have the connections to building the networks’, that sounds good.

 

I::  You didn’t have much blue stuff in there. Bill, you had a lot of red and some blue at the top. Tell me the red part.

 

V:: The red stuff spoke to me. It speaks mostly about being part of a network, to me which means part of a team.

 

I::  Why is that important to you?

 

V:: That’s very important to me because as an investor you need to be part of a team. People who try to stand alone and think they know everything tend to get slaughtered by people who can work as a cohesive team. And basically, for me, I like to listen to people who are a lot smarter than me and take their advice. If I can get that through a bank, because nothing is worse than having a guy who owns a house tell you what a great investment this property is, and they've never owned an investment property. Right? If I can get a team of my bank that understands my goals and stuff, then that would be very important to me. That would be very good. From a philosophical standpoint I thought this was very good. They're both good. They both spoke to me. This one spoke to me more, just because it talks about networks and teams.

 

I::   You had some blue there. What was that?

 

V:: The beginning I didn't really like that much, just because it seemed to be stroking me. It’s like a little lead up, “Oh, you had a dream.”

 

I::   The Internet is not really to stroke because it’s not a piece of advertising. What it’s trying to do, and you’re going to help me make the blues into reds or build on these ideas. The intent is to get into your mindset, get into that target. If we’re going to be offering this kind of stuff, this network solution for you or for lack of a better word, who’s the kind of person? It’ss trying to get into the mindset businesses owners.

V:: If you chop off ‘have a dream’.

 

I::   I know it’s not working for you, but you’ll have a chance to tell me or build when I put you guys in teams. And kind of say, “What is that mindset?” That a person who’s looking for a network solution, it’s going to appeal to. Anybody give a 7? Sari? You have quite a bit of red in there as well.

 

Si:: Yeah, there are things that I liked.

 

I::   Tell me.

 

Si:: The first part, I should have maybe put it blue. The whole ‘you had a dream’, it’s like woah. It’s too… I don’t know. Dreamy quality, it’s not serious, it’s too fluffy.

 

I::   Is there is any truth to it though?

 

Si:: You don't have to pat me on the back for that. Let's just get to the point. It's exciting entrepreneur being an entrepreneur, but to move on you can’t do it all by yourself, you need.

 

I::   So, there’s truth in that part?

 

Si:: That part made sense to me. You need to be part of a network, a team.

 

I::   And why is that important to you?

 

Si:: Because you can't do it by yourself. Everyone is your partner really. Your suppliers, everyone you work with is your partner.

 

I::   So, some people working for you? It's also people like your suppliers.

 

Si:: Well, the bank to me is a supplier. So that we’re all part of my team. I have to have a good relationship, everyone benefits. And then whole thing, so that was all fluffy stuff. Just to the important part, the idea. Creating networks. Building networks, creating connections and the bigger the network the better success is going to happen for all of us.

 

I::  You didn’t have any blues. But you probably would have put a blue there. What about the rest of you guys? Go ahead, Briana.

 

B:: The first statement, I obviously agree, the beginning part in the paragraph just basically pumping their tires essentially. The thing is that it's interesting because the beginning part of the paragraph says, ‘you did this on your own, you were an entrepreneur, you went out’. And then it says at the last sentence that you can’t do it all on your own. It's almost contradicting. The first parts like, you had the admission to do this. But you can’t do it all by yourself. That actually kind of turned me for some reason.

 

I::  Is it like you’ve got to a certain point, and that you need a team to take you to the next level?

 

B:: The concept, or like the idea of the network, I agree with. I totally believe in, I agree with that. It is exciting to be an entrepreneur, but I don't know if maybe it was just just the choice of words or how it was phrased that really turned me off. Maybe the image it’s paired with too. far It just seems really like, not farfetched, but you're so far removed that I don't relate to it because… Like this image for instance, I actually related to a team.

 

I::  Tell me why the network is important to you. We’re not worried so much about the image, that’s something they can change.

 

B:: The network? Because the idea of creating connections and building networks, you do have. I see the importance of building a great network, and the bigger your network the more business you’re going to gain, making those connections. I think that's really what good business is about. Just some of the words, I think there are certain things that just kind of turned me off. Like ‘plugging you into contacts’, for some reason that just really made me.

 

I::  Okay, so some of the language stuff doesn’t work. But the concept that the network is working for you. Christina?  

 

C:: I hated that, ‘you’ve borne the burden of business on your back’. I thought that was terrible. I don't think of businesses as a burden, I think of it as freedom. Ultimate freedom, totally. To call that I burden, I was immediately like, “Ugh.” I would have stopped reading right there.

 

I::  You have a few red spots there though. You give it a 6. You have some red spots. Tell me about them?

 

C:: Talking about growing your success everybody wants to do that at some point. The bigger the network the bigger success. I could kind of agree with that, so I highlighted that in red. But I feel like the rest, like ‘the burden of business’. I thought at that point right there that they don’t know me at all. They don't understand entrepreneurs at all. I was immediately turned off by that. I also feel like they’re trying to hard with this ‘plugging you into contacts, business power grid’, I was rolling my eyes.

 

I::  So, the language and the tone is not working for you. But that idea of the network, because we can rewrite these things in a different tone. Tell me, is that an interesting idea to you? We can totally, and we’re actually going to, rewrite some of the stuff anyway. Is that an interesting idea to you or is it just like, doesn’t really apply to me and my business?

 

C:: I don’t know. I build my own network. I don’t really ever think of the bank as being like a network builder. I go to them for my banking services, and then I go somewhere else for anything else I need.

 

I::  Okay, brilliant. Geoff, I didn’t hear from you on this one. You gave this one a 6 as well.

 

G:: I gave it a 6. The picture really turned me off.

 

I::  Because it’s the US.

 

G:: Why am I in America? I'm want to be doing all my business in New York, Boston, Miami, Chicago. I thought the ‘exciting being an entrepreneur’, I like that line. I hate when someone tells me I need something. So, need to be part of something bigger, which is the US. of A, we won’t get in to Donald Trump, politics.

 

I::  Just to tell you that’s not the intent, we’d be here all day.

 

G:: The ‘real business success achieved through creating connections’, but I'm seeing that through my connections. Not the bank’s connections.

 

I::  You don’t see the bank playing a role in helping that department in any way?

 

G:: Not really, no. Like basically banking is, something you have to do. You have to do it with somebody. Right. Because of our system you have to. Maybe if we were in a different system you wouldn’t have to.

 

I::  You don't see a benefit of if you can plug into some of the contacts that they have, or advice on this side.

 

G:: I do in theory. But I think like it's somebody here mentioned, the way it was written. It's very fluffy.

 

C:: It’s the kind of thing you'd find like on the back of a brochure you’d never read!

You’d get the brochure because there’s a paragraph about the actual cost or interest rate or something. Okay, I’ll take the brochure. This is the kind of thing you just add to fill up.

 

I::  I understand it's maybe the way it’s written. What I'd like you to try to do as best you can, especially when you have a chance to, is to overlook that kind of stuff a little bit, and look to the kernel of the idea and see if the kernel of the idea is good or not. How can we communicate this a little bit better? So that's the next exercise we’re going to do. But before we do that I want to look at… Geoff you want to start us on this one. You didn’t like this one either or this one was a bit better?

 

G:: This one was a 6 for me.

 

I::  So, both 6. before we do that. I want to. I.

 

G:: Yeah. You are exceptional at what you do, people to depend on you and your advice and your expertise to help them.

 

I::  That gets you?

 

G:: That got me. They are here to help your business run efficiently, I agree with. Led by a client captain, which implies to me that maybe you're dealing with one person. But before I saw it I thought, gosh how many people are you going to be dealing with here. So, I like that. But the ultimate team to help you shine. Just, again there's something about those words.

 

I::   If you knock off the shine, is it the shine that kind of gnaws at you?

 

G:: Well, the ultimate team. To say that we’re the ultimate.

 

I::  You’ve said some very positive things, so why a 6?

 

G:: I think the overall wordiness.

 

I::  Okay, so it’s the wordiness of it. What about the idea? If you were just giving a score on the idea of the pro-to-pro idea. Is a good idea? Is it more worthy of a 7, 8 or 9?

 

G:: I don’t know if it’s an original idea.

 

I::  Christina you gave this one a high score. I believe you gave it an 8? Tell me?

 

C:: Yeah so versus the other I thought this was better. Overall, what I really liked was the ‘freeing you up to do what you do best’. Because I’m always struggling with time management. ‘Each is an an expert in their area’. And then again, I was like how many people am I going to be dealing with, that sounds like a bigger headache. Then saying, ‘led by a team captain’. I’m like, okay. So, all I have to do is coordinate with this one team captain, they're going to wrangle all the other people. Maybe that could useful to me. So, I do feel that if all of those people that they're mentioning are actually investment experts and wealth management masters, instead of just fluff. Then, that could actually be really useful. Then I could use the bank for more than just my daily banking.

 

B:: It's funny, going back to what you said about how you don't consider the bank to have a network for you to get business from. That's why I like the team aspect, because the bank is part of your team. They're actually working as part of your business, keeping your business afloat. And obviously bringing you networks like other business but helping in the day to days. Like you said, when they talk about how they say, ‘free you up to do what you do best’, or whenever. I like that aspect. That's why I think I like this concept better. Because it means I understand the business is a part of my team. They are a part of my business because they help it function.

 

B:: I wanted to add as well. Being a realtor, I also coach my clients into thinking of me not just for their real estate transaction, but for other things as well. Like carpet or furniture cleaning, or interior design. I'm constantly networking with other small businesses too. I think that's why I resonated with this, because my clients are now starting to think of me as a resource, for not just the home sale but the other things too. Connect with businesses.

 

I::  You didn’t get that sense from the other idea? In terms of networking, and plugging into them, and getting advice from.

 

B:: Didn’t really.

 

I::  Okay. Sorry, you gave this one an 8 as well?

 

B:: Yeah Because it's very specific about what they're going to do or what they can do when they talk about tax geniuses. Because I've had a meeting at BMO not too long ago, and they were offering me, “We have someone who can review wills and give you an opinion, and then direct you to talk to your lawyer.” These are points, if you have US investments in US things, we could note what the US laws are because we know what they are. And I don’t even have to pay for it, it's part of the package, what you do. We’ll will give you a whole plan, your investment goals and (INAUDIBLE 01:18:04) And I thought, cool. That sounds similar to what they want to do here, where they have. They’re not promising to get me business, but they're going to help me and work with the areas that I need help. Because I'm not an expert in tax, investments, that kind of thing. I really like that. And again, the whole idea is that you know. I do what I can do I do. I do best my part of it, but they can handle this other part that I’m not as good at.

 

I::  Who haven't I heard from? I think Sahak.

 

S:: I’m attracted to the team. I gave it a 9.

 

I::  You gave this one a 9, okay.

 

S:: Of course, if inside your team there is a team player. That's important. And again, other point that I liked about it, it’s giving the price about tax issues and wealth management issues. These are things, I mean you are more focused to run your day-to-day business, you can’t control everything. Other stuff comes prepared to you, and you look at it. That would be very helpful. It’s not just to banking, it can give tax advice, it can do wealth management advice. For the business that would be something very productive.

 

I::  That's great stuff guys. We're going to take a 5-minute break. You guys have = been working really hard. When you come back I’m going to put you into teams and we're going to dig into this a little bit further. Try to make it sing. So, it could be some language stuff. But also I want to see what you come up with, in terms of what the core idea is and can understand what's in your head. But you’re going to do it as a team and I’ll put you into teams.

 

Break

 

I::  Christina and Briana, you’ll stick together with Geoff. I want you guys to work on ‘pro-to-pro’. So, I want you guys to get up and go over there. Sari, I want you to work with the gentleman, Bill and Sahak, and you're going to be working on ‘power of our network’. It. The first thing I want you guys to do… And you guys do it for yours and you guys do it for this one here, just grab a marker. I want you to, like you did that exercise for your bank and you did that exercise for a brand that you were working on. Is try to come up with an essence for this area. So, look at it again and focus on the good parts, don’t focus on where you had the blues. Focus on the idea, the kernel of the idea. What is the real kernel of the idea. I loved the one that you had for Mini and the one that you had for Greenhouse Juice. That really encapsulated what the brand is about. Again, in terms of the kernel that’s resonating with you, what would the essence be. You guys do the same thing on that one there. Work on it a little bit and I’ll come by again and tell you the next thing that you should do.

 

C:: Should we just write words down then?

 

I::  You can do whatever you want, if you want to. If you want to use… I’m going to ask you for a target and a personality later, but start with the essence, one thing that you can do. If you just want to write in words and then make sure you put it up over here.  

 

PREPARATION

 

I::  So, you did on the pro-to-pro, and what did you come up with for an essence?

 

C:: The essence was ‘one stop advisor on your side’.

 

I::  How did you come up with? Help me understand that.

 

C:: We thought the team aspect, you’re looking at like the bank is going to be part of your team. They’re on your level. They’re not somebody who is up there telling you what to do. They’re looking at it from your ground level point of view. They’re on your side but they are also an advisor. They have multiple resources, whether it’s in one space, whether it’s that person that helps you with certain things or they delegate that to a team member.

 

I::  I noticed you guys didn’t change very much of this. You had quite a few reds on your thing as well. Any?

 

C:: To develop the essence we found these characteristics that were in the ad.

 

I::  What were some of the things that you were picking out?

 

C:: ‘Pro-to-pro’. At first that didn’t resonate too well with all of us, so we started dissecting the ad itself. We realised that at the beginning they are acknowledging that you are an expert. That you’re exceptional. Then, down here, they’re connecting it to the fact that we are in expert in what we do, let’s form an A-team.

 

I::  So, there’s like constant expertise, saves you time.

 

C:: Saves you time, one-stop resource was basically what they were saying. The captain.

 

I::  Those were the elements that you were pulling out of this to support the ‘one stop advisor on your side’.

 

B:: But the fact that they’re also in it with you. So, it’s not like they’re just this outside, they’re also helping to run your business.

 

I::  The target, you wrote a target. Small to medium, start-up, growth-stage. Why not… I know you guys were talking about it’s not a mature company, it’s more somebody that’s in the growth stage. Why is that?

 

G:: From the wording it just implied to us that that’s who they seem to be going at.

 

B:: You’re still trying to develop your team, that to me means somebody is still growing in some capacity.

 

C:: If you’re an establish business, probably assume that you’ve had a tax and wealth management expertise at some point, and maybe it’s diverse between multiple companies and professionals. Yeah, definitely something that would appeal to a start-up. This one-stop shop kind of idea.

 

I::  It’s a start-up with someone in their growth-stage. You said that it would pledge someone – you’ve been in the business for 5 years – this is something that would apply to you as well.

 

C:: Yeah.

 

I::  Okay, I asked you guys to do the personality. What did you come up with?

 

G:: Straight shooter, no BS.  

 

I::  That’s quite bold, if you have approachable and friendly as well. Why those two things? Straight shooter, no BS and approachable and friendly. What gives you that sense?

 

B:: Because they’re on your team you would assume that they want your business to grow. So, they’re not going to say something just to make their business better, they’re going to do it really in the mindset of your business.

 

C:: As Briana mentioned, they’re in it with you. That talks about maybe establishing a relationship, not just a transaction. Growing with you, being on your side for the long-haul.

 

I::  Not a transaction but an actual relationship. You took a stab to rewrite the tag. You’ve got a couple of different ways at it.

 

B:: Yeah, we just looked at changing ultimate to experienced or straightforward. Ultimate just seemed a little…

 

I::  So, experienced team. 

 

B:: Experienced team, straightforward team to help youm instead of shine, maybe prosper, grow and build.

 

I::  Okay. So, experienced team to help you prosper, grow and build. And, straightforward team to help you prosper, grow, build. What’s some of the ideas to support? If you’re telling CIBC that in order to believe this idea going forward, this is what you’re going to be all about. What are some of the things that they should be doing?

 

C:: The main thing we brought up is this is a really cool concept if they deliver on it. There’s a lot of weight on the branch level as well, to make sure that they execute it. These better be tax geniuses. If it’s a one-stop shop and that team captain is organised, then it’s awesome. That would convince people to actually move their business banking to CIBC.

 

B:: Actually, to your point too, about the actual in branch. Not just that they need to have these features, these services, but that what they’re doing is their business is more straightforward thinking. So, maybe they’re more technologically friendly. I could easily access an app that’s going to do everything for me. I can do it at any place and any time.

 

I::  I’ll put that in there.

 

B:: Even when I go to the bank, maybe I don’t have to wait in line. Maybe there’s a kiosk where I can expedite the process or something like that.

 

C:: Like at Starbucks if the line is long I just google order while I’m in line, and everyone is like, “How did you get your order?”

 

B:: Yeah exactly.

 

I::  Secret handshake. Brilliant, you guys did a great job. ‘Power of the network’. So what’s your essence over here?

 

S:: ‘Better the network, bigger the success.’

 

I::  So you have two wordings. ‘The bigger the network the bigger the success’ or ‘the better the network the better the success’. How did you come about that? What’s this idea all about?

 

S:: Well obviously, more contacts. More people you know. There are more chances, more business opportunities, more prospects, more leads to new business or new clients. Then, next we added that part of the service they provide, they do conferences. Sort of organising business conferences, you meet likeminded people or other business owners through the bank.

 

I::  Keep going, what else do you have there?

 

V:: We want to see how the experts are vetted. Are they an expert because they’ve got a proof of track record results, and I can see numbers and verify that? Or did they take a weekend seminar on how to sell mutual funds? Also, I want to know organisation of businesses. If they were to offer free seminars on business, finances, taxing, accounting strategies, that would be interesting to me. I would go to that for two reasons. One:&emsp I like talking to people who are smarter than me, basically everybody, especially if they have a verified field. I can go back and pick their brain, they can teach me stuff. That’s the first reason. The second reason would be because I'm going to meet other people who are like minded, who are forward thinking, goal driven, ambitious people who… Maybe they have a really good plumbing business that I need or maybe they have a painting business that I need. Instead of hiring schlubby off the street, who’s going to throw paint on my house and run away. Also, networking with other CIBC clients. If I am a CIBC client, I’m hoping the guy I'm talking to, if he has this team that he's flaunting to me, he’s shoving in my face. I'm hoping that if, say someone needs something that business, whatever it is I can provide, he would recommend me instead of his friend. I’m hoping that there would be some reciprocity there. They could also offer webinars, podcasts on topics if they didn’t want to go the full on seminar way. To me a seminar is more hands on, it’s more meaningful.

 

I::  So, topics of the same kind of stuff you’re talking about.

 

Si:: Because even if you go to a seminar or a conference, there’s so much information thrown at you. So, if it’s podcasts or other ongoing webinars then you can always tap in to information. When you get a chance to be with other people, really networking in person, this kind of follows up to that next. And we like the whole tag, ‘the power of our network’.  

 

I::  So, the title of it, ‘the power of our network’, you like it as a tag. The ‘power grid’ wasn’t working for you. And, I noticed here too, you guys put here the top part.

 

V:: Yeah, the first part was just everyone says that. They also say we’re not your traditional bank and we won’t (INAUDIBLE 02:02:47) with your traditional bank.

 

I::  But the second sentence you guys had heart for. Being an entrepreneur exciting, you said scary, I understand that as well. I asked you whether that was a preamble to that and you said that was just fine.

 

V:: Yeah, it’s fine if they just start right in it. Like if they just go for it instead of…

 

S:: If it’s not negative it’s not interesting.

 

I::  It doesn’t make any kind of impact? Either positive or negative. 

 

Si:: The target is entrepreneurs who are growing, who want to grow and are growing. Not the person who just started that day.

 

I::  It’s kind of similar to that one- Actually no, that one had both start-up and those we were seeking to take it to the next level.

 

V:: To me your business should just perpetually be in a growth cycle. If you start thinking, “I’ve arrived, I can sit on my (INAUDIBLE 02:03:37) now.”

 

I::  There are some businesses that are just maturing, they want to sell. Yeah, they don’t really want to grow, they want to maintain and harvest stuff. It would be a different target and I get that. Brilliant, guys, good stuff. Stay in your teams. You guys can just stay on this time, you can take Geoff’s seat. You guys sit down there. I’ve got one more team exercise for you guys to do. I don’t know the best way to do that. Remember I asked you guys to say, “What could we do to support this.” So, these are just ideas kind of similar to the seminar kind of stuff that you had there. I just want you guys to go through it and pick the one – there’s quite a few of them, so you’re going to have to be speed readers – pick the ones that appeal to you personally. If two of you agree as a team, put it down in the pile, ‘yeah it works’. Yes and no. Got to be really quick about it.

 

PREPARATION

 

I::  These are these that are personally relevant to you. And also, it fits with… So just for the folks in the back. There’s ‘proactive planning’, ‘industry specialist’, ‘time as promised’, ‘A-team includes’, ‘knowledge network’, ‘business veterans only’, ‘meet you anywhere’, ‘3 to 1 continuity team’, ‘CIBC business academy’, ‘peers to power your ambition’, and ‘skills exchange’. So, the ‘3 to 1 continuity team’ seems to have both you guys there. Why did you guys fit this position here?

 

Si:: If someone is away, there’s always somebody.

 

I::  That’s (INAUDIBLE 00:02:17) you guys. Why did it fit yours?

 

B:: They talked about having the captain and then having all these other people that also were going to help you with your business, the captain delegates that. Those other people would technically know about your business. So, that’s why we though that having 3 people, or that 3 in 1 continuity, would make the team.

 

C:: And for vacations when you don't have to wait for someone to return.

 

I::  Ok, good stuff. ‘Meet you anywhere’. You both had ‘meet you anywhere’. Why is that important to you personally and why does it fit with that?

 

B:: Well, it kind of goes back to the point we were talking about with technology, where for them to be forward thinking and be technologically advanced. With my business I work remotely. A lot of what I do is remote, so that is important to me. But I think it is important for all businesses nowadays. A lot of people travel and are away. Being able to access people or services or your bank is important.

 

I::  Let’s see if there are any other. ‘Our A-team includes’ and there’s a list of folks it includes. You guys picked that as well. Why did you put that in there? The A-team includes, it has things like cash management, financing expert, foreign exchange experts, that kind of thing. Why does that fit with them?

 

V:: Just the Importance of networks, where your knowledge lacks we maybe have something that you need.

 

S:: That’s part of the network.

 

 

I::  It is part of the network, that’s what you guys had in your mind when you thought of a network. How does it apply to your area?

 

C:: Well, it specifically fits the saying that there is an A-team. But then also they also they list experts.

 

S:: Coming at it from a different angle.

 

I::  Okay, cool. Let’s see what else is… Just for the folks in the back because I ran out. So the ‘continuity team’, that was an overlap with the other one. ‘Star strong’, again that’s because it could be start-up or a more mature business. I’m putting words in your mouth because I’m running out of time. ‘The flexible benefits and charges’, ‘expert grid’, no you guys didn’t have that. ‘Meet you anywhere’, we had that. ‘Proactive planning’, ‘say it once’, ‘personalised growth plan’, ‘smart banking for business’. This is a different one, ‘smart banking for business’ but it has a different a different explanation. ‘Cash fluid’ and our ‘A-team includes. So, what was the criteria you were looking at in terms of picking those ones there? What was the key thing? Were you homing in on several dimensions of the idea? Or is just like one idea?

 

B:: Well, that would probably work for our business. It seems to parallel that concept.

 

I::  So, you’re looking at the different aspects of the concept and you’re saying that that would pick in. Last thing. I’m going to give you hearts because I like you guys. And because I want you to pick which area. I know you guys worked on… This area has kind of got fixed up in that and that area got dimensionalised as well. Which area would you say CIBC should go with, ‘the power of the network’ or the ‘pro-to-pro’. Again, as it’s revised. You guys know yours, if you want to step here and read that one. You guys step over there and read that one. Pick one of these and write the reason why you would pick ‘pro-to-pro’ or why you would pick ‘the power of our network’. Write it on the heart.

 

…..

 

I::  So, you guys stuck with the one that you were working on. Why is this one important to you?

 

S:: It’s expertise, good to have. Both are good, but if I were to choose, networking. Through networking you can get expediencie as well, from peers in business, from your clients. From the team from the pro, you don't get the benefit of the network.

 

I::  So, the network has that. You kind of see…

 

S:: I kind of see that in this, little bit of that in this. But I don’t see any of this in that.

 

I::  So, the network is the one that takes it over the top.

 

S:: Even though, I give 8 versus 9, I was thinking with the wording. But now I see.

 

I::  Of course, that’s why we do these things. Bill, you stuck with this because?

 

V:: Just because I think if you're going to succeed in business and life, anything, you’ve got to be part of a team. If you want to be the guy that stands there and thinks you know everything, and you're the best, and no one does anything as good as you. You’re going to get the shit- you’re going to get slaughtered.

 

I::  You can say it, you can that. S word.

 

V:: I don’t know how PG we have to keep it. But I mean, you are going to get slaughtered, right. So, I need to be on a team, I need to have a good team behind me.

 

I::  And then the aspect of it, because I'm going to throw in some team in it as well.

 

V:: I need to have people better than me and smarter than me on my team if I'm going to go to the next level.

 

I::  When you say team, how does network play into that?

 

V:: If I’m the smartest team guy on the team, I'm in big trouble, my business is done. Sorry, what was your question?

 

I::  How does network- I hear you team because they talk about team in this one as well. What does network bring to the idea?

 

V:: Networks good, because network brings in other people where your (INAUDIBLE 02:25:29) are strong. So, when I say team I mean network. You can be a sole proprietor, entrepreneur, one guy, but if you’ve got a whole invisible network behind you then you're that much more powerful. If you try to be everything, Your own accountant, your own financier, your own carpenter, your own plumber.  You’re just going to blow your brains out.

 

I::  Sari, I know you worked on (INAUDIBLE 02:25:52)

 

Si:: You know what, they are equal. They’re both good. I like the idea of the pros.

 

I::  Because it makes you feel what?

 

Si:: Learning from people who know more than I do in these areas, and constant new learning.

 

I::  You guys stuck the one you liked a bit. Geoff, because you had the same score on the- but you seemed to-

 

G:: Pro-to-pro.

 

I::  Pro-to-pro because?

 

G:: I like the idea that they're going to be professionals, their aspect of the equation so to speak. The pro-to-pro.

 

I::  You guys use words like approachable and friendly. Does it make you feel like they’re on the same level as you. Because I suppose a professional could be like somebody who's, “Oh my God, he’s a professional.” What's the tone of this? Is it still approachable for you?

 

 G::      I think it’s still approachable.

 

Si::      They’re acknowledging that you’re a pro at what you do, and they’re acknowledging that they’re a pro at what they do. It’s like they’re coming together.

 

I::  It's a peer to peer kind of thing, versus the relationship being this way. Why did you pick this this area overall?

 

Si:: Same thing. I thought it was the most approachable of the two concepts, the most relatable. It felt like something I would actually sign up for. (INAUDIBLE 02:27:17) Ok, excellent. Briana?

 

B:: Yeah, I can second all these opinions. There’s some sort of equality that I like about it. They're looking at me at a straight level. They don’t feel like they're the ones in the driver’s seat. They’re looking at like, ok, this is better for your business. I know this because I’m professional at what I do. I’m not an interior designer, you're good at what you do. I like that aspect and I think that's why I get from team. Just the wording I guess.

 

I::  One last thing, I’m going to go around the room. I’m going to tell you the question. Give you a minute or two to think about it, I’m going to go to the back room, and then I’ll come back and get the answer. You have the opportunity right here, and I'm it’s not hyperbole, because this stuff gets back to the senior management at CIBC. If you were to tell them one thing, it could be related to this, but what should they do. It's got to be a big thing. I don't want to hear things like, “A lower interest rate on my loan.” The kind of big bucket stuff that we’ve been talking about here. What should they do. You’d have mu business if you would do, ‘x’. So, give me a second, I want to just go to the back room to see if there are any other questions and then we’ll come around real quick and let you know.

 

PREPARATION

 

I::  Sahak, what did you think?

 

S:: Personalize with your clients.

 

I::  What do you mean by that?

 

S:: That means don’t look at me just as a dollar sing walking in. Because I know, end of the day that’s what it is. But when I feel that you really care about my business and you are genuine in your care, then that’s very important. And this is my philosophy with my customers.

 

I::  Yeah, with your customers too. Sari?

 

Si:: Just building on that, but you can reach out to me and say, “Okay what do you need from us? What can we do to support your goals?” And, like you said, really care about that. In the end, you do that, I’ll grow my business and you will get more of my business.

 

I::  Okay. Bill?

 

V:: Be inside my business not outside. Act like my business is yours. So, don't just sit there as my banker and say, “Oh I can get you this rate for this.” But see it long term, what can we do to get this business to the next level. Because then you’ll still be my bank.

 

I::  So, some of the thing you were hearing today, that's the direction they should go. Briana?

 

B:: Yeah, I second those. And also, maybe knowing something about my business. Maybe knowing the industry, the typical trends. Whether it's they’ve had similar clients or that sort of thing. Because if they do know my industry and what I typically do, they can recommend things that may be better for me.

 

I::  That’s an interesting idea, Geoff?

 

G:: I think they’d have my business, this very simplistic, but if they were approachable. The bigwigs want to hear what it is. Because there's all these things in there. Like you have to have the expertise, and the right team, and the captain, etc. But if they're not approachable it doesn't matter how much they got.

 

I::  So, it’s a personality that you had, but it’s the way they deal with you and the comfort that you feel with them. And Christina you get the final word. What's the answer?

 

C:: I think that if they want to be more than just a checking account, like I’ve shopped between the other 5 big banks. Then they have to deliver on these promises and don’t half-ass it. So, actually be experts, actually be helpful, actually be accessible. And then really, truly kick ass at those things. Then I’m going to think of them as more than just a transactional part of the business.

 

I::  And some of the stuff you saw on that would be stuff that you recommend they should be taking and delivering on that?

 

C:: As long as they deliver it. Not half-ass but truly professionals. Truly accessible. Yeah.

 

I::  Brilliant, you guys have been awesome. This was a fantastic group, really enjoyed it. Really appreciate it. I have another group coming later. But make sure you leave all your stuff there. Make sure you see one of the lovely ladies in the front, who show you more concrete appreciation for your time. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

--- END OF TRANSCRIPT ---


-VIEW MODE-


I = Interviewer (Aldo)

 

B = Briana

 

C = Christina

 

G =  Geoff

 

S = Sahak

 

Si = Sari

 

V = Bill

 

 

I::  Hi, How’s it going?

S:: Well, how are you?

I::  Good. Oh boy, we’re going to have to mix you guys up, way sooner than I was gonna. It’s ok, you know what, it might happen that I’m gonna put you in teams at some point, so I might split it there. I’ve been doing this for 25 years, and it happens so often, that we get the gender gap. Thanks for coming. Alright. My name is Aldo, and I’m going to be moderating. Has anybody ever done something like this before? Anybody been in a focus group? Briana? What was it about? What was the topic?

B:: Cheese

I::  OK, great. Was it for Kraft?

B:: It was for Boursin. The one commercial really ((INAUDIBLE 00:00:47))

I::  OK, who else has been on one of those things?

S:: My one was about cars.

I::  Cars?

G:: I was on one. You know what, I should know which...

I::  Don’t worry about it.

G:: It was 5 or 6 years ago and they used the little guy with the top hat.

I::  It’s the RBC are they?

G:: Yeah. It was RBC, and it was to decide on the commercial. We sort of did pick the guy they ended up depicting.

I::  Okay, so its your fault then, Geoff. We’ll blame you! So for folks that haven't been to one of those things, really you don't have to have experience it's one of those places where it's good to have a mix of people that kind of into these things that know how it works, and folks that are kinda new to it as well. Anyway, just to tell you a little bit about this. but they call this thing focus groups or discussion groups. I’m a moderator. Some people call me a facilitator, and my job is basically to get a discussion going. I'm going to be showing you some stuff. Some ideas. It’s about business banking. So we're, as you’d probably guess there would have been a banking study that we're doing, a project that we're doing. So I’m going to be showing you some ideas, and getting you're getting your opinions. And opinions are really important to us, and real important to the people in the back, too. So a little bit about this room, is that it's… they build these boardrooms for people to be recorded interviews so, that’s the mirror you see in the cop shows right? Why don’t you wave! There’s a few people back there, and more people may be coming as the session goes on. You can’t see them.

S:: Big Brother is watching?

I::  Big brother! That's the way it is!  Those things are microphones, hanging from the ceiling, picking up our voices, and there’s the digital camera there. The reason for…They have these rooms all across the country, and the reason they do it, is so that people can hear and see what you're saying. You're going to be up there, doing some stuff on the flip charts. But also the recording is more for folks like me who have to write a report. This is my favourite part of the job, is talking to people. I get to meet people from all walks of life. And one of my least favourite things are to actually write the report. And for me to write the report, I can't conduct the discussion. I can't be writing notes. It's kind of rude. Christina’s saying something, and I’m writing notes, right? So I go back, and I review. I actually watch these again and we write the report from there, okay? Is everybody cool with that? They would have told you that you’d be filmed and stuff, so the stuff’s kept confidential. Im not going to ask you anything super-confidential, more personal. Like I said earlier. When we write the reports we don't put anybody's name on it. We may quote somebody that says something really interesting but we never attach anything to it. So you never see any of yourselves on YouTube, or any other social media, okay? We know what that’s like these days too, right? Is that good? Is everybody good with that? Okay so let me let me dig right before we do and I want to get to know you a little bit. You guys are similar in some ways, that you're also business owners. So the mind-set today is more about your business mind-set. What’s important for you and your business. What’s important for you and your business, versus like the cheese one, or a personal one, okay. That being said if there is something that is personal and it’s relevant also to your finances you can bring that in as well. So put your business/banking hat on today, okay? I’m going to go around the room, and get you to say your first name out loud, cause they cant read the label with the tag from there, and tell me what kind of business you have, how long you’ve been in business, that kind of stuff. You are, sir?

S:: My first name is spelled as S-A-H-A-K

I::  You don’t pronounce the E, its Sahak? And that’s the way I’m going to write it, cause otherwise Ill pronounce it Sahad.

S:: We are in carpet sales and cleaning services. It’s a very old firm.

I::  How long?

S:: Since 1906. I wasn’t around then.

I::  I was going to say, you look pretty good for 113!

S:: Turns out I got involved in the 3rd generation. So, I started working there 22 years ago. We do service, all kinds of hand-woven Persian rugs, all other kinds of rugs, and also we sell them.

I::  You sell them as well?

S:: Fine Persian rugs. (INAUDIBLE 00:05:46) We do also in part with our furniture team. They do home cleaning.

I::  How big a company? How many employees do you have?

S:: We vary from Summer, Fall, Christmas time, busy, 35. It goes down to 25 after Christmas. Well, in fact, after 3rd week of January till Easter.

I::  Everyone wants a clean their place for the holidays, eh? You are, sir?

G:: I'm Geoff with a G. And what I am is a kitchen designer. So obviously I design kitchens, I sell kitchens, but kitchens are. So many facets to kitchens, now, because basically I end up almost the personal shopper for the client, or the architectural or designer. They not only select cabinets, appliances, countertops, lighting, flooring. I often end up doing other room because it’s cabinetry and wetbar, the family rooms ,the bathrooms, and the price tag is as insane as the price of real estate. I always say to a client, it's funny they can buy a Mercedes, and think nothing of spending a $100,000 on, and they find out in their kitchens going to be more than double the price of their car, but yet their house they bought was like $7 million, and their car depreciated 20% when they drove off the lot.. And then they’re going to get a new one in three years time. And…but it's really interesting, but you end up playing part psychologist.

I::  Yeah, because it’s not a rational decision…

G:: It's very emotional, and then you're dealing with usually two people. And then one could be the highest spender, and the other can be like, questioning the price of everything, although they’re in, you know, a Giorgio Armani suit here.

I::  I’m sure I know that, on a gender basis, where there was two genders there which one would want to go for the kitchen, and which one would...

G:: Well, it’s not always. I have dealt with clients before, where, the husband was totally into it, and the wife, she could care less. She had no input. She doesn't cook. He's the cook in the house. He's the one who wants the commercial appliances. I once got an interesting argument with a Jewish couple, who kept kosher. When I found out they kept kosher I said “so, you’ll want 2 dishwashers?”. And he said “yes”, and she said “yes”, and he said “no!”. And they looked at each other and had this big meltdown argument, about how they both grew up in kosher households with only one dishwasher.  But my girlfriend knows that we did that this way, and oh my god.

I::  Thanks for that story, that’s great. You are, sir?

V:: I'm Bill, unless you look at my birth certificate, then I’m Vilhelm, but you can call me Bill. Basically, my company buy rental properties and fix them up. I rent them out predominantly in Hamilton. I’ve been doing it since ’93.

G:: Hamilton’s building now isn’t it?

I::  It must be really busy.

V:: That’s about it.

I::  Okay. Good man. You are?

B:: Briana. I’m an interior designer. I run a small interior design company. Any given year, we have like 5 employees. Some of them are a contract basis, some of them do work longer term. We work with people like yourselves, and real estate agents and things like that

I::  How long have you been in business?

B:: For about 5 years. We are on our 5th year.

I::  Okay, brilliant. You are?

Si:: I’m Sari. We have a real estate property management company. It’s family owned.

I::  How long have you …?

Si:: 6 years.

I::  6 years now? How many employees?

Si:: Just over 6. It’s not big.

I::  And you are?

C:: Christina with a ‘CH’. I’m a full time real estate agent, and my mum owns investment properties. I’ve been a realtor for 8 years, and now she manages the properties we own, and that’s her full time job, we have a large portfolio. However, there’s been a lot of overlap, my real estate clients want property management. So now, together with my mum, we’ve created a property management firm, and now we have 6 employees on the payroll, and its very exciting.

I::  Great. This is good all round, guys? I'm a small business owner too, so I do this independently. So I have three employees - me myself and I! I have somebody else that works with me but I’m one of you guys as well, right. Okay? So that’s been a really interesting project for me. Just because of all the stuff I've been hearing over the last couple of days. I relate to the things that you guys have been saying. Just really quickly, I’m going to go around, and tell me, (I should’ve done this when I was going around), who do you bank with, who is your main bank, and what are the some of the services or the connection you have with them. Christina, who’s your main bank?

C:: BO for daily payroll, for daily operating account. That’s how our payroll comes out.

I::  Any other things you have? Loans or lines of credit that kind of stuff?

B:: Yeah. With BMO and in the past, RBC. It’s really whoever offers the best deal.

I::  Okay.

Si:: EMO, for checking accounts and investments with them, and credit cards.

I::  Great. Briana?

B:: TD. And with them, I’ve regular checking account, loans, and credit cards. We don’t have a loan with them. Personally, I do. I’ve been with TD my entire life. Everything, basically is with TD.

I::  Bill?

V:: Everything with me is Scotiabank. I got my first Scotiabank account when I was at university. So I kept it basically, because I was too lazy to change it.

I::  I hear that story quite a bit. What kind of things? Checking accounts?

V:: Everything. checking payroll mortgages, everything. Business accounts, accounts tenants use for renting. Everything. Line of credit.

I::  Okay, yeah. Geoff?

G:: TD. Line of credit, operating account, business credit card, some investment as well.

I::  Okay, Sahak?

S:: Royal Bank. Business account, credit card, also investment account. Payrolls come from Royal Bank. We have also HSBC US dollar account, that’s from far East.

 

 

I::   Sue was asking…that’s what most of this discussion is going to be about - was it a rational decision, was it an emotional decision - and emotions and creativity, that kind of stuff that comes from the right side of the brain. I want you to try to suspend a little bit that left side - somebody that's an accountant is very much like “tick the boxes, tick the boxes” - more that creative side. There’s a couple of designers here, so I know you have some creativity in you as well.

 

TOY YOU NEVER GOT - PREPARATION

 

S::  Little cars…I’m 52, so this is probably in the 70s. My friend had it and I didn’t, and I always wished-

I::   What kind of car?

S::  All the cars.

I::   The Hot Wheels?

S::  Any small minatures. We were kids; we play, I’d go to his house. So when I grow up I got it; even my wife said ‘Are you going back as a kid? What’s wrong with you?’ My son was born, and I bought this thing - it had over fifty cars in it. She said ‘for who’, I said ‘for Chris’. She said ‘he’s not even a year old.’

V::  Kung Fu Grip, GI Joe’s. I’m 52 as well; I wanted one, I remember. My parents grew cup in the depression - my dad went through the war, my mum went through the war, so therefore I grew up in the depression - so because it was over, I got it. Very expensive now.

C::  In the early 90s, I went down to Toronto for some passport stuff, and my mom and I went into the Barbie store near the (INAUDIBLE 00:17:20) centre; they had a Barbie doll house with a ringing doorbell, and I don't know why but this thing was like five hundred dollars. It was so expensive; it was the thing that you put in the store that nobody really buys - they only have one in stock - and I bugged my mom for years. It did nothing expect for that. Later I was staging a house, decluttering it, and in the basement they had one.

B::  I can think back to when I was little; you know those toys that look like Saturn? There was a ball in the centre and you could bop it around.

I::   You didn't get it as an adult?

B::  No, but you know it's funny; there's this one time that always sticks in my mind, where my parents were making Christmas stockings and they bought me this little blue stapler; and it was the best gift. I don't know why but I just loved this little blue stapler; and then the next day or that Christmas, it went missing and I never found it again. When I started my business  I went out and bought a little blue stapler; it just reminded me of my childhood. A like few years back we're with our cousins; we were just talking kids and going to my cousin’s house at Christmastime. My cousin was like “Yeah, it’s random; one time I found this little blue stapler.”

S::  They had this thing - you could have a bowling alley in your house, but it was really small. My mum’s like “No”, then I went to a kid’s birthday party and they had those; I was so jealous.

G::  I was really spoiled; nearly everything I wanted for Christmas I got. One year, it wasn't a toy per se, I wanted a watch; and I watched my brother - my older brother, seven years older than me - unwrap my watch. I look at my mother like “What's going on here?”, because that’s supposed to be my watch. She had this awful habit of buying everything way in advance and wrapping them, and then forgetting to label them. That was not my mindset; I always got what I wanted. I made a big to-do about it after the fact; I don't know how I controlled myself.

 

EXISTING BRAND – QUESTION/PREPARATION

 

I::   Sari, what did you have?

Si::  Tom’s of Maine, the natural products.

I::   Christina?

C::  Mini and Porsche, I’m a car girl.

S::  Mercedes Benz.

G::  Tesla.

B::  Under Armour.

B::  Greenhouse Juice.

 

TARGETS - QUESTION/PREPARATION

 

I::   Jeff, want to start us off?

G::  I did Tesla; who is the target? Eco-minded consumer who’s interested in technology; and I think what makes the brand unique original is the battery mileage, the fact you can go so far on one charge and one power. It’s not hybrid; so many of the other cars are hybrids. What does it stand for; I think helping to minimise our carbon footprint, because there’s no fossil fuels being burned. What is the brand’s personality; I think it's sophisticated, I think they have a good design and sleek inside and out. Love the fact there’s a trunk in the back and the front; the engine’s only this big. What aspect of the brand would make you choose this over; I would say the style and performance. Again, I'm talking about the battery; the fact that you can get a charge and go so far on one charge. And the essence of the brand is that you don't give up performance for not having a gas engine.

S:&emsp I put independent comfort seating; Benz. I was going to say 40+, but I always like to sign up with the 30+ age demographic. What makes this unique; I always gravitated to that stuff. Of course, the quality care.

I:&emsp Is there anything beyond quality? Because a lot of brands will saw quality. 1iThis is different; there are lots of good cars out there. This is something I grew up with. There are much better cars out there - not a lot - but this different to me. What does it stand for; its boldness. Bold and tough look. Essence; just one word, class.

G:&emsp That's interesting, because it's funny, I actually have a Mercedes; I agree with everything he said.

 

I:&emsp He understands the Mercedes consumer.Christina you’re a car girl, self-described car girl. Let’s see what the target is for the Mini, you did Mini right?

 

C:: Yeah, I did Mini just because it’s an easier brand to quantify. So, who’s the target? Urban professionals who value quality and unique expression. Makes the brand unique because they have a historical racing pedigree that they put into their cars. They’re built by BMW, so they have the performance. But also, the customization options, there’s more than 24 colours available from the factory, different coloured roofs. There is actually more than 150,000 different ways you can customise your Mini. So it's someone who wants to be different, can definitely drive a mini. The brand stands for quality, performance-oriented cars for urban markets. The brands personality is fun, trendy, spirited, one of a kind, (INAUDIBLE 00:34:28) The essence of the brand I said, enjoy driving and express yourself along the way.

 

I::  What kind of expression is that? I would say, like the Mercedes you're expressing some kind- People drive Mercedes, it’s kind of prestigious.  What’s the expression there?

 

C:: A lot of designers or artsy creative people like the Mini. Because you can have like chequered roof, British flag on their roof, stripes, no stripes.

 

I::  Is it an individuality? Is a creative expression? Is it like expressing your creative side? Is that what you’re getting from mini?

 

C:: Yeah. Most cars they come in like 5 basic colours, whereas Mini pushes the boundaries with their colours. And also, like stickers and customisation. Also, Mini in North America is their number one car with the most customised license plates.

 

S:: Oh, really?

 

I::  Sari, what did you pick again?

 

Si:: Tom’s of Maine. Who’s the target? People who are health conscious and want to use natural products for their daily activities. Brand unique, original? To me it was the first brand of natural toothpaste without any fluoride and in natural deodorants without the aluminium. What does the brand stand for? Health, wellness using natural ingredients. Personality? It's earthy, natural, warm and friendly. What aspect of bread would you make choose it? It's known for quality using very natural ingredients and has a good reputation. What's the essence? I just said, natural products that keep you healthy.

 

I::  There isn’t any - I know you said quality - but there isn’t like a performance aspect. I know performance in cars is one of those things.

 

Si:: The deodorant or toothpaste?

 

I::  No in the sense that it actually works to either. If it actually works to…

 

Si:: It does.

 

I::  You didn’t put that in there. I was interested why that didn’t come in.

 

Si:: Oh, I just assume, I mean the reputation, right. They’ve got a good reputation. So, that’s implied.

 

I::  They do talk to them about more than their health and that kind of stuff, versus some of the other toothpaste or deodorants like Colgate who’ll say they give 5x cavity fighting ingredients and that kind of stuff. But that's not what that brand is about, right.

 

Si:: To be honest, it's natural but it's never as good as the ones.

 

C:: It’s one of the best natural ones though.

 

Si:: Yeah. But when you’re using natural products like that you have to compromise a little bit. You have to do more frequent applications.

 

I::  So that’s why I guess you didn't talk about that. Sometimes brands will talk about that, the function, but this is more like the health benefit versus. Keep going around the horn. Briana?

 

B:: So, I had – I don’t know if people know what Greenhouse Go is or Greenhouse Juice. It's actually a fairly new company and it’s juicing essentially. They sell juices. It's all natural, organic.

 

I::  Is it a resale or is it a storefront?

 

B:: Yeah, a storefront, they have multiple locations all over Toronto. I don’t know if it’s outside of Toronto, but they started in Toronto. Actually, just down the street. There’s one in Yorkdale and there’s one in…. There’s a tonne of them now. Their brand really resonates with me because they're health conscious and I think that's what I am. So, I think the target audience is anyone who wants to live a healthy life or healthy lifestyle.

And people who are conscious of what they're putting in their body. What makes the brand unique? They were one of the first companies in Toronto to really get on the juicing bandwagon. They use all organic foods, they have a points program for returning bottles, and they have sustainable practices and recycling methods that they use. And they're always bettering their products. Every time you go in there they're changing the bottles because it's more- you can recycle the lids, they’re always trying to figure out ways to actually better use their product or create better products. What does their brand stand? Healthy living or health first. The brands personality is youthful, fresh, clean, uncluttered. What aspect of the brand would you choose this over another in the same category? I said yes. The brand is probably the points program or the fact they are somewhat eco-minded. I like that fact. They’re trying to get back to their customers.

And the essence of the brand? I just said, live well, live longer.

 

I::  So, it’s kind of in the same space as Sari for different products. I’ve done a lot of work with food companies and a lot of times people go, they’ll say, “Taste, taste, taste.” You didn’t say that even though I’m sure it takes good. But I’m curious that you didn't actually put in any of those boxes something that's very functional. You put more emotional things in there.

 

B:: I've had juices from other companies before, and they're just as good. But I think just the fact that the brand is really trying to push the recycling aspect, they're really trying to keep their brand clean. I think that's what really drives me to stay with the brand, even more so over another company.

 

I::  So, in your mind that makes them much different.

 

B:: Yeah, definitely.

 

I::  Okay, Bill?

 

V:: I chose Under Armour. Just because it was the first brand that popped into my head. Normally I'm not really a clothing directory. I normally just buy my clothes from Bobs Country Bunker.

 

I::  You’re not a very modest person, Bill. I have to say. Who’s the target?

 

V:: Basically, it's everyone. I used to think it was, when I first noticed it and started wearing it, just workout people, gym people, martial arts people. And then, I noticed everyone now. I’ll see little kids wearing, I’ll see really out of shape people wearing it. And I'm cool with that. But, the reason I really like it, is it’ really high quality. When I played football in university I found I’d always wear a T-shirt under my pants and it always got ripped apart within a couple of games. I found under armour,

if I’d have had it back then, wouldn’t rip apart. And it really does a good job of sucking the sweat away from you.

 

I::  Who’d you play for?

 

V:: Carleton University, the Ravens. That was back when I had knees and self-respect. Basically, it is just a quality material. It supports you during your workout, it hugs into you, it really supports your body when you’re running and stuff. At my age I need a lot of support. And if it was a person? I think it would be like a fit person, very active, very serious. A lot of fun, like a Terry Crews kind of guy. And the aspect of the brand that made me choose it over another is it doesn't fall apart. It’s more money, but unlike the other stuff- Because I tried the no-name stuff that you get from Joe Fresh and stuff, it falls apart and it doesn't do a good job of keeping me dry when I’m training. And the essence of this brand? I would say is just a quality apparel that it enhances your training.

 

B:: It’s so true, Under Armour stuff never deteriorates. I’ve had stuff for years that I’ve washed 1,000 times.

 

V:: But It’s still snug.

 

I::  If you were doing that for Nike, would it be a different description?

 

V:: No, I like Nike.

 

I::  I know you like them, but would it be like a different target?

 

V:: No, I’d say the exact same stuff about everything. I’ve got a lot of Nike stuff, that’s my go to running shoe.

 

I::  What years did you play, may I ask?

 

V:: Oh, 89 to 90.

 

I::  I probably would have seen you because I was at McGill at the time and I used to go watch.

 

V:: Oh you were at ‘McThrill’, right on man. Yeah, we would have played.

 

I::  I would have seen you play, I used to play on the soccer team. I used to go watch football games all the time. That’s great, you guys did an awesome job. I do this kind of stuff for a living and I don’t know if I’d do a better job than you guys did.

Let's get back into banking, so the rest show is going to be about banking. I'm going to give you the same template. I want you to write your main bank. Can you tell me what your main bank is? If you write your main bank at the top there and do only the 3 buckets there that I have starred. I starred the target, the brand personality and the essence of the brand. So a couple of minutes on that.

 

PREPARATION

 

I::  You done Bill? Good. I’ll start with you, because you finished last the last time. Remind me of your main bank.

 

V:: I’m Scotiabank.

 

I::   Who’s the target for Scotiabank?

 

V:: Scotiabank is everybody with money.

 

I::   Again, it's the business banking.

 

V:: Oh, business only. People with business with money.

 

 

I::   Or the sort of business that I’m under, right. Is there something more. Is there a more bullseye kind of? It’s fine but it’s a bit broad. If you think about the brand?


V:: If I think about their brand per se. To me it’s a bank. Canadian banks to me, they’re all pretty much the same. I mean if you need a business bank account, you can go into any branch or any bank and get one. I could be wrong in that.

 

I::   Functionally you can. But do you get a kind of… Again, using more your right brain, it’s the impressions that you get. Let's skip that. What did you put as the personality?

 

V:: Sorry. This is the danger of going first. The brand personality? I put like a very professional guy in suit. The people I deal with, they’re very professional, they're not very fun, but they’re very professional. They’ve got the suit, the glasses, the pocket protectors. They’re the kind of people you want to roll at recess for their lunch money.

I'm not going to, but anyway.

 

I::   Did you do that when you were a kid, Bill? You didn’t get the kung-fu.

 

V:: I didn’t actually, I got rolled a lot. Me and my therapist are still working on it. No, they’re very professional, they’re very focused.

 

I::   What did you put as an essence?

 

V:: Essence? It's a bank. It's not like the States. Canadian banks, they’re all pretty much the same.

 

I::   What did you put? What did you write down?

 

V:: I just wrote it’s a bank. Sorry, man.

 

I::   It’s okay. Christina who did you have? Who’s your bank again?

 

C:: BMO is my primary for business, but my TD is my primary for personal.

I actually think that TD has slightly better personality than BMO. But I agree that it’s just a bank and I struggled with this.

 

I::   Oh, you did struggle. That’s interesting. Where did you put in target?

 

C:: Target is businesses requiring banking services.

 

I::  Right, so it’s very general, versus some of the stuffy you put for Mini and some of the other brands.

 

C:: Especially after doing the exercise with fun brands, now going to this I agree that the major banks, I can’t even tell them apart. 

 

I::  What did you put as a personality?

 

C:: Corporate and functional.

 

I::  Any essences?

 

C:: Reliable banking solutions.

 

I::  Okay, good stuff, alright. Sahak?

 

S:: I put that they used to be, I remember previously they used to say, it’s a bank for mid to large sized business, and the small guys ignored. If you are not a mid or large you are the small guys.

 

I::  Who’s yours, it’s Royal Bank?

 

S:: Royal Bank. Then, I put trying to be more to small. Getting more to small business and give better service. It’s just like you are in a store and client walks in with a nice suit and driving a luxury car. You go take care of them. The other client walks in with his jeans. You ignore. That's the mentality used to be. But now they try to be a little more modest.

 

I::  Personality?

 

S:: This is a little bit more political, what's the brand's personality? But you ask what your impression is of course.

 

I::  Yes, 100%.

 

S:: So, I’m saying, it feels like royalty, but not a British royalty. It feels like Scottish, I don’t know why. Maybe that guy, maybe that other insurance guy with the blue eyes, blue eyes jacket, “Your infant knows how to print. Your infant knows to play to guitar. Then you need insurance.” From the one, I don't know. I feel it reminds me of a bottle of scotch. That’s what it is. What’s the essence? I would say white glove service.

 

I::  Oh my god, okay. Well, that’s quite interesting. That actually connects really well, that’s good. Geoff, over to you.

 

G:: TD, which I still call Canada Trust. My very first bank account was Canada Trust when I was like 9 years old. For me, the target is someone who expects personal service.

 

I::  So, it’s a little bit different from (INAUDIBLE 00:50:12) 005012.  

 

G:: And that comes from the Canada Trust side of the TD equation, in my opinion. The brand personality I think is friendly. I think their essence is that banking can be friendly. It doesn't have to be intimidating.

 

I::  Excellent.

 

B:: It’s funny, I have TD too. My perception is very similar to yours, and I've always Canada Trust, I’ve always been with TD. Though if I look at it from a business perspective, I think TD would appeal to people who have been in business for a longer period of time. Even though I’m a newer business I just naturally went with TD because that’s my bank. But the brands personality is the same thing. Very friendly, knowledgeable, comforting, they’re stable, very trusted – obviously, Canada Trust.

 

G:: I find when you go to different branches, they all seem to be out of the same…

 

C:: And they all remember your name, exactly. I go to the branch where I opened my first account 25 years ago, and they still remember me and they remember my mum.

 

B:: The essence is just very straightforward banking.

 

V:: I feel like at TD they’re always trying to upsell you, because I was thinking of switching to TD.

 

B:: No? Really?

 

I::  Yeah, Sari.

 

Si:: Okay, so I said BMO. Target business owners who want to work with a bank that is innovative.

 

I::  So, you see innovation as kind of the people looking for innovative solutions.

 

C:: I’m curious as to why you think it’s innovative, because I have BMO and I don’t think it’s innovative.

 

I::  Okay. Hey, I’m asking the questions here. Thank you, Christina. I was going to ask you. What’s that sorry?

 

Si:: Investment, when you’re doing investments.

 

I::  Okay, it’s the investment side of stuff.

 

Si:: Their (INAUDIBLE 00:52:01) banking isn’t so good, but the investment part. Brand personality I guess is serious, but there is a little bit of playful side to it. Essence of the brand? BMO offers the best banking products that meet your needs.

 

I::  So, that’s a very functional kind of.

 

C:: Can I actually make another comment too?

 

I::  Yes.

 

C:: Thinking about this too, I think about actually going into my branch. I find the TD branches are easy to walk around, most branches breaks are the same. The feeling that you get when you walk into the branch is very comforting.

 

G:: It’s those chairs.

 

C:: Yeah, maybe the chairs. But everything is very easy. I think it goes along with the friendly nature of the people there, just the atmosphere.

 

S:: Banking can be more comfortable.

 

C:: Yeah.

 

I::  See, advertising does work, if they play that back.

 

Si:: Their app is great too.

 

I::  You guys are brilliant at this, so I think you’re going to be brilliant at the next thing I’m going to be showing you. What we're going to be working on now is CIBC. It's a bank. I don’t know if some of you may have personal or may have some stuff with CIBC. But regardless, if you have or you don't, want to know what your thoughts are. What Im going to be showing you, it's basically this kind of stuff. You kind of write this kind of stuff up. It will be shown. It will be shown in a more longhand, more of a narrative. Try to write a story about CIBC, and we call it positioning. Positioning is like, what is the place for the brand in the marketplace. In the sense of what's going to be in your mind. When you're positioning we’re looking at 3 to 5 years from now. Some of the stuff you might read here, you think they’re not really doing that now. But it’s what they aspire to be. And this is the business banking side of things. Does that make sense? I'm going to get you guys to look at this individually. You have a red and a blue. We're going to do a hot and cold exercise. You’re going to read through it individually, and if as you’re reading along and you find certain sentences or words or phrases or paragraphs that kind of resonate with you personally, for you and your business, “Hey this is really interesting.” Highlight it with the red. If there’s stuff that really like, “Nah, know what. No way.” You know it's not really resonating, doesn't jive with you, mark it in blue. You don't have to mark everything. If you're neutral about something just let it be. But it isn't really, something that you’re not really liking, just highlighted it. Or say I don't really believe in this kind of stuff for me, so it's not relevant to you, then put the blue. Buy you don’t have to highlight everything. Red is hot. That means you have some passion for it, some relevance for it. Blue is cold. It doesn’t leave you feeling that great about stuff.

 

…..

 

I::  There’s 2 of them. These are two different ways, two different approaches that they can take. Just do the exercises for both of them, then we’ll have a discussion. 

 

…..

 

I::  Also give it a score from 1 to 10. Give each one a score from 1 to 10. If it’s really resonating highly with you give it an 8,9,10. If it's not resonating at all you get a 1,2,3,4. Then, neutral, 5 or 6. Overall. Don’t treat this an ad. Think of it as like an organising philosophy, “This is what we want to do for customers.” It’s a very high level, it’s not like, “What’s the interest rate on my loan.” Kind of thing. It’s more like this high-level kind of philosophy. And the other brands you've been talking about, that you did the exercise for, they do this kind of stuff in terms of positioning themselves in the market. They have a certain philosophy in how they go about. This is something that CIBC has been thinking about for their future. 

 

B:: So, 1 out of 10 kind of thing?

 

I::  Yeah, 1 out of 10 for each one.

 

…..

 

I::  I’m just going to go around the room. Just tell me the score. What score did you give the ‘power of network’? What kind of score did you give?

 

C:: 6

 

Si:: 7

 

B:: 6   

 

V:: 9   

 

G:: 6

 

S:: 9

 

I::  Okay, so some mixes there. What about the other one? What kind of scores did you give the ‘pro-to-pro’?

 

C:: 8

 

Si:: 8

 

B:: 8   

 

V:: 7   

 

G:: 6

 

S:: 8

 

I::  Okay, it seems like the pro-to-pro, if this was a qualitative study, it’d have a little bit of a higher average score. Let's start with the ‘power of the network’. Who gave that like an 8 or a 9?

 

S:: I did.

 

V:: I gave it a 9.

 

I::  So, the two of you. What did you like about that one, Sahak?

 

S:: I didn’t mark anything in blue, so there is nothing I disliked.

 

I::  Okay. That’s really…

 

S:: I had some things neutral, and I realised if I feel a little bit less neutral or negative I was going to mark in blue. ‘You have a dream and made a brave choice to walk a path others couldn’t.’ So, this didn’t jive with me but I didn’t dislike it. It’s okay, it’s nice words put together.

 

I::  So, you took over the business from the family business?

 

S:: I didn’t, I joined.

 

I::  You joined it?

 

S:: Yes, third generation. What I really enjoyed, ‘to move to the next level you can’t do it alone’.

 

I::  Tell me about that. What's that all about?

 

S:: See, that’s why in the beginning it didn’t jive with me much. We all have dreams, everybody can dream. But to get to the next level sometimes you need a push, you need a hand. Or I wouldn't say you need a hand. You need I think either from outside or from within you, to get you to the next step. That’s what resonated with me.

 

I::  What else did you underline in red?

 

S:: Networking is important, obviously. That's when it says, ‘we have the connections to building the networks’, that sounds good.

 

I::  You didn’t have much blue stuff in there. Bill, you had a lot of red and some blue at the top. Tell me the red part.

 

V:: The red stuff spoke to me. It speaks mostly about being part of a network, to me which means part of a team.

 

I::  Why is that important to you?

 

V:: That’s very important to me because as an investor you need to be part of a team. People who try to stand alone and think they know everything tend to get slaughtered by people who can work as a cohesive team. And basically, for me, I like to listen to people who are a lot smarter than me and take their advice. If I can get that through a bank, because nothing is worse than having a guy who owns a house tell you what a great investment this property is, and they've never owned an investment property. Right? If I can get a team of my bank that understands my goals and stuff, then that would be very important to me. That would be very good. From a philosophical standpoint I thought this was very good. They're both good. They both spoke to me. This one spoke to me more, just because it talks about networks and teams.

 

I::   You had some blue there. What was that?

 

V:: The beginning I didn't really like that much, just because it seemed to be stroking me. It’s like a little lead up, “Oh, you had a dream.”

 

I::   The Internet is not really to stroke because it’s not a piece of advertising. What it’s trying to do, and you’re going to help me make the blues into reds or build on these ideas. The intent is to get into your mindset, get into that target. If we’re going to be offering this kind of stuff, this network solution for you or for lack of a better word, who’s the kind of person? It’ss trying to get into the mindset businesses owners.

V:: If you chop off ‘have a dream’.

 

I::   I know it’s not working for you, but you’ll have a chance to tell me or build when I put you guys in teams. And kind of say, “What is that mindset?” That a person who’s looking for a network solution, it’s going to appeal to. Anybody give a 7? Sari? You have quite a bit of red in there as well.

 

Si:: Yeah, there are things that I liked.

 

I::   Tell me.

 

Si:: The first part, I should have maybe put it blue. The whole ‘you had a dream’, it’s like woah. It’s too… I don’t know. Dreamy quality, it’s not serious, it’s too fluffy.

 

I::   Is there is any truth to it though?

 

Si:: You don't have to pat me on the back for that. Let's just get to the point. It's exciting entrepreneur being an entrepreneur, but to move on you can’t do it all by yourself, you need.

 

I::   So, there’s truth in that part?

 

Si:: That part made sense to me. You need to be part of a network, a team.

 

I::   And why is that important to you?

 

Si:: Because you can't do it by yourself. Everyone is your partner really. Your suppliers, everyone you work with is your partner.

 

I::   So, some people working for you? It's also people like your suppliers.

 

Si:: Well, the bank to me is a supplier. So that we’re all part of my team. I have to have a good relationship, everyone benefits. And then whole thing, so that was all fluffy stuff. Just to the important part, the idea. Creating networks. Building networks, creating connections and the bigger the network the better success is going to happen for all of us.

 

I::  You didn’t have any blues. But you probably would have put a blue there. What about the rest of you guys? Go ahead, Briana.

 

B:: The first statement, I obviously agree, the beginning part in the paragraph just basically pumping their tires essentially. The thing is that it's interesting because the beginning part of the paragraph says, ‘you did this on your own, you were an entrepreneur, you went out’. And then it says at the last sentence that you can’t do it all on your own. It's almost contradicting. The first parts like, you had the admission to do this. But you can’t do it all by yourself. That actually kind of turned me for some reason.

 

I::  Is it like you’ve got to a certain point, and that you need a team to take you to the next level?

 

B:: The concept, or like the idea of the network, I agree with. I totally believe in, I agree with that. It is exciting to be an entrepreneur, but I don't know if maybe it was just just the choice of words or how it was phrased that really turned me off. Maybe the image it’s paired with too. far It just seems really like, not farfetched, but you're so far removed that I don't relate to it because… Like this image for instance, I actually related to a team.

 

I::  Tell me why the network is important to you. We’re not worried so much about the image, that’s something they can change.

 

B:: The network? Because the idea of creating connections and building networks, you do have. I see the importance of building a great network, and the bigger your network the more business you’re going to gain, making those connections. I think that's really what good business is about. Just some of the words, I think there are certain things that just kind of turned me off. Like ‘plugging you into contacts’, for some reason that just really made me.

 

I::  Okay, so some of the language stuff doesn’t work. But the concept that the network is working for you. Christina?  

 

C:: I hated that, ‘you’ve borne the burden of business on your back’. I thought that was terrible. I don't think of businesses as a burden, I think of it as freedom. Ultimate freedom, totally. To call that I burden, I was immediately like, “Ugh.” I would have stopped reading right there.

 

I::  You have a few red spots there though. You give it a 6. You have some red spots. Tell me about them?

 

C:: Talking about growing your success everybody wants to do that at some point. The bigger the network the bigger success. I could kind of agree with that, so I highlighted that in red. But I feel like the rest, like ‘the burden of business’. I thought at that point right there that they don’t know me at all. They don't understand entrepreneurs at all. I was immediately turned off by that. I also feel like they’re trying to hard with this ‘plugging you into contacts, business power grid’, I was rolling my eyes.

 

I::  So, the language and the tone is not working for you. But that idea of the network, because we can rewrite these things in a different tone. Tell me, is that an interesting idea to you? We can totally, and we’re actually going to, rewrite some of the stuff anyway. Is that an interesting idea to you or is it just like, doesn’t really apply to me and my business?

 

C:: I don’t know. I build my own network. I don’t really ever think of the bank as being like a network builder. I go to them for my banking services, and then I go somewhere else for anything else I need.

 

I::  Okay, brilliant. Geoff, I didn’t hear from you on this one. You gave this one a 6 as well.

 

G:: I gave it a 6. The picture really turned me off.

 

I::  Because it’s the US.

 

G:: Why am I in America? I'm want to be doing all my business in New York, Boston, Miami, Chicago. I thought the ‘exciting being an entrepreneur’, I like that line. I hate when someone tells me I need something. So, need to be part of something bigger, which is the US. of A, we won’t get in to Donald Trump, politics.

 

I::  Just to tell you that’s not the intent, we’d be here all day.

 

G:: The ‘real business success achieved through creating connections’, but I'm seeing that through my connections. Not the bank’s connections.

 

I::  You don’t see the bank playing a role in helping that department in any way?

 

G:: Not really, no. Like basically banking is, something you have to do. You have to do it with somebody. Right. Because of our system you have to. Maybe if we were in a different system you wouldn’t have to.

 

I::  You don't see a benefit of if you can plug into some of the contacts that they have, or advice on this side.

 

G:: I do in theory. But I think like it's somebody here mentioned, the way it was written. It's very fluffy.

 

C:: It’s the kind of thing you'd find like on the back of a brochure you’d never read!

You’d get the brochure because there’s a paragraph about the actual cost or interest rate or something. Okay, I’ll take the brochure. This is the kind of thing you just add to fill up.

 

I::  I understand it's maybe the way it’s written. What I'd like you to try to do as best you can, especially when you have a chance to, is to overlook that kind of stuff a little bit, and look to the kernel of the idea and see if the kernel of the idea is good or not. How can we communicate this a little bit better? So that's the next exercise we’re going to do. But before we do that I want to look at… Geoff you want to start us on this one. You didn’t like this one either or this one was a bit better?

 

G:: This one was a 6 for me.

 

I::  So, both 6. before we do that. I want to. I.

 

G:: Yeah. You are exceptional at what you do, people to depend on you and your advice and your expertise to help them.

 

I::  That gets you?

 

G:: That got me. They are here to help your business run efficiently, I agree with. Led by a client captain, which implies to me that maybe you're dealing with one person. But before I saw it I thought, gosh how many people are you going to be dealing with here. So, I like that. But the ultimate team to help you shine. Just, again there's something about those words.

 

I::   If you knock off the shine, is it the shine that kind of gnaws at you?

 

G:: Well, the ultimate team. To say that we’re the ultimate.

 

I::  You’ve said some very positive things, so why a 6?

 

G:: I think the overall wordiness.

 

I::  Okay, so it’s the wordiness of it. What about the idea? If you were just giving a score on the idea of the pro-to-pro idea. Is a good idea? Is it more worthy of a 7, 8 or 9?

 

G:: I don’t know if it’s an original idea.

 

I::  Christina you gave this one a high score. I believe you gave it an 8? Tell me?

 

C:: Yeah so versus the other I thought this was better. Overall, what I really liked was the ‘freeing you up to do what you do best’. Because I’m always struggling with time management. ‘Each is an an expert in their area’. And then again, I was like how many people am I going to be dealing with, that sounds like a bigger headache. Then saying, ‘led by a team captain’. I’m like, okay. So, all I have to do is coordinate with this one team captain, they're going to wrangle all the other people. Maybe that could useful to me. So, I do feel that if all of those people that they're mentioning are actually investment experts and wealth management masters, instead of just fluff. Then, that could actually be really useful. Then I could use the bank for more than just my daily banking.

 

B:: It's funny, going back to what you said about how you don't consider the bank to have a network for you to get business from. That's why I like the team aspect, because the bank is part of your team. They're actually working as part of your business, keeping your business afloat. And obviously bringing you networks like other business but helping in the day to days. Like you said, when they talk about how they say, ‘free you up to do what you do best’, or whenever. I like that aspect. That's why I think I like this concept better. Because it means I understand the business is a part of my team. They are a part of my business because they help it function.

 

B:: I wanted to add as well. Being a realtor, I also coach my clients into thinking of me not just for their real estate transaction, but for other things as well. Like carpet or furniture cleaning, or interior design. I'm constantly networking with other small businesses too. I think that's why I resonated with this, because my clients are now starting to think of me as a resource, for not just the home sale but the other things too. Connect with businesses.

 

I::  You didn’t get that sense from the other idea? In terms of networking, and plugging into them, and getting advice from.

 

B:: Didn’t really.

 

I::  Okay. Sorry, you gave this one an 8 as well?

 

B:: Yeah Because it's very specific about what they're going to do or what they can do when they talk about tax geniuses. Because I've had a meeting at BMO not too long ago, and they were offering me, “We have someone who can review wills and give you an opinion, and then direct you to talk to your lawyer.” These are points, if you have US investments in US things, we could note what the US laws are because we know what they are. And I don’t even have to pay for it, it's part of the package, what you do. We’ll will give you a whole plan, your investment goals and (INAUDIBLE 01:18:04) And I thought, cool. That sounds similar to what they want to do here, where they have. They’re not promising to get me business, but they're going to help me and work with the areas that I need help. Because I'm not an expert in tax, investments, that kind of thing. I really like that. And again, the whole idea is that you know. I do what I can do I do. I do best my part of it, but they can handle this other part that I’m not as good at.

 

I::  Who haven't I heard from? I think Sahak.

 

S:: I’m attracted to the team. I gave it a 9.

 

I::  You gave this one a 9, okay.

 

S:: Of course, if inside your team there is a team player. That's important. And again, other point that I liked about it, it’s giving the price about tax issues and wealth management issues. These are things, I mean you are more focused to run your day-to-day business, you can’t control everything. Other stuff comes prepared to you, and you look at it. That would be very helpful. It’s not just to banking, it can give tax advice, it can do wealth management advice. For the business that would be something very productive.

 

I::  That's great stuff guys. We're going to take a 5-minute break. You guys have = been working really hard. When you come back I’m going to put you into teams and we're going to dig into this a little bit further. Try to make it sing. So, it could be some language stuff. But also I want to see what you come up with, in terms of what the core idea is and can understand what's in your head. But you’re going to do it as a team and I’ll put you into teams.

 

Break

 

I::  Christina and Briana, you’ll stick together with Geoff. I want you guys to work on ‘pro-to-pro’. So, I want you guys to get up and go over there. Sari, I want you to work with the gentleman, Bill and Sahak, and you're going to be working on ‘power of our network’. It. The first thing I want you guys to do… And you guys do it for yours and you guys do it for this one here, just grab a marker. I want you to, like you did that exercise for your bank and you did that exercise for a brand that you were working on. Is try to come up with an essence for this area. So, look at it again and focus on the good parts, don’t focus on where you had the blues. Focus on the idea, the kernel of the idea. What is the real kernel of the idea. I loved the one that you had for Mini and the one that you had for Greenhouse Juice. That really encapsulated what the brand is about. Again, in terms of the kernel that’s resonating with you, what would the essence be. You guys do the same thing on that one there. Work on it a little bit and I’ll come by again and tell you the next thing that you should do.

 

C:: Should we just write words down then?

 

I::  You can do whatever you want, if you want to. If you want to use… I’m going to ask you for a target and a personality later, but start with the essence, one thing that you can do. If you just want to write in words and then make sure you put it up over here.  

 

PREPARATION

 

I::  So, you did on the pro-to-pro, and what did you come up with for an essence?

 

C:: The essence was ‘one stop advisor on your side’.

 

I::  How did you come up with? Help me understand that.

 

C:: We thought the team aspect, you’re looking at like the bank is going to be part of your team. They’re on your level. They’re not somebody who is up there telling you what to do. They’re looking at it from your ground level point of view. They’re on your side but they are also an advisor. They have multiple resources, whether it’s in one space, whether it’s that person that helps you with certain things or they delegate that to a team member.

 

I::  I noticed you guys didn’t change very much of this. You had quite a few reds on your thing as well. Any?

 

C:: To develop the essence we found these characteristics that were in the ad.

 

I::  What were some of the things that you were picking out?

 

C:: ‘Pro-to-pro’. At first that didn’t resonate too well with all of us, so we started dissecting the ad itself. We realised that at the beginning they are acknowledging that you are an expert. That you’re exceptional. Then, down here, they’re connecting it to the fact that we are in expert in what we do, let’s form an A-team.

 

I::  So, there’s like constant expertise, saves you time.

 

C:: Saves you time, one-stop resource was basically what they were saying. The captain.

 

I::  Those were the elements that you were pulling out of this to support the ‘one stop advisor on your side’.

 

B:: But the fact that they’re also in it with you. So, it’s not like they’re just this outside, they’re also helping to run your business.

 

I::  The target, you wrote a target. Small to medium, start-up, growth-stage. Why not… I know you guys were talking about it’s not a mature company, it’s more somebody that’s in the growth stage. Why is that?

 

G:: From the wording it just implied to us that that’s who they seem to be going at.

 

B:: You’re still trying to develop your team, that to me means somebody is still growing in some capacity.

 

C:: If you’re an establish business, probably assume that you’ve had a tax and wealth management expertise at some point, and maybe it’s diverse between multiple companies and professionals. Yeah, definitely something that would appeal to a start-up. This one-stop shop kind of idea.

 

I::  It’s a start-up with someone in their growth-stage. You said that it would pledge someone – you’ve been in the business for 5 years – this is something that would apply to you as well.

 

C:: Yeah.

 

I::  Okay, I asked you guys to do the personality. What did you come up with?

 

G:: Straight shooter, no BS.  

 

I::  That’s quite bold, if you have approachable and friendly as well. Why those two things? Straight shooter, no BS and approachable and friendly. What gives you that sense?

 

B:: Because they’re on your team you would assume that they want your business to grow. So, they’re not going to say something just to make their business better, they’re going to do it really in the mindset of your business.

 

C:: As Briana mentioned, they’re in it with you. That talks about maybe establishing a relationship, not just a transaction. Growing with you, being on your side for the long-haul.

 

I::  Not a transaction but an actual relationship. You took a stab to rewrite the tag. You’ve got a couple of different ways at it.

 

B:: Yeah, we just looked at changing ultimate to experienced or straightforward. Ultimate just seemed a little…

 

I::  So, experienced team. 

 

B:: Experienced team, straightforward team to help youm instead of shine, maybe prosper, grow and build.

 

I::  Okay. So, experienced team to help you prosper, grow and build. And, straightforward team to help you prosper, grow, build. What’s some of the ideas to support? If you’re telling CIBC that in order to believe this idea going forward, this is what you’re going to be all about. What are some of the things that they should be doing?

 

C:: The main thing we brought up is this is a really cool concept if they deliver on it. There’s a lot of weight on the branch level as well, to make sure that they execute it. These better be tax geniuses. If it’s a one-stop shop and that team captain is organised, then it’s awesome. That would convince people to actually move their business banking to CIBC.

 

B:: Actually, to your point too, about the actual in branch. Not just that they need to have these features, these services, but that what they’re doing is their business is more straightforward thinking. So, maybe they’re more technologically friendly. I could easily access an app that’s going to do everything for me. I can do it at any place and any time.

 

I::  I’ll put that in there.

 

B:: Even when I go to the bank, maybe I don’t have to wait in line. Maybe there’s a kiosk where I can expedite the process or something like that.

 

C:: Like at Starbucks if the line is long I just google order while I’m in line, and everyone is like, “How did you get your order?”

 

B:: Yeah exactly.

 

I::  Secret handshake. Brilliant, you guys did a great job. ‘Power of the network’. So what’s your essence over here?

 

S:: ‘Better the network, bigger the success.’

 

I::  So you have two wordings. ‘The bigger the network the bigger the success’ or ‘the better the network the better the success’. How did you come about that? What’s this idea all about?

 

S:: Well obviously, more contacts. More people you know. There are more chances, more business opportunities, more prospects, more leads to new business or new clients. Then, next we added that part of the service they provide, they do conferences. Sort of organising business conferences, you meet likeminded people or other business owners through the bank.

 

I::  Keep going, what else do you have there?

 

V:: We want to see how the experts are vetted. Are they an expert because they’ve got a proof of track record results, and I can see numbers and verify that? Or did they take a weekend seminar on how to sell mutual funds? Also, I want to know organisation of businesses. If they were to offer free seminars on business, finances, taxing, accounting strategies, that would be interesting to me. I would go to that for two reasons. One:&emsp I like talking to people who are smarter than me, basically everybody, especially if they have a verified field. I can go back and pick their brain, they can teach me stuff. That’s the first reason. The second reason would be because I'm going to meet other people who are like minded, who are forward thinking, goal driven, ambitious people who… Maybe they have a really good plumbing business that I need or maybe they have a painting business that I need. Instead of hiring schlubby off the street, who’s going to throw paint on my house and run away. Also, networking with other CIBC clients. If I am a CIBC client, I’m hoping the guy I'm talking to, if he has this team that he's flaunting to me, he’s shoving in my face. I'm hoping that if, say someone needs something that business, whatever it is I can provide, he would recommend me instead of his friend. I’m hoping that there would be some reciprocity there. They could also offer webinars, podcasts on topics if they didn’t want to go the full on seminar way. To me a seminar is more hands on, it’s more meaningful.

 

I::  So, topics of the same kind of stuff you’re talking about.

 

Si:: Because even if you go to a seminar or a conference, there’s so much information thrown at you. So, if it’s podcasts or other ongoing webinars then you can always tap in to information. When you get a chance to be with other people, really networking in person, this kind of follows up to that next. And we like the whole tag, ‘the power of our network’.  

 

I::  So, the title of it, ‘the power of our network’, you like it as a tag. The ‘power grid’ wasn’t working for you. And, I noticed here too, you guys put here the top part.

 

V:: Yeah, the first part was just everyone says that. They also say we’re not your traditional bank and we won’t (INAUDIBLE 02:02:47) with your traditional bank.

 

I::  But the second sentence you guys had heart for. Being an entrepreneur exciting, you said scary, I understand that as well. I asked you whether that was a preamble to that and you said that was just fine.

 

V:: Yeah, it’s fine if they just start right in it. Like if they just go for it instead of…

 

S:: If it’s not negative it’s not interesting.

 

I::  It doesn’t make any kind of impact? Either positive or negative. 

 

Si:: The target is entrepreneurs who are growing, who want to grow and are growing. Not the person who just started that day.

 

I::  It’s kind of similar to that one- Actually no, that one had both start-up and those we were seeking to take it to the next level.

 

V:: To me your business should just perpetually be in a growth cycle. If you start thinking, “I’ve arrived, I can sit on my (INAUDIBLE 02:03:37) now.”

 

I::  There are some businesses that are just maturing, they want to sell. Yeah, they don’t really want to grow, they want to maintain and harvest stuff. It would be a different target and I get that. Brilliant, guys, good stuff. Stay in your teams. You guys can just stay on this time, you can take Geoff’s seat. You guys sit down there. I’ve got one more team exercise for you guys to do. I don’t know the best way to do that. Remember I asked you guys to say, “What could we do to support this.” So, these are just ideas kind of similar to the seminar kind of stuff that you had there. I just want you guys to go through it and pick the one – there’s quite a few of them, so you’re going to have to be speed readers – pick the ones that appeal to you personally. If two of you agree as a team, put it down in the pile, ‘yeah it works’. Yes and no. Got to be really quick about it.

 

PREPARATION

 

I::  These are these that are personally relevant to you. And also, it fits with… So just for the folks in the back. There’s ‘proactive planning’, ‘industry specialist’, ‘time as promised’, ‘A-team includes’, ‘knowledge network’, ‘business veterans only’, ‘meet you anywhere’, ‘3 to 1 continuity team’, ‘CIBC business academy’, ‘peers to power your ambition’, and ‘skills exchange’. So, the ‘3 to 1 continuity team’ seems to have both you guys there. Why did you guys fit this position here?

 

Si:: If someone is away, there’s always somebody.

 

I::  That’s (INAUDIBLE 00:02:17) you guys. Why did it fit yours?

 

B:: They talked about having the captain and then having all these other people that also were going to help you with your business, the captain delegates that. Those other people would technically know about your business. So, that’s why we though that having 3 people, or that 3 in 1 continuity, would make the team.

 

C:: And for vacations when you don't have to wait for someone to return.

 

I::  Ok, good stuff. ‘Meet you anywhere’. You both had ‘meet you anywhere’. Why is that important to you personally and why does it fit with that?

 

B:: Well, it kind of goes back to the point we were talking about with technology, where for them to be forward thinking and be technologically advanced. With my business I work remotely. A lot of what I do is remote, so that is important to me. But I think it is important for all businesses nowadays. A lot of people travel and are away. Being able to access people or services or your bank is important.

 

I::  Let’s see if there are any other. ‘Our A-team includes’ and there’s a list of folks it includes. You guys picked that as well. Why did you put that in there? The A-team includes, it has things like cash management, financing expert, foreign exchange experts, that kind of thing. Why does that fit with them?

 

V:: Just the Importance of networks, where your knowledge lacks we maybe have something that you need.

 

S:: That’s part of the network.

 

 

I::  It is part of the network, that’s what you guys had in your mind when you thought of a network. How does it apply to your area?

 

C:: Well, it specifically fits the saying that there is an A-team. But then also they also they list experts.

 

S:: Coming at it from a different angle.

 

I::  Okay, cool. Let’s see what else is… Just for the folks in the back because I ran out. So the ‘continuity team’, that was an overlap with the other one. ‘Star strong’, again that’s because it could be start-up or a more mature business. I’m putting words in your mouth because I’m running out of time. ‘The flexible benefits and charges’, ‘expert grid’, no you guys didn’t have that. ‘Meet you anywhere’, we had that. ‘Proactive planning’, ‘say it once’, ‘personalised growth plan’, ‘smart banking for business’. This is a different one, ‘smart banking for business’ but it has a different a different explanation. ‘Cash fluid’ and our ‘A-team includes. So, what was the criteria you were looking at in terms of picking those ones there? What was the key thing? Were you homing in on several dimensions of the idea? Or is just like one idea?

 

B:: Well, that would probably work for our business. It seems to parallel that concept.

 

I::  So, you’re looking at the different aspects of the concept and you’re saying that that would pick in. Last thing. I’m going to give you hearts because I like you guys. And because I want you to pick which area. I know you guys worked on… This area has kind of got fixed up in that and that area got dimensionalised as well. Which area would you say CIBC should go with, ‘the power of the network’ or the ‘pro-to-pro’. Again, as it’s revised. You guys know yours, if you want to step here and read that one. You guys step over there and read that one. Pick one of these and write the reason why you would pick ‘pro-to-pro’ or why you would pick ‘the power of our network’. Write it on the heart.

 

…..

 

I::  So, you guys stuck with the one that you were working on. Why is this one important to you?

 

S:: It’s expertise, good to have. Both are good, but if I were to choose, networking. Through networking you can get expediencie as well, from peers in business, from your clients. From the team from the pro, you don't get the benefit of the network.

 

I::  So, the network has that. You kind of see…

 

S:: I kind of see that in this, little bit of that in this. But I don’t see any of this in that.

 

I::  So, the network is the one that takes it over the top.

 

S:: Even though, I give 8 versus 9, I was thinking with the wording. But now I see.

 

I::  Of course, that’s why we do these things. Bill, you stuck with this because?

 

V:: Just because I think if you're going to succeed in business and life, anything, you’ve got to be part of a team. If you want to be the guy that stands there and thinks you know everything, and you're the best, and no one does anything as good as you. You’re going to get the shit- you’re going to get slaughtered.

 

I::  You can say it, you can that. S word.

 

V:: I don’t know how PG we have to keep it. But I mean, you are going to get slaughtered, right. So, I need to be on a team, I need to have a good team behind me.

 

I::  And then the aspect of it, because I'm going to throw in some team in it as well.

 

V:: I need to have people better than me and smarter than me on my team if I'm going to go to the next level.

 

I::  When you say team, how does network play into that?

 

V:: If I’m the smartest team guy on the team, I'm in big trouble, my business is done. Sorry, what was your question?

 

I::  How does network- I hear you team because they talk about team in this one as well. What does network bring to the idea?

 

V:: Networks good, because network brings in other people where your (INAUDIBLE 02:25:29) are strong. So, when I say team I mean network. You can be a sole proprietor, entrepreneur, one guy, but if you’ve got a whole invisible network behind you then you're that much more powerful. If you try to be everything, Your own accountant, your own financier, your own carpenter, your own plumber.  You’re just going to blow your brains out.

 

I::  Sari, I know you worked on (INAUDIBLE 02:25:52)

 

Si:: You know what, they are equal. They’re both good. I like the idea of the pros.

 

I::  Because it makes you feel what?

 

Si:: Learning from people who know more than I do in these areas, and constant new learning.

 

I::  You guys stuck the one you liked a bit. Geoff, because you had the same score on the- but you seemed to-

 

G:: Pro-to-pro.

 

I::  Pro-to-pro because?

 

G:: I like the idea that they're going to be professionals, their aspect of the equation so to speak. The pro-to-pro.

 

I::  You guys use words like approachable and friendly. Does it make you feel like they’re on the same level as you. Because I suppose a professional could be like somebody who's, “Oh my God, he’s a professional.” What's the tone of this? Is it still approachable for you?

 

 G::      I think it’s still approachable.

 

Si::      They’re acknowledging that you’re a pro at what you do, and they’re acknowledging that they’re a pro at what they do. It’s like they’re coming together.

 

I::  It's a peer to peer kind of thing, versus the relationship being this way. Why did you pick this this area overall?

 

Si:: Same thing. I thought it was the most approachable of the two concepts, the most relatable. It felt like something I would actually sign up for. (INAUDIBLE 02:27:17) Ok, excellent. Briana?

 

B:: Yeah, I can second all these opinions. There’s some sort of equality that I like about it. They're looking at me at a straight level. They don’t feel like they're the ones in the driver’s seat. They’re looking at like, ok, this is better for your business. I know this because I’m professional at what I do. I’m not an interior designer, you're good at what you do. I like that aspect and I think that's why I get from team. Just the wording I guess.

 

I::  One last thing, I’m going to go around the room. I’m going to tell you the question. Give you a minute or two to think about it, I’m going to go to the back room, and then I’ll come back and get the answer. You have the opportunity right here, and I'm it’s not hyperbole, because this stuff gets back to the senior management at CIBC. If you were to tell them one thing, it could be related to this, but what should they do. It's got to be a big thing. I don't want to hear things like, “A lower interest rate on my loan.” The kind of big bucket stuff that we’ve been talking about here. What should they do. You’d have mu business if you would do, ‘x’. So, give me a second, I want to just go to the back room to see if there are any other questions and then we’ll come around real quick and let you know.

 

PREPARATION

 

I::  Sahak, what did you think?

 

S:: Personalize with your clients.

 

I::  What do you mean by that?

 

S:: That means don’t look at me just as a dollar sing walking in. Because I know, end of the day that’s what it is. But when I feel that you really care about my business and you are genuine in your care, then that’s very important. And this is my philosophy with my customers.

 

I::  Yeah, with your customers too. Sari?

 

Si:: Just building on that, but you can reach out to me and say, “Okay what do you need from us? What can we do to support your goals?” And, like you said, really care about that. In the end, you do that, I’ll grow my business and you will get more of my business.

 

I::  Okay. Bill?

 

V:: Be inside my business not outside. Act like my business is yours. So, don't just sit there as my banker and say, “Oh I can get you this rate for this.” But see it long term, what can we do to get this business to the next level. Because then you’ll still be my bank.

 

I::  So, some of the thing you were hearing today, that's the direction they should go. Briana?

 

B:: Yeah, I second those. And also, maybe knowing something about my business. Maybe knowing the industry, the typical trends. Whether it's they’ve had similar clients or that sort of thing. Because if they do know my industry and what I typically do, they can recommend things that may be better for me.

 

I::  That’s an interesting idea, Geoff?

 

G:: I think they’d have my business, this very simplistic, but if they were approachable. The bigwigs want to hear what it is. Because there's all these things in there. Like you have to have the expertise, and the right team, and the captain, etc. But if they're not approachable it doesn't matter how much they got.

 

I::  So, it’s a personality that you had, but it’s the way they deal with you and the comfort that you feel with them. And Christina you get the final word. What's the answer?

 

C:: I think that if they want to be more than just a checking account, like I’ve shopped between the other 5 big banks. Then they have to deliver on these promises and don’t half-ass it. So, actually be experts, actually be helpful, actually be accessible. And then really, truly kick ass at those things. Then I’m going to think of them as more than just a transactional part of the business.

 

I::  And some of the stuff you saw on that would be stuff that you recommend they should be taking and delivering on that?

 

C:: As long as they deliver it. Not half-ass but truly professionals. Truly accessible. Yeah.

 

I::  Brilliant, you guys have been awesome. This was a fantastic group, really enjoyed it. Really appreciate it. I have another group coming later. But make sure you leave all your stuff there. Make sure you see one of the lovely ladies in the front, who show you more concrete appreciation for your time. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

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