I = Interviewer (Sue)
S = ?
H = ?
J = Jeff
A = Alan
M = Matthew
?E = ?
I: As you know, you're here for about two and a half hours; we're going to talk about business banking and how to move and develop a particular brand of bank forward. So we're not looking at what they're doing now - although that obviously forms a part of it, because ultimately what you are now is also some of what you'll take forward when you grow - but it's about developing what they could be in the future; say, a few years ahead okay. So we'll spent two and a half hours - bit of chitchat, a few exercises - hopefully we'll all enjoy it; I think we will, all the rest of them have gone quite well so I hope you'll enjoy this session. We're recording you - see the microphones above - and we're also video-recording you. This is just for me, it's not going anywhere else; so I can listen to you and we can talk properly and discuss rather than me taking loads of notes. So you're just seeing me taking a few, but then that'll be it. You'll also notice this massive mirror behind me, hard not to; a few of my colleagues are behind; they're also really interested what you got to say, so I suggest we get it out of the way, give them a quick wave. Excellent; you'll forget it's there after a while. At some point somebody'll lean on the mirror, it always happens; and you see this hand when you're on the other side, just see this hand. In terms of what you say to me, it's entirely confidential with just using first names. We know what you do, but I'm not bothered about your surname, I've got no idea where you're from. Anything that we report back to our end client is entirely anonymised, so all they'll know is what type of profession you are, for instance. I know you've all got name badges on, but the guys in the back room can't possibly see those names; just introduce yourselves. I'd like to know a little bit about who your primary banking arrangements with for your professional business; what sort of arrangement you have with them - do you have just a checking account, do you have savings, do you have a trust account - all of those sorts of things; roughly how long you've been with them; and then we're going to do something a little bit different. We're going to go from our rational side to our other side, and I want to ask you about a toy that you never got as a child. There's always something in everybody's childhood, they think "Oh God, I'd have loved that". I'm going to start the ball rolling, so you can have a little bit of a thinking time to give it a general idea. So my name is Sue, as I've already said. I'm a market researcher; that's what I do, that what I've sort of done for all of my working life. I do have a business account - it's obviously not in Tornto, it is in the UK - I've had that for 12 years. I've gone through a couple of different banks - because they changed some processes, I didn't like it - but on the whole I have a good relationship; I have a checking account, I have a savings account. So the toy I never got okay; I'm a child of the sort of sixties/ seventies, and at that point there was this this baby doll called Tiny Tears, which cried. It also peed. I wanted one of these so badly, never ever got it. I'm looking here, because I always go left; doesn't really matter, I'm right handed, always go left. Right, ?S; tell me about yourself and your banking.
S: My name is ?S; I have my own accounting and tax firm. I bank for my business dealings with TD, for the last five/six years now. I have the checking account, the credit card offer and the overdraft arrangements.
I: What was the toy you never got?
S: A small (INAUDIBLE 4:35) kids used to have in the driveway. We used to live in a small apartment, my mum was always curious that I was going to play something-
I: So everything's small, nothing too....brilliant. Next, ?H.
H: Hello everyone, my name is ... I'm in banking with BMO and TD, and I have the checking account, savings account, investment account and credit cards with them. I also use their overdraft actually, from time to time. So the toy I never got as a child; does a pet count? I wanted a little puppy, but my mom said I'm more than she could handle at the time; so I'm more than welcome to get one when I grow up, and I got a pet now.
I: What did you get?
I: Very nice, what breed?
I: Well, that's a little larger.
H: Well, I like large dogs; I guess because I never got a puppy.
I: Sorry, what was your profession?
I: You know, this happens every single time we do this. We have accountants sitting next to each other, we have lawyers sitting next to each other; I'm waiting to see, I'm not prejudging, but it happens, it's very odd. Jeff, tell me about yourself.
J: So I bank with RBC; I have a checking account, line of credit, credit cards with them.
I: That's from a business perspective.
J: On the personal, I have Investments with them; and the toy... I didn't get the Nintendo I wanted, I guess. That's the only thing I can think of.
I: Was it a specific Nintendo, or was it a Nintendo per se?
J: No, my parents banned those kind of toys; not that there was anything wrong, they just wanted me doing my homework.
I: Jeff, what do you do?
J: I'm an (INAUDIBLE 6:45)
I: Do you have accounts with anybody else, other than CIBC?
J: Not CIBC, RBC.
A: I'm Alan, I'm a chiropractor. I have a couple... this all happened pretty fast, I went from having no clinics, just working on people; now I'm having a (INAUDIBLE 7:15). I had one already, I'm in the process of getting one. I'm with Scotia bank right, and then as well, the time we spoke last week to qualify for this, I was dealing with Meridian for my clinic I'm taking over right now. However, that's kind of not happening; so I ended up going with TD
I: Okay, so Scotia and TD.
A: So with TD, I'm gonna have a credit card, line of credit, business banking. As a toy, again I can't really recall the specifics; but I will say for hockey, one day I remember going to my parents saying "I want to play hockey, I want to be a goalie". They just shut it down really quickly, just because hockey's already expensive to join; and then goalie is eagerly the most expensive position to play.
I: Yes, I've seen them with all the kit.
A: And then the way I was as a kid, I'd play something for a year or two and then get bored, playing an instrument, so it was always changing. They probably made the right decision, but I was devastated.
I: It was going so well until you said you were devastated.
A: Yeah, I see what they were coming from.
M: My name is Matthew, I'm a doctor; do all my business thinking with BMO, and I have couple of investment accounts, checking accounts with them. Toy; the one I can think of is along the video-game line; there was this thing called a Power Glove, which worked with one of the Nintendo systems that you can basically control everything. I realised it was absolutely ridiculous, but it was so cool and I was not allowed to get it. I think my parents had the insight into realising it was stupid and expensive.
I: I think that's what it always is.
?E: I'm (INAUDIBLE 9:15) , I'm a lawyer. All my banking is RBC; business, line of credit, checking, trust accounts and credit card. My toy would probably be a skateboard, because they said it was too dangerous.
I: I once made one, because I wasn't allowed to skateboard either. I made one, it was not good; it was really dangerous with a couple of roller-skates stuck to some plyboard; I don't recommend it. Excellent, that is brilliant; thank you so much everyone. We are going to start off looking at brands; what we often do with this type of group is we normally send you out some homework to ask you to do beforehand, but we were a little bit tight on time trying to find you guys because you're quite difficult to locate. We didn't have time, so we're going to do a bit of it in the group, just to get you rolling so you know where we're coming from. I'm going to ask you to think of a brand that means something to you, personally or from a business perspective. Try and avoid banks at the moment, we'll get on to those; think of a brand that means something to you that you feel a connection. Just shout out; what have you come up with?
?E: Apple, because it takes over your life.
A: Going after Apple, I'd say Samsung.
I: Nice; we had a lot of cars in the previous group, actually, so this is good, got a nice combo here. What we're going to do is, we are going to pull apart these brands. When we look at brands in the market, we look at the position of the brand - remember I mentioned that to you earlier - and what a position of a brand is, it's where it puts itself in the market; it's where it wants to be. So a good way of thinking about it is, we use a positioning statement to put that brand where it is. What a positioning is, it's like a football/hockey manager; you don't see them on the pitch, they're behind the scenes, but they're directing the strategy, the tactics. So that's what a positioning statement does; it directs the brand's strategy, things like it's communication, it’s advertising, and it directs its tactics. That might be services, right down to what type of savings account to get, what type of interest rates; that's what a positioning does. Before we can get to that, we sort of break it apart a bit to understand how a brand is going to work; so we have things "What's the target for the brand? All brands have quite a tight target, even if it's only initially; and then it might spread and become quite massive. There's always a core target. What makes a brand unique? Again, a brand’s not going to survive - certainly not if it's a new brand - if there isn't something unique about it; it'll just disappear into the ether. What does the brand stand for? Often, quite similar to what makes it unique; so a bit of crossover there, so that could be a bit of a tough one. What's a brand's personality? All brands have a personality; there's always something when you think about Apple, there'll be a personality. Being able to think about what might make that - whether it's friendly, aggressive, challenging, innovative - there'll be a personality to the brand. And then what aspect of the rounded would make you choose it over something else? So that will sometimes be linked into the uniqueness, but not always; there's some element they're offering that makes it your choice, basically, over another one. And then finally, what's the essence of a brand? By essence we basically mean a summation of everything that brand stands for within a sentence. So we're going to do this exercise on the brand you've chosen.
BREAK - 20:05
I: Matthew, what did you do?
M: Nike. So the target; athletes of any gender or age. What makes it unique and original is their athletes that they choose and their aggressive marketing. Brand stands for competition. Brand's personality; life equals sports. What aspect of the brand would you choose over another same category; I'd say quality control. And the essence of the brand; high quality, high performance athletic products endorsed by high quality, high profile athletes.
I: I'm going to challenge you on the target; just read the target to me again.
M: Athletes of any gender or age.
I: Right, that's quite broad. Now, do you think they went for that target when they first launched Nike?
M: When they first launched? Absolutely not; they went for athletic men, absolutely, but they definitely broadened.
H: McDonald's; their target is everyone who's looking for a quick easy meal. Brand's unique priority; happy kid's meals. They stand for convenience/consistency at very affordable prices, and the personality is cheerful, diverse and reliable. The aspect that I would choose over other another in the same category; it's a very reliable, long-standing brand. People can always come to the consistency in the food quality. The essence in the brand; it's a pioneer in the fast food industry providing consistent high-quality food to customers.
A: Don't know about high quality-
H: At the price they charge. But they don't do the healthy meal, not high-quality; they don't overpay.
?E: Apple. It's target is tech-forward people, fashion-forward people, Millennials, and afterwards Gen Xers. What make the brand unique is their forward thinking - so from the iPod to the iPhone, they always start first and people follow - iTunes, music. The brand stands for simplicity; all their products are so simple and work. Personality is it’s honest clean, honest; change and connectivity - they believe in globalisation, bringing people together and so on - and bringing out someone's artistic self. Reliability that's the one thing I had, it always works as is; and the essence of the brand is innovation through simple-to-use products. Again, it's very fancy but they’re always easy to use, no matter how complex.
A: I’m going to do Samsung. Who’s the target; I simply put adults right now, because-
I: That’s wide, come on.
A: How you mentioned for Apple, it seems more like Gen X; it has like a younger feel for me, Apple. That’s why I think Samsung has a little bit more (INAUDIBLE 23:50) , so that's why I put in the “unique, original” thing; it’s professional but still stylish at the same time. What does the brand stand for; quality and innovation, combined with good designs and various price points. What's the brand's personality; cutting edge and sleek.
I: Am I cutting edge and sleek? That's not a personality. Have a think; what's your essence, and then just try and come up with a personality?
A: I just like the professional look.
I: Professional, all right.
A: Then what aspect of the brand would make you choose this over another; I put the predictability, because I feel like it's good quality so it always works pretty well. Also, I put seamless to use, because I already use Android so I get another one, just type in Google and everything shows right back up. What is the essence of this brand; I put a quality, innovative technology with great designs.
J: I said the target for Nikon were hobbyists, mostly; everybody has a camera on their phone today. What makes the brand unique; hard from me to say, but I like the lens quality, so I don't know if that's really what makes it unique but the lenses are very well made. What does the brand stand for; quality, durability, innovation. What is the brand's personality; I said sleek and modern.
I: What do you mean by sleek?
J: I guess the way I'm looking at it is how it's put together; It's very precisely made. As far as the aspect that make me choose it; it’s quality, and I also like the interface, the menu. I like how that works. What is the essence; I would say it’s high-end, high-quality image production, if you're really looking for something at the top.
I: Last but definitely not least here, let's have a look at Audi.
S: Target is everyone who like comfort with a statement. Brand uniqueness is design technology; I like the logo (INAUDIBLE 26:40) and the target market. What does the branch stand for; it’s luxury. Personality; their designs, their innovation and speed.
I: Again if you think that brand, that brand Audi as a person, what sort of person would it be?
S: People with passion. What aspect of the brand would make me choose the technology; the comfort and design. The essence is Complete Driving Experience.
I: The reason I kept going on about personality when you sort of chose something that wasn't really personality, is because I want you to do it again; but this time I'm not going to ask you to do all of those categories.
PREPARATION - 30:30.
I: Who did RBC; Jeff and ?E. You go first, Jeff; ?E, just chime in and say when you’re different.
J: Target to me was professionals, maybe families as well. What is the brand's personality; I kind of view them, they have a strong persona about themselves but they’re inviting. As far as the essence, I'm just saying what I get out of it; more personalised banking strategies.
?E: Also older business, more mature professionals in general; less techy people. The brand personality is mature, reserved pretentious, confident. The essence is they stick to what works; they don’t really change. They made a website, I think, because they had to.
I: Why did you think it was inviting, Jeff?
J: I mean, maybe that's not the best…. I find they have a strong personality, but they’re not saying a” take it or leave it” kind of thing; at least at my bank, they’ve been very perceptive.
I: So, Scotia.
M: Business banking. Who's the target, I said any business whether big or small; I think they have a wider range. For the brand's personality, friendly but also organised, just because they're on the ball; I just had to sign a couple of documents and was planning to go there, it's like “Hey, come here right now.” Essence of the brand; offering a wide array of products/services at competitive rates. I just think their range is a little bit bigger than maybe RBC is, that’s the impression I got.
I: Who did TD?
S: Target is whoever's looking for customer service. Personality is the accessibility, because of the timing, solutions. Essence is custom-made solutions for everybody, no matter how big or small the client is.
I: You said customer service; just expand on that for me a little bit.
S: Customer service is when you enter the branch and the kind of welcome you get. (INAUDIBLE 33:45) , he says when you call the person with a solution, they try to find the solution for who are they are (INAUDIBLE 33:50) . When you enter the branch for anything, if the person on the from don’t know they will go back and ask for the solution.
I: Did you go for BMO?
H: Quite frankly, I don’t think their target’s very clear; that’s a sidenote, but I think out of all the banks RBC has the strongest brand name that we all know, that they go for the financially stronger business and personals. So I just put everybody “everyone who's looking for banking services; personality is reliable - because customer service - innovative, flexible and also inviting, and the essence of the brand is always there to help solve the problem. I'm presumably you’re BMO; how did yours compare? ?: So I found the target was more established professionals and those just starting with a moderate financial or fiscal ceiling, as well as families. Personality is sincere professional - it's also kind of a boring personality - and essence; innovative, intelligent, thoughtful banking, airing more towards investment and family planning.
QUESTION/PREPARATION 35:10 - 43:25
I: I'm just going to pick one at random; Power of our Network, what have we scored it?
I: You're the first one to do a decimal.
A: 9. I was wavering between 8 and 9, but really should have put 8.5.
I: What did we do Pro to Pro then?
I: So you're both lower.
M: 6. I'm going to ask you two guys - three and four - for the Power of our Network; what was it that appealed to you about it? You've got some red on that; let’s have a talk about that first, and then I just want to know what's really pushing that score down okay. What's the red?
J: I like the title; the title’s good. I thought the second paragraph was a little more cohesive; I thought the other two paragraphs just…I didn't see the comparison between a power grid (INAUDIBLE 45:30) “kind of the message” in business investment and business growth. That was where it lost me; it’s not that but I don’t see, and then the final sentence where they summarise the business power grid, I’m like “Meh.” That didn’t speak to me at all.
I: ? said you liked the title, “The Power of our Network.” When you read that, what were you expecting, what were you hoping?
?E: I don't know if I had an expectation; I didn't think they're going to go down the metaphor of a power grid though.
H: It just sounds like a lot of blah-blahs, and it’s a fancy blah-blah; the first paragraph, I get it - they are trying to make us feel good - but it's way too much okay, and it's taking up almost half of the page but I still don't know what they’re about to offer. And then they claim that it's power; where's the power coming from? It’s just BS, sounds like; almost too vague. Of course you want to give away something, it's okay that you keep enticing the customer to keep reading, but it's too vague to me. Doesn't speak to me sounds very fake.
M: Doesn’t say anything
I: I see you put a paragraph in red there; does that mean that that resonated with you in some shape or form?
H: At least it shows a little bit of content.
I: What in the content specifically that you coloured it red for, or was it just because it was at least giving you some detail?
H: It's pretty good; as the intro they cannot get into that much detail. At least it's showing you that they can give you the contents, they can give you the advice and sources to your condition. The wording is also quite fine.
I: Tell me what resonated with you two guys.
?E: Ignoring the paragraphs, the underlying message they’re trying to create here is, they’re trying to say that I'm running my business; “at CIBC we understand what you’re doing, so we’re gonna add our network with your network and help them grow”. The underlying message makes sense to me, but like you mentioned earlier, the whole first paragraph - “born of the burden of your business on your back” - doesn’t make sense. I had to read it three times, like “Maybe I'm not making sense.” The second paragraph is just clear, concise - “We're trying to create connections to build networks”, then “that's why we connect you to our (INAUDIBLE 48:30) . And then again, they're bringing back - “We're plugging into your contacts, advice, finances and we'll help you just work” - and the last thing; until you mentioned it, I must have read this and I just thought they would say “Power of the Network” at the end. I just didn’t even read grid; that's why once you mentioned that, I was like the bit of power I liked, and then it’s like grid. They should have just ended it with this network - keep the whole network idea, don’t go from network to grid - but the underlying message resonated.
I: I know you mentioned power in a more negative way, in terms of not getting it; you're seeing the strength of what that could it.
?E: Someone tried to be too creative, which I respect, but it is cleaner; the message of the network and combining businesses and us make sense.
I: What do you see as the power of that message? What do they mean by power from your perspective?
?E: Well essentially again, it’s the whole antidote where there's your business and you're starting at your own, so you know like the struggles and so on. So they're trying to say that “As we build, we understand what you're building; we understand what you need; here we have the network and the connections to help you build it”, unlike here where they say “Take it to the next level” which is just fluff. The rest - “insight, advice”, I’m not saying anything specific like, but the basic things that would make sense.
I: We're gonna build some of these a bit more in a moment, trying to give it be a more strength and more depth of detail. What have you got in terms of… What was it specifically that caught your imagination?
S: I would say the idea between the lines, what they’re trying to convey; that's what I give the numbers for, 3.5.
I: How would you sum up that idea?
S: The idea is unique in a sense that no other banks go with this idea; that we are going to build a network, we are trying to connect you with a network that's going to grow your business. Everyone gets the solution which we always pay for, but at the same time professionals - people like me - I'm always looking for business people, and if Bank is going to help me connect with other contacts, that’s going to definitely help me out in my business. So that's the idea that I like; the way they narrated it, again, I would say that didn’t appeal to me, but the whole idea of what they're trying to do is good.
I: You have an opportunity to improve on some of this in a minute. Alan, you gave it a nine; Jeff, was it an eight? Just key highlights for you.
A: I think the whole thing where it's like they're offering you help; I mean, it's tough to be on your own, to attract your own patients, so I need contacts; it’s almost that ready-made kit, that “Okay, we understand you need help; here's all the resources more or less than you need. It's not going to probably be all that, but at the end of the day we understand where you're coming from. That's probably what (INAUDIBLE 51:45) I like the fact where it said that you had a dream, which is true. I just highlighted the whole sentence, where it says you “made the brave choice”; I mean, I'm not fighting a war, I’m just starting a business. Creating connections and building networks, all that stuff is very important for any business, whether it be health care or finance or retail, whatever. Especially when you're starting off, it takes time to build that and it can be very daunting, so the fact that they’re like “Here, we’ve got you for now, that helps you grow a little bit - and as you grow, we’re still there for you”, that's what really resonated.
J: A lot of similar thoughts, but I also like the fact that they mentioned that they bring power and resources to you ambition; it sounds like more “You're going the way you want to go, and you're running your business the way you see/envision it, and we're just going to help support you in what you believe, your ambition.”
I: What about Pro to Pro? I can't recall all the numbers, but I know you two guys gave it a better score than you had done before.
?E: And seven.
I: (INAUDIBLE 53:15) So the four of you who gave it lower scores than the Power of the Network, why did you give it a bit of a lower score?
?E: It would have been a lot lower, but the message makes sense - “you’re a team, we’re a team, we’re together” - but the execution, all these adjectives, “from an A-team specialist, to specialist, genius" - like someone opened a thesaurus - "Masters, Experts, help you shine", it's just so unattractive, it's very childish, doesn't connect. I get what you're trying to build, but....
I: What do you think is the core idea that they've overwhelmed a bit?
?E: What I understand is, I'm a professional in my field; I know my things very well, but I don't know banking and so on, I need someone on my team. I will go with CIBC and they will give me a genius/captain/master...
I: Ignore those words.
?E: Those are the people that I need on my team, that's what they have. So bringing us together, they're not saying I'm lower than them; I'm bringing my expertise, they need me, I need them. This is how we can fill you out and create the perfect team; what is what you need, just...
I: With that idea, is that still a six if you get rid of all the-
?E: No, it's a six because of that idea; without that idea it's a one, so it's the idea that really connects, it's just the execution.
I: So that idea of the team Is less attractive than the network.
?E: Yeah, like this line where they "help your grow your business, run it efficiently, free you up to do what you do best", that's all you need. That is what I felt was that message, and the rest was just….
I: Jeff, yours wasn't massively low, but...
J: Too many sports metaphors; I didn't really like that. I liked the first sentence - "you're at exceptional what you do" - but but the rest of it was bordering on cliche; it didn't draw me in.
A: I'm going to go pretty much based off half and half what you guys said; I found amount of words that they use for experts, I actually highlighted expert in a good way. Then when I saw genius, I'm like "What are they, Einstein?" I don't understand why they have to use that, but then the "client captain", I found that very childish.
I: What about the idea behind it? It might not be a captain, but it might be somebody who's sort of key to you.
A: But then I love sports; as a personal thing I wouldn't mind too much, from a business professional perspective I didn't really care for the sports team stuff.
I: But what about this idea of a team, who can help you and your business grow?
A: I mean, they're both similar messages; I just think it wouldn't work from a professional standpoint. I like the whole network thing more than the team.
I: I’m going to come to you in a minute, ?S, but you two, you definitely preferred this; you gave it quite a higher marking. Why?
M: I thought again, what others have said - the team and again, that paragraph there, help you grow your business - basically, you do your job; we'll just do ours, we have people to do everything. Again, my reason for not giving it a higher mark was the vernacular they used, which was just ridiculous.
I: So if I if I ask to sum up - because you gave the other one a three and this was a seven, that's a big difference - how would you sum up this idea for me.
M: That paragraph right there; run the business efficiently, grow great wealth and freedom to do what you can do best. You can add in there that we have different specialists who have their different specific roles within our bank to help guide and
QUESTION/PREPARATION 58:05 - 1:23:30
I: Alan, ?S, you are taking us through the Power of the Network.
A: The essence that we thought was the second paragraph, what we said here is pretty much that success is achieved from creating connections and building networks; we stopped it here, because that's all that really needs to be said to bring about what they're trying to represent for the network - while they're trying to build - and the business they're trying to bring together.
S: Target market felt like they were talking about making your network bigger, makes you successful or not. It seems like it's more targeted towards startups or companies are still in the growth phase - professionals, smaller businesses - still not maybe fully establishment, or reached the level they want to be - by using the network, you're able to get what you want to be.
A: Usually more established businesses have the network of people. This thing-
I: This is the first paragraph.
A: We cut all this out, and then the dream thing we originally thought it would maybe be okay, but then we would like it depends on who; not everyone has a dream when they start a business, (INAUDIBLE 1:25:10) so it could limit some people. So we cut out this whole thing, because it's just (INAUDIBLE 1:25:25) . Then we said it's exciting be an entrepreneur, but to move to the next level you can't do it all on your own, which really just encompasses the fact that "You're doing your business, you need us to help you grow and we have those people who can help." And we thought this last line - the bigger the network, the bigger success - goes well here, because it's next level; you can't do it all on your own. The bigger the network, the bigger success. With CIBC, the bigger the network, the bigger success; essentially what they're bringing to you, they're bringing their field of professionals to help you put it together.
I: What sort of personality has this got?
S: Personality is kind of helpful, friendly, (INAUDIBLE 1:26:05) .
I: And the tagline?
A: We all had a different one, kind of; I thought the original "the Power of our Network", should just be placed there.
?E: Pretty much, I would say just stick with the Power of our Network; that's what people... Just say because you use that here, you don't want to use it again here. Then I would just say instead of the business power grid, (INAUDIBLE 1:26:45) .
S: I said "Let us grow you", (INAUDIBLE 1:26:50) .
I: I thought you've done some brainstorming about what it might be. So how would it work?
?E: We brainstormed this part; so essentially the biggest issue is, this makes sense "advice, insights, clients" - very clear and straightforward about what they're bringing to the table - but the little wishy-washy's here - "plugging into group contacts", which is usually the most inviting, but in reality how is the bank going to bringing you new contact? We felt like it was finance and investment people, but are you really bringing us contacts? Otherwise, is it genuine? 1yWhat's the expectation of this contact; is this new business?
S: To a degree.
?E: Networking or maybe people in the same field, or maybe your advisor has someone else that makes sense; otherwise it just felt like it brings you in, but are you really going to develop that? As a chiropractor or a lawyer, to me it seems like you need more patients. I feel like that's not going to happen, but great if it does.
I: So in that case, if you're saying that that's not what that is, what is the network?
?E: It's the advice, insight into the client, and it is the contacts; if you go at CIBC, it'd be your investment advisor, the captain or all those things. But in the way I read context, the way to try to present it is "Come to us, we can help you grow your business with contacts, not team members." But other than that, they are offering the professionals - who again, I don't need to know an investment advisor and so on - I know "advice, insights in finance is each person is gonna have that in their own field. I need to know there's a tax guy and so on; I assume that's the people they're on about.
I: Is this network within or without CIBC? Is it inner or does it spread further?
?E: I think that's where we had confusion with the contacts - let's say you're at CIBC and they somehow bring us together in some kind of outer network - otherwise to me it does very much seem like within the CIBC world. Whoever works at CIBC, all their professionals are at your disposal, but we're not gonna ever come in contact with contacts; and that, would be the secondary...
S: That's why I think when it says contacts, to me gives the impression of being onsite. But then I know in reality that's probably not going to be the case, so that's where it almost seems like a promise that you're not going to keep.
I: How could contacts outside CIBC work? It might not be new business, but how could a wider network outside of CIBC work for you?
S: I've got references for my banking decisions (INAUDIBLE 1:30:05) .
A: I think it depends on the company; I don't know, maybe another type are looking for a lawyer or something. I'd go to them and they'd refer (INAUDIBLE 1:30:35) it's just more everyday supplies, but maybe I can get it cheaper.
?E: With respect to the contacts, (INAUDIBLE 1:30:45) business, but it could be the advisement advice with the CIBC investment (INAUDIBLE 1:30:55) to another wealth manager or something of the sort. So in their field of expertise, finances or stock; but banking's going to reach a certain limit, unless you're in the wealth divsion and so on. Those are the kind of contacts I guess they can have; I don't want to have to go research, but a guy I trust at my bank could give me that relationship. So I need a forensic accountant or something like that, it's not business but...
I: Pro to Pro, take us through it.
M: The essence here is teamwork, and I think the target is medium-size professionals without a financial background. Basic personality is a well-rounded solid team. For starters, we did change the tagline and still have their tagline; so Power of our Team, because we liked power, but team was more salient here. "You're exceptional what you do; people depend on you and your advice, on your expertise to help them. In order to be successful in business, you need a well-rounded team of experts. CIBC business baning go beyond traditional banking; we are here to help you bring your business efficiently, grow, create wealth and free you up to do what you do best, and to get the most out of what the bank has to offer." CIBC business banking; the right team to help you shine." Much tighter, and still has that sort of essence to it, without smacking you in the face with all the sports and team metaphors. "How it works is basically a tailored financial advice and service, with more of a one-stop shop institution; with sub-specialists linking corporate needs to personal family means with regular check-ins at the point of contact/team leader."
QUESTION 1:33:00 - 1:34:35
PREPARATION 1:34:40 - 1:46:40
I: So in terms of consistency in the activations for these two, we've got "our A-Team includes" for both, and "Your plan." Interestingly, you both starred "our A-Team includes"; so you all think this is critical for both ideas. Just tell me why.
?E: Outside all of the fluff and everything we've been talking about, those people are really the catalyst for we need - either to grow the team or to help you grow, build your network - any like that falls upon those individuals, so without that all the network and all the computers and all that...
S: I thought that was the most broad one; you look at all the other ones (INAUDIBLE 1:50:15) .
I: What do you guys think?
J: I didn't think of anything novel.
I: And what about your plan - because you three guys all thought this was a critical element; "We work with you to create a unique financial plan specific to your needs and situation, and review it yearly."
?E: It's kind of what we thought about how it works behind the scenes.
I: So it was an expectation?
J: Yeah; pretty much mirrors that.
I: Apart from that you've got "Say it once" - so two people have starred this, Jeff and Matthew - why is "Say it once" really important for this?
?: Just so your message’s taken from one area to another.
M: And then the last sentence of how it works; they're checking to the point of contact/team leader, that would be the person who says it once.
I: But you went for "Whole View You".
H: Because I'm more emphasising the point that this is tailored service; so it had to go one step above our expectation, which is combine the business with the individual, not just view it separately.
I: So that Whole View You basically says about looking at both you personal finances and your business finances; so that's something that you want.
H: A true one-stop shop.
I: How does this idea of a one-stop shop - so it might be separate accounts, but you've still got this overarching business advisor, how does that work for all of you? Obviously it's appealing to you, it's what you're looking for. Matthew as well.
M: What was the question?
I: If you've got both business and personal accounts - I don't know if you've got them in the same bank - but the fact that they are working together; they're still separate but you've got this overarching. How does that work? Is it something you're searching for, does it work for you?
M: I guess that would only really work for professional corporations; single people or family businesses who has a firm, anything like that you don't want to mix. I'd imagine it split between several people; I can see the benefit, just if you have more than a couple I wouldn't.
?E: For me personally, it makes it easy; just deal with one place and you're done.
J: One person who kind of knows where you stand on both sides of the coin, such that they can help advise you on what the next move is. But I see it the same way; with a larger business/corporation, I agreed that would probably not be the right message. I think this be more like a small business.
S: And it only works when you have one contact or person In the business world; because most of the bank, they have personal advisers different from your small business advisors. So those two guys are way apart in terms of thinking.
I: But what if those two are effectively one, and they work for both sides.
S: If that works, it's a good idea.
J: If that worked.
?E: I'd be worried that they conflate, and maybe focus on one more over the other. When you have a business person that focuses on that, the personal stuff kind of...So I'm sure they would have the skill, but I guess that would be worried that maybe there are more 60% here, 40% here, and I want 100% on each one.
A: I'd be worried; "Are you a specialist in any way, in general?" Like you're the jack of all trades.
S: It would only work if they have a team of everyone; I have an accountant (INAUDIBLE 1:54:15)
I: Well, let's have a look at what you starred as well other than the A-Team; in addition to that we've got two stars on "skills exchanged", so who put that? Why?
?E: They were talking about the whole network thing, so this is just in exchange for other (INAUDIBLE 1:55:25)
M: The reason is, all this is great, but what I found here is the power and resources. At the end of the day you're only at your bank so often - you're speaking to these people once in a year/6 months - these are the tools that you're really using on a daily basis to manage your own self.
I: So either the Smart Online Dashboard or … (INAUDIBLE 1:56:05)
M: Which pretty much starts up with everything you need, and that keeps everything efficient; you're not relying on a person to call you and so on. And then we've got "Peers to power your ambitions"; that was you, Alan. What was it about that, that you thought that's critical to make this work?
A: Again, we're practicing network and contacts, right? So this one is about people outside your industry who are specialists; this one is about people inside your industry, and I've seen similar things; at least you're in the same industry, maybe you're at the same timeframe or stage. If you want to contact with one of them, that's great; but you also want to talk with people who may have ideas and innovations that you can apply to your business.
I: Then we've got Cash Fluid with one star, and Knowledge Network. Cash Fluid?
?E: Again, I would have taken this knowledge; but because... (INAUDIBLE 1:57:05) , Cash Fluid to me goes with these guys.
I: So it goes with the smart banking.
?E: Because you have no network if you have no cash, and you have no (INAUDIBLE 1:57:10) , so again, just the most important; but all these other ancillary are very important, the connection and all that.
I: Knowledge network.
S: That's seen as networking - getting to know people from your industry and other industries - plus proprietary knowledge, so (INAUDIBLE 1:57:30)
I: We're drawing to a close, but before we do I'm going to give you all a heart. What I'd like you to do is just peel one of them off; I want you to choose, for your business, which would work best in terms of that a business banking approach. This one or this one.
QUESTION/PREPARATION 1:58:10 - 2:01:40
I: Wow, split decision. Just tell me, did you all go for the one that you worked on? That's interesting, in some of the others people swapped around.
QUESTION/PREPARATION 2:02:00 - 2:03:15
S: First of all, they have to change the perception of how people think about CIBC; if you ask anyone on a personal/business level, they (INAUDIBLE 2:03:25) TD, RBC and Scotia; that's how people think. The perception is they are not customer orientated; when you enter the branch for a personal/business need, they are not welcoming/enticing enough, just a boring environment - from a branch perspective as well as from a people perspective - because I have been into CIBC for my personal need a couple of times. Their (INAUDIBLE 2:03:55) are good, but the way they welcome people and offer is not so. There were instances where I planned to open my account; I entered and said “Okay, I'm going back”. Those were a couple of situations when I read the products, I found them interesting, but I (INAUDIBLE 2:04:15). They have to change the perception; the ideas are good, I would put in two or three more times effort to make these things work.
?E: The original thing that we did when you asked "who is you customers", if they are business professionals like us; we don't need (INAUDIBLE 2:04:40) "the gimmicky-ness", to sell us on "We're entrepreneurs, on a journey" and all this stuff. We know we're making money, we know what we want to do, so be straightforward, candid; you're not trying to like bring in college students or seniors or something like that. Be very clear & straightforward to business people who know what they're doing; and if they took what we said and was honest and clear, people don't need the whole run around. We'd be more forward to go there.
J: I think something that ? actually alluded to earlier, to sort of stratify which business you're appealing to; is it small business or big business? Because I think with a small business, I think that whole message on that we did on the right makes a lot of sense.
I: The Pro to Pro.
M: You have one person at the top and a pyramid of experts down below, but with a larger business I agree, I don't think that flies at all. So almost pick your audience, and then cater the message to that particular business client as for how you want to sort of approach them; what message you want to see. It doesn't mean you have to have one harmonised message that goes to everyone, I think you just need to... Again, more personal banking, but with a business twist.
A: I was gonna say that; I mean, you're gonna have to choose - not overall, but I mean you wanna specialise in something. We talked about RTC, how it seems more of an established company; create more of an identity, you don't need to be the same message to everybody but if you're gonna do a start-up thing, these are very good ideas. They're very innovative ideas, I just hope they're able to implement it properly. A lot of us boys when we saw the ideas were like "This would be helpful", but we all had a serious question; is this realistic? So once you're able to create innovative ideas and keep and actually implement them, I think that's where the key is.
J: They need to have a lot of flexibility; really have to know the customer and not try to take a program that exists and try to make it fit into that customer. Knowing that person's profile should be consistent across the branches; so if you go to another Branch - you move or something like that - you want to continue on the same manner, a better understand of who you us.
H: Be bold and ditch the traditional banking image; because so far, I really see that they also have a unique opportunity here. All Canada only has five big banks, and everybody stinks - really, everybody is offering more or less the same service - (INAUDIBLE 2:07:40) came up with the LED light, but it was wow at the time, so be the wow factor; just lead the market, come up with something bold and dare to claim that this is your invention. Also be very clear with the target customers; banking I think is different from Apple. Maybe I'm not thinking (INAUDIBLE 2:08:00) , but to me you're going to study your customers and be clear who you're going after, because if you don't get the question right your solution cannot be right. Then it's just getting blurry and blahblah.
I: Who do you think they should go after; what sort of business customers?
M: The small-to-midrange, because I think the larger guys are established with the TDs and the RBCs; and maybe after several years of the smaller and the mid-range, growing with them, they'll have enough credibility. But you're not going to jump ship and bring those old clients over; they're so ingrained, but people like us that starting only have a couple hundred, it's not a big deal to shift, not as much. So really grow that; and then we're gonna grow with them and play the long game. In ten years, we're far more successful, we will be your RBC version of the (INAUDIBLE 2:08:55) .
?E: Small business with upper mobility. I think it'd be kind of hard to go from where they are now, to a big company; if they even wanted to, you'd have to build up to that point. Small businesses are leading the job growth sector; if you update for them too, I think there's more opportunity for CIBC to grow.
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