Wachovia’s Rebranding

It has been three years and Wells Fargo is finally rebranding Wachovia, whom they purchased for $15.1 billion dollars at the beginning of the financial crisis. Their methods range from changing signage on Wachovia branches to rolling the Wells Fargo stagecoach down Pennsylvania Ave in D.C. In addition, customers (especially those in the D.C. area where Wachovia had a larger footprint than any other financial institution in the state) can expect to see advertisements on public transportation, billboards and television.

One of the hardest elements of a rebranding campaign is retaining customers and assuring them that service will not only be as good, but get even better. This can be done through in-branch advertisements, direct mail, email, etc., but a strong branding campaign triggers emotions (hopefully positive) in the hearts and minds of customers that can establish loyalty and assuage fears.

According to Lori Kolbert, Wells Fargo’s mid-Atlantic sales and marketing director, the bank will continue pushing their stagecoach image because it “inspires confidence in our nation’s growth [and] it signals progress.”

For Wells Fargo, the notion of guiding clients through their financial journey – like a stagecoach making the journey westward – is also strong, but it remains to be seen whether or not the gold-rush image of the stagecoach will gain traction with east coast consumer and commercial clients.

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