First there was Dunkin’. Now there’s Valley.
Valley National Bank, which recently entered the Tampa Bay market by acquiring Clearwater-based USAmeriBank, is following in the footsteps of Dunkin’ Donuts by excising part of its name. Henceforth, only the word “Valley” will be displayed on its signage and marketing materials.
“In reality, everybody calls us ‘Valley,’” says Mark Fernandez, the bank’s chief marketing officer. “Our customers call us Valley. We call ourselves Valley. Our community partners call us Valley. So that’s what you’ll see on our buildings, our business cards … it’s what you’ll see in how we market ourselves.”
Headquartered in Wayne, N.J., Valley has more than $30 billion in assets and has been in business for 91 years. In all that time, the bank has never had a “losing quarter,” Fernandez says, and so officials didn’t want to completely overhaul the name and image. “You don’t want to dismiss what’s an incredibly strong heritage.”
The changes are indeed subtle. There’s less emphasis on yellow in the color scheme, while the blue is deeper and richer. Graphic elements have been combined to suggest the presence of an arrow that indicates forward motion.
Fernandez says branch operations also will be tweaked to fit the new image, most noticeably in the form of a “universal banker” service model that will see the entirety of a customer’s needs routed through a single member of the banking staff.
Joe Chillura, Valley’s president of commercial lending for Florida and Alabama, says the bank inherited and is now implementing a slew of “forward-thinking ideas” in the USAmeriBank deal, which represents Valley’s largest-ever acquisition. Valley was also able to buck a trend, he says.
“With mergers, you tend to lose somewhere between 3 and 5% of the business in the first six months because people become disenchanted and they follow their banker who left to go somewhere else," he says. "And that's the exact opposite of what's happened here. We've actually seen a lift of well over 10% in our balance sheet growth.”