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Challenge:

Rebrand Lakeland Bank to create a perception of stability and financial strength to maximize growth opportunities.

SGW conducted multiple focus groups and created and launched a totally new Lakeland Bank re-branding campaign. The public launch included the integration of the new look, logo and tagline, “We’re Simplifying Banking”, throughout the entire bank’s marketing and merchandising efforts, including a brand new website and the bank’s first-time foray into social media. The new look and brand identity helped cut through the clutter and let customers know about enhanced delivery systems, expanded product lines and better customer service, while assuring customers that Lakeland Bank remains committed to the community and to providing outstanding personalized service.

SGW Integrated Communications conducted extensive research that identified the community’s desire for a bank that can provide creative solutions, is easy to deal with, and is friendly, honest and caring. Many designs and brand positioning concepts were developed and tested before the decision was made and the new tagline, “We’re Simplifying Banking,” was confirmed.

Action:

The consumer campaign included the unveiling of Lakeland’s new look across multiple elements:

• A newly designed, interactive, state-of-the-art website
• Complete logo re-design
• Establish and develop branding guidelines
• New advertising creative: in print and out-of-home/billboard
• All collateral such as direct mail, email campaigns, etc.
• Television and radio spots
• Fully integrated social media campaign, which included Facebook, YouTube and a blog

Results:

For the first nine months, after the initial launch customer churn was reduced by 30%. Lakeland Bank was also one of the first community banks to launch Facebook and a successful educational video series recognized by the leading industry trade publication.

Since the rebranding,  Lakeland Bank has successfully merged and acquired three additional banks:  Somerset Hills (6 locations), Pascack Valley (8 locations)  and (3 locations) Harmony Bank (3 locations) . This has resulted in 53 locations to date and total assets increasing from 2.7 billion in 2010 to 5.1 billion in 2017.