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Old school communications, but it works

One of the banks I use is Triodos, a small sustainably-minded bank where I hold some savings. I just received their latest magazine.

Their magazine for customers, the colour of money, is now a year old.

It’s a good old fashioned example of authentic customer communication.

The magazine works because it feels, well, real. The stories are not all about the bank, but a mix of reportage on the issues, mixed with customer profiles of where the bank is contributing to small businesses and sustainable development.

The magazine should have all bylined articles, so you know who wrote what, and who they are.

But other than that it really works. Here’s a good example.

Sometimes there is no need to re-invent the wheel: It wouldn’t work as an IPad app.

Why don’t the bigger banks do something like this? Clearly one reason is cost. Another is complexity of operations. (A third, and harder to tackle cultural issue, would be lack of a culture of openness)

But what about some targeted communication, beyond reporting, that reads as authentically as this? Tell a story outside your press room or your sustainability report. Why not?

Work out who some key ‘opinion formers’ are, make something authentic that tells a story, and send it to them. Then ask them what they thought.

Harder to do for a big bank, or your company. But not impossible.

As for customers: Has any large bank tested how it can influence customers on sustainability thinking by producing something like this, and then marketing them specific, greener services? If not, surely it is worth testing. When price, quality and service are all the same, surely sustainability behavioural change could be a differentiator? It is at least worth testing.

(Some banks will be meeting here soon. Come join them.)

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