Millennials and money — Can a traditional commercial bank win them over?

Washington Trust Bank opened its doors in Spokane in 1902. They began with a commitment to provide businesses with a level of customer service above and beyond the status quo. That might seem trite. But they meant it. And customers responded by helping the bank grow exponentially.

Today, the bank’s footprint covers Washington, Oregon and Idaho, it’s still privately owned, and it’s so financially sound that it can finance its own loans. This means it can offer customers tailored products and services other banks simply can’t.

But here’s the thing. The bank also realized that there’s a whole other population out there that would respond to their high-touch service model: Millennials. It’s no secret that Millennials want to align themselves with organizations that offer several benefits:

  • Local operations: Millennials want to spend their dollars within their communities.
  • Operate with good intentions beyond profits: They want to align with companies that have missions and values that truly benefit customers and society.
  • Give back to their communities: Profits are fine, but Millennials want to see businesses give back in ways that are beyond mere lip service.
  • A preference for experiences over stuff: Millennials want companies that help them live full lives on their terms.

It turns out that these benefits are exactly what Washington Trust Bank has built its business around. But it never communicated that to this key demographic.

Enter the bank’s new campaign, “What’s Your Awesome,” created in partnership with Washington Trust Bank and our team here at Duft Watterson.

The campaign doesn’t tell Millennials how to get rich. Rather, it uses digital display, location-based marketing (LBM), over-the-top marketing (OTT), print, TV, radio, and content marketing, to invite them to meet with Washington Trust Bank bankers so they can collaborate on how to realize a full life; however they define it. Whether that be travel, buying a new RV, paying back a college loan, or saving for a wedding.

See the work.