A group of business leaders in Lakeland, Florida wanted to start a de novo bank to fill the void that was created when a community bank was acquired by a large national corporation. In a market already flooded with large national and regional banks, generating a powerful first impression — on a modest budget – was imperative. Third Wing’s role was to help provide a strong and memorable introduction to the market, as well as continually enhance the Bank’s brand awareness as it matured.
Initially, Third Wing helped the Bank rapidly develop a polished and professional corporate identity for use in raising capital. A striking corporate identity, including logo, signage, and tag line (“A New Direction in Banking”) was developed along with a compelling investor presentation.
Subsequently, the assignment was to develop and execute local promotional marketing and advertising campaigns to establish Community Southern Bank as a legitimate and recognized brand in central Florida. Efficient long-term media contracts were negotiated, including a highly visible and ‘ownable’ location on the local paper’s business section. Other strategic steps included creation of a unique “Advisory Board” of local business leaders to gain important community support. Unusual and highly visible tactics included ‘car wrapping’ the Bank’s courier vehicle and creating a community charity program, Community Causes, to further strengthen local area involvement at minimal cost.
Community Southern Bank successfully opened its first branch in Lakeland, Florida in August 2006 in a crowded banking market, and CSB quickly became a recognized and trusted community-based brand.
In 2012, Community Southern Bank has five branches, a Bauer five star rating, a well-established community acceptance, and assets well over the $200 million mark. A strong brand awareness campaign continues to capitalize on the Bank’s favorable reputation in the market.