Monday, July 25, 2011

Wachovia's transition

Wachovia's in the process of rebranding as Wells Fargo. For the past three or four weeks, it appears that the signs outside of every Wachovia have been replaced by vinyl Wachovia signs. Clearly, this is because of the need to install thousands of permanent Wells Fargo signs in advance of the changeover. So, those signs have been installed, and thousands of vinyl signs with the current Wachovia logo are in place until the changeover, when, presumably, they'll be recycled or trashed.

Wachovia ATMs also currently end transactions with the equivalent of "We know that many banks would be delighted to have you as a customer, and we appreciate you banking with us." This violates one of the key marketing tenets, which is, "don't give people a reason to think about going elsewhere." My initial, and not-unique reaction was something along the lines of "why, yes, I'm an important customer. Is there somewhere else that would like my business?".

Traditionally, with big bank mergers, 1+1 equals 2.5. With this start, Wells Fargo-Wachovia looks unlikely to buck the trend.