Greetings. It's hard not to worry in these uncertain economic times. Even as the stock market shows signs of rebounding, many of us remain somewhat concerned about the best place to put our money–i.e., the money we have left after the current economic crisis. And our collective confidence in banks has definitely eroded. In fact, it's hard to remember the name of a bank that has received positive press in the past year! And it's equally hard to find a friend or colleague who adores their bank. Which seems to suggest an industry that is ripe for genius, innovation, and delivering more compelling value to customers. All of this makes the name of one of the newest financial institutions in our area somewhat interesting to the casual observer–"Woori America Bank." Because it strikes me that most Americans are already pretty darn worried about banking.
But a bit of investigation indicates that this growing bank, which caters to Korean Americans and small and medium-size Korean-owned businesses, has attracted a loyal and growing customer base. And its formula is relatively simple tied to the needs of its particular market niche. It offers the right set of products along with courteous service, speaks the customer language or languages, and is willing to collateralize loans with real estate in Korea. And in Korean its name actually means "Our" America Bank which is a simple and compelling name to use when trying to connect with "our" people. Quite a bit more powerful, one might argue, than what use to be the typical American bank name–something like "First National Providential Interstate Covenant Fidelity Independent Bank and Trust." Names that once stood for stability and financial soundness, but in recent years have come to represent bad loans, greed, and bailouts.
So what the heck. Woori me all you want, as long as you protect my money and treat me with the respect I deserve as a customer.
We succeed in business or any organization by knowing who we serve and speaking their language in ways that really matter. Who are you trying to connect with, and is your message as clear and compelling as possible? If not, you might have something to worry about.