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New packaging, same bank

Citigroup's headquarters in London.

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: In the meantime, many big banks are in the midst of re-branding themselves. Maybe you've seen one of the new ad campaigns. Bank of America is the "Bank of Opportunity." Citigroup says, "Let's Get It Done." And starting this weekend, JP Morgan Chase will ask you to "Chase What Matters." Steve Tripoli looks at what's behind these makeovers.


Steve Tripoli: Branding expert Glenn Rifkin says banks are rolling out these ads more to hold customers than add them.

Glenn Rifkin: There's a certain amount of fear of losing market share, and having customers feel that in uncertain economic times, maybe it's time to re-think where they have their money. And this is a way to say, "Stick with us, because we can show you why we're better than the bank down the street."

But Rifkin, who co-wrote the book "Radical Marketing," says he's not sure branding campaigns set banks apart from competitors.

Rifkin: From a position of a brand, I have yet to see any of these banking brands stand out in a way that I think the average consumer would view them.

He says that's because what really draws customers to banks are interest rates, local ATMs and customer service.

So when a bank like JP Morgan Chase lays out 70 million bucks for branding, Rifkin says ad-watchers often ask: Why not just sink that money directly into what customers want?

I'm Steve Tripoli for Marketplace.

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