Chief Strategy and Reputation Officer, U.S. Bancorp
U.S. Bancorp is one of the largest, most respected financial institutions in the country, so it seems almost hard to believe that until Kate Quinn was hired in 2013, it didn't have a consistent branding strategy.
Quinn joined Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp from the health care firm WellPoint, where she had been chief marketing officer. She had previously held senior positions at The Hartford and Cigna.
Quinn was brought on to help the bank develop a consistent corporate strategy and message, and her first order of business was uniting 16 separate divisions — including marketing, communications, corporate responsibility and government relations — into a newly created office of strategy and corporate affairs. She now heads that division, overseeing a staff of roughly 400 and, since early 2015, has served on the bank's managing committee, reporting directly to Chief Executive Richard Davis.
Perhaps Quinn's most important contribution has been taking the lead on developing a branding strategy that speaks not just to consumer and corporate customers, but also the bank's shareholders and the communities it serves. She brought in teams of outsiders — consultants, academics, psychologists — to help the bank define what it stands for, then worked with marketing experts on a campaign around its new tagline, "The Power of Possible." The campaign was rolled out in Cincinnati, Denver and Minneapolis. It will eventually go national.