To some people, the term "bank marketing" is an oxymoron. Banks have been net importers of talent from advertising firms and packaged goods companies for years, and yet their marketing efforts are still pretty stale.
One guy who is trying to change that is Stephen Cone, who joined KeyCorp in August 1994 as an executive vice president for marketing and strategic planning (See People, September 1994). "The reason why I was attracted to banking is that it needs an injection of people who aren't so inbred," he says. No problemo, Steve. With his wild bow ties and bushy beard, this native New Yorker will never be mistaken for a traditional banker.
Cone's latest undertaking has been to launch a national brand identity campaign for KeyCorp, and he recently retained Young & Rubicam Inc. to help in that effort. The stakes are high for the Cleveland-based bank, which operates in 25 northern states from Maine to Alaska. "Our plan is to become, in relatively short order, a double-digit growth company," Cone says. He adds that "job number one" is to market more products to existing customers.
Another smaller but still important job has been to jazz up the corporate logo--which now appears a bright "KeyCorp Red." Leaving nothing to chance, Cone has even prepared a thorough launch manual that, despite its breezy tone, makes quite clear what KeyCorp employees may and may not do with their new logo. "Never place the Key symbol on an angle, upside down or with the bulb of the key on the right," the manual instructs. Presumably bending, folding, spindling and mutilating are out, too.