Retail bankers love to talk about what separates their banks from the competition. But all too often, differences in products, pricing, and service quality are hard to see.

So it's not surprising that executives are working harder to forge singular identities for their banks. Increasingly, they are looking to emulate the winning brands and retail strategies created by consumer marketers. To break away from the pack, more than a few banks have recruited talent from powerhouse marketers like Procter & Gamble or Coca- Cola.

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