More than a century after five local businessmen founded it, the State Bank of Colwich in Kansas - seeking a new identity as it expands in the state - is now Legacy Bank.
The new name took effect Sept. 15, the day a monthlong campaign for the name and a new motto, "Fund your future," began.
The marketing initiative, consisting of newspaper advertisements and five-second television commercials, is the most ambitious and expensive in the bank's 114-year history, said Frank A. Suellentrop, president at $100 million-asset Legacy.
He would not disclose the campaign's budget.
The bank plans to expand beyond Colwich, a town of 1,200 people, and nearby Wichita, where it has two branches and is to open a third in November.
"Any association we had with our customers and the community we served was linked closely with our name," Mr. Suellentrop said. "We will probably experience some fallout; we are not naive to think that some of that will not occur. This will be beneficial in the long term, though."
Kim Halliday, a partner at Carter Halliday Associates, a corporate-identity firm in Boston, said it is hard to give up the equity built by a familiar name.
"The first question I always ask is why," Mr. Halliday said. "But if their name refers to a location, and their location is going to broaden, that is a pretty compelling reason."
He called Legacy a good choice, but he echoed Mr. Suellentrop in saying that some people are bound to be upset by it.
"That is pretty much inevitable with any change, whether it's a name change, growth, or a change in personnel," he said.
Mr. Suellentrop, 47, began his career at State Bank of Colwich in 1973, and his family has managed the bank since 1911. Since succeeding his father, Clem J. Suellentrop, as president in January 1992 he has made growth a top priority. He opened the bank's first Wichita branch within six months and added a second in 1997.
Being in Wichita is a big reason the bank's assets have doubled over the past eight years, Mr. Suellentrop said.
The bank has never made a bank acquisition, but Mr. Suellentrop is looking. He said he bid on a bank in Goddard, Kan., last year, but that the offer was not accepted.
Jim Maag, executive vice president of the Kansas Bankers Association, said Kansas was one of the last states to discard unit banking, waiting until the late 1980s before it permitted statewide branching. Only four states have fewer banks than Kansas, which has 375; it has had a lot of consolidation since unit banking ended.
"Legacy is doing what so many of our other banks have done," Mr. Maag said. "It is searching for larger markets."