Banking on Community

Glens Falls National Bank and Trust Company is a local anchor. The sign shown in this photo is visible from our window, one side features the time, the other the temperature. We often call out, “What’s the temp?” before heading out for lunch, the Glens Falls National Bank sign helps us know to bundle up accordingly.

An image of Glens Falls National Bank's flagship location in downtown Glens Falls beneath a bright, blue sky. In the foreground a digital clock tells the time.

Glens Falls National Bank has been the place for people to go for mortgages, home equity, and car loans since before any of us, or our parents were born. Banking has changed a lot, continues to change, keeping pace is a dance.

The majority of 2018 was spent delivering a message of commitment. As a society, we have become accustomed to immediate gratification. There’s no denying the joys of convenience, but playing the long game, we believe that driving home the idea of faces you can see, people you can literally turn to, and investments in the communities people live in can be a value-added benefit to local banking.

People often talk about campaigns as love letters to an audience, in this case, it’s actually true. From spreads in print collateral:

An image of Glens Falls National Bank's brick building on Glen Street in Downtown Glens Falls alongside a page reading, "Caring for our community since 1851."

to billboards in communities across the region, Glens Falls National Bank reached out to its neighbors to let them know that in addition to helping members achieve financial goals, they are putting money back into the community.

A stark billboard against a blue sky, reading a in cursive font, "Hello, Glens Falls. We're investing oin you."

Traditional messages about products they offer also flashed across screens and traveled in envelopes, sending a message that Glens Falls National Bank cares about supporting your quality of life, at home and at the office.

A man and a woman stand in a kitchen, he wears an apron while she romantically places a bite of something in his mouth. To the right of the image it reads, "Someday is now" as a lead in to an ad for home equity loans. A digital banner ad reading in white type against a deep red background, "Small Business Banking, we work for you. Glens Falls National Bank and Trust Company."

As we look over at that sign and think about how many people have checked the time or the temp over the years, we can’t help but feel proud to be part of a locally committed bank.

Honoring Emotion

When I worked in theatre I used to say that “when you stop having butterflies before a performance, it’s time to stop.” Theatre is unapologetically rooted in emotion, people are literally chasing the prospect of feeling something.

Tell me a story, take me to another place, teach me something.

Pierce my world with magic.

A shot splitting the view of backstage and the house

Standing backstage, waiting to perform or poised at the fly rail to send in a drop, I always felt lightheaded. The audience and the production have different chemistry at every performance, you can’t know until the curtain flies out, the lights go up, and the audience is invited in, whether the crowd is hot or you have your work cut out for you. That’s the thing about emotion, not everyone is comfortable with it.

I’ve moved from theatre to communication and it often feels like emotion is the last thing people want. People have a feverish need for confidence and stability, which is understandable as money is invested and huge leaps of faith are taken with brand and story. What sometimes get lost is that emotion is a fuel. Nerves can help with focus, excitement can sustain interest on a team, and the rush of venturing beyond comfort can lead to remapping boundaries.

The backside of presentation boards face out from a long wooden bench before a presentation.

The other day we were presenting logo drafts to a client. There were a number of versions to show, each one the result of numerous rounds of internal revisions and edits. The work was backed by research, polling, and experience. We had rehearsed our presentation and worked through specific ways to discuss different strategies. This particular project involved pitching a small group. They are intelligent, invested in the process, and respect our opinion. Despite all of this, my palms were sweaty and my voice was shaky; I had butterflies.

A group f of people gathered in a wood paneled conference room to review a presentation.

When these moments of anticipation and nerves come, I don’t fight them. There should be pressure and I should be channeling my energy into creating emotion. Maybe they hate the logo or they fall back in love with what they’ve had, perhaps the process of seeing how things feel leads to an exciting new direction. The important thing is that as we gather to consider the work, we feel something.

People gathered around work tables reviewing artwork pinned to a whiteboard.

 

 

 

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