The Financial Industry: How Much is Enough?

October 28, 2008

Will companies like Bank of America, be able to adequately integrate the brands it has acquired? Having the financial strength of Bank America will assure shareholders and investors. But it is the brand reputation that consumers recognize. The image of a strong and solid bank is needed now more than ever in these troubled times.

Wells Fargo, having agreed to acquire Wachovia, is in a prime position to increase consumer confidence. Especially after Citibank stepped away from the table, when discussions were at a standstill, and support for lawmakers were nowhere to be seen.

As the Federal Reserve plans to lend out $540 billion to money-market mutual-fund companies in an effort to shore up the stumbling industry, it feels that it is only a matter of time before one of two events happen. The optimistic outcome would be that this act is a key influence in thawing out the credit market. The more realistic outcome would be that this doesn’t make a visible dent in the current credit crisis, and $540 billion is found to be a relatively wasted effort.

As once prestigious financial institutions file for bankruptcy, are seized by the government, or acquired by more stable competitors, a lot of brands are being tossed about in this storm. What will become of all that brand equity?

Rather than let all that value lie on the table, it is imperative for companies to realize the value not only in their corporate brand, but also in the corporate brands of their acquisitions. There is value there, value that can be tapped in to and leveraged to ride out this economic storm.

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