Mechanics and Farmers Bank has been a proud and significant part Durham's history since 1907. The Bank was founded by a group of black businessmen who wanted to ensure the African American community in Durham had access to basic financial services. All these years later Bank is still operating profitably - but the branding and marketing had fallen behind the times and needed to be strengthened as the Bank sailed into its second century.
The basis of our work for M&F was the Bank’s ability to help their customers realize their dreams. Why do people come to a local bank? Because they want to build something. Buy something to improve their lives. Create a solid financial foundation for their family. Empowering the dreams and hopes people have for their future is what M&F has been doing for 110 years.
The Strategy Behind The Work
Mechanics and Farmers Bank was founded to serve those who wouldn’t be served elsewhere. The result is a base of clients who are devoted customers of the bank; some for decades. While this is great, it is not enough: more new customers are needed. And not just from the African American community – from the community at large. Those people who believe that local money should stay local and that you should be known when you walk into your bank.
“We don’t have any mechanics or farmers as clients any more.”
In talking to the employees and members of the Board of Directors of the Bank, two things quickly became obvious: firstly pride in the services the Bank has provided and continues to provide to the community. The second is good old-fashioned customer service. Knowing your customers; treating them fairly; making sure their needs are met and they leave happy. Each one. And in talking to customers, we found a level of loyalty and trust that any brand would envy. How many brands boast customers of 70 years duration?
Pride, loyalty, and the cumulative impact of making dreams come true for over a century drove our work.