Financial Fortitude

When big banks took a big dive, many consumers were soaked. But smaller, local financial institutions weathered the storm with more confidence, even as their larger national and multinational counterparts recovered from financial disaster.

Today’s financial sector is stronger, showing steady growth on a much more modest scale, and companies are as determined as ever to win back old customers, gain new ones and strengthen bonds with current clients. Promotional products can help deliver these messages with meaningful impact. Top trends in banking for 2017 include customer payments through voice-activated assistants such as Cortana and Alexa; bank-developed chatbots and virtual assistants; and an increase in the number of specialty firms that focus on financial products such as retirement accounts, merchant services and wealth management.

Getting In On The Ground Floor
Bianca Carretta, with Melbourne, Australia-based distributor Chilli Promotions, says financial clients focus on communicating a core group of statements to their customers.
“Common messages include ‘we are trustworthy, ‘we care about our customers’; ‘we work to understand your needs and work to look after you’; and, ‘we are unique—not just another bank’,” says Carretta.

Carretta says her team must be mindful of restrictions on logo placement and color palettes when customizing products, and of industry or recipient when selecting products for client campaigns. “In the case of a company promoting road safety, we wouldn’t suggest alcohol-related items,” she says.

The most common points of contact within a financial organization who spearhead promotional messaging and projects are marketing and sponsorship staff, or brand teams, adds Carretta. To help develop relationships and boost the likelihood of working with prospects, she suggests asking the following questions:

• Who is your target market?
• How will the products be utilized?
• What is your quantity and budget?
• What is your lead time?
• What branding or decoration is required for the items?

“These questions allow us to determine how we source products, whether we will need to use local stock options or whether we can provide a bespoke solution, and what restrictions we face when it comes to branding solutions,” she says.

Carretta adds that distributors need to understand a client’s brand and how the client wants to be perceived in the marketplace. “While one client is happy with an out-of-the-box solution with a unique spin on their branding, others may be more conservative and serious in their approach,” she says. “This is important for determining the best product solution to meet the client’s needs.”


Market Snapshot
The financial industry, as defined by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is comprised of finance and insurance agencies. Finance agencies include monetary authorities, credit intermediaries, financial investment firms, funds, trusts and other financial vehicles.

In 2016, more than nearly 500,000 of the sector’s employees were tellers; securities, commodities and financial services agents occupied 330,570 positions; loan officers numbered 258,540, and accountants and auditors occupied the fewest positions, at 107,540.

The mean wage for tellers in Q4 last year was $28,000, while the mean annual wage for loan officers was $75,170; for accountants and auditors, $81,850; and for sales agents, the mean annual salary was $102,240.

Number of industry establishments, 4th Quarter 2016
Private Industry     864,985
Local Government   1,835
State Government     114
Federal Government   799

Employment in thousands (2017)
All employees (seasonally adjusted)
Mar.   8,403
Apr.   8,419
May   8,432
June  8,449

Average Hourly Earnings (2017)
March   $32.74
April      $32.89
May      $32.98
June     $33.11

Average weekly hours worked (2017)
March  37.3
April     37.5
May     37.4
June    37.6


Professional Partners
• Society Of Financial Service Professionals
• Association For Financial Professionals 
• National Association Of Insurance And Financial Advisors 
• American Bankers Association
• National Bankers Association 
• Independent Community Bankers Association

Campaign Collateral

Show them how valuable they’ve been to an organization with the asymmetrical Barbour Clock. Created from optical crystal with space to imprint a heartfelt message or mark an occasion, this curved clock is sure to delight the recipient whenever they check the time. The clock measures nearly nine inches high and seven inches wide, and comes in a black gift box.
Crystal D / PPAI 112326 /




Employees stay sharp and organized with a letter opener and sticky note flags. Five assorted colors make marking documents easy, and the letter opener cover comes in white, clear or translucent blue. Add a logo or name to the front or the back.




The sleek Find-E Bluetooth tracker helps users keep an eye on belongings such as wallets, keys, luggage and even pets. The durable, replaceable battery is the highlight of this latest edition to the Bluetooth tracker market. It lasts up to nine months and the tracker is compatible with Android and iOS devices.
Aiia Limited / PPAI 624878 /





The easy-to-assemble Slim Line Ribbon Banner kit can be used in all kinds of spaces, ranging from office reception areas to trade shows. Metal tubes are slotted together to create the framework, so no additional tools for setup are needed. The banner is made from stretch polyester and can be printed on one or both sides. The kit includes a two-sided, full-color, digitally printed stretch polyester banner and a black carrying bag.
Quinn Flags / PPAI 360359 /




Saving is twice as nice when young customers receive a Dual Savings Piggy Bank. The plastic porcine comes in transparent red, blue or green and features three locations for a custom imprint.
Illini/Altco / PPAI 111235 /





Clients can see the savings add up day by day on a 13-month Scenic Landscapes calendar. U.S. sights are the focus of each month’s image, and the calendar is offered with stapled or spiral binding. Customize the calendar with a generously sized imprint.
Beacon Promotions / PPAI 113702 /








Up the ‘wow’ factor for banking customers with an Intensity Clic Gel pen, which is available in five new gel ink colors available to match popular barrel colors.
BIC Graphic USA / PPAI 114187 /







Case studies from the industry

A bank was holding its annual customer appreciation week, with different activities and events each day. The bank gave the Veggie Brush/Peeler from Beacon Promotions out to existing bank customers and to customers who set up new accounts that week, as a thank-you for their business. Those who received them were appreciative of the useful item. The bank was pleased that its message will be seen on a regular basis as dinner is prepared.
Source: Beacon Promotions


An Australian bank wanted to engage customers with its revitalized brand, so Melbourne-based distributor Chilli Promotions helped deliver the message of the bank’s identity as the black sheep of the banking world, going against big-bank trends to stand out and focus on customers. Each product included in the program displayed the logo of the bank and a cheeky tagline. Products included: a carpenter’s 2B pencil, with the phrase “2B or not 2B”; mint rolls with “refresh ME’’ chocolates with “sweet on ME”; a stylus with “always in stylus with ME”; and a nail file, with “pamper ME”. The marketing activities are believed to have contributed to the 27-percent growth that the banking client experienced that fiscal year. The campaign won a Bronze PPAI Pyramid Award at The PPAI Expo 2017.
Source: Chilli Promotions