Case Study: A facelift on a 30-year-old brand.

Advertising Isn't An Expense. It's An Investment.

The magic word in advertising right now is millennial. Smart businesses from all industries are wooing these young, discretionary and experience-craving audiences, and First National Bank of Pasco (FNBP) was no different.

With the anticipated opening of a new branch in Lutz in January of 2018 designed to be particularly attractive to this younger target, the bank decided to brush off its 1987 look and step into 2020 with a brand that’s contemporary, fresh and strategic.

This repositioning couldn’t have come at a better time, as we found when researching the power of the millennial banking dollar. Much of what we learned applies to many Bay Area businesses in general as well.


According to the Tampa Bay Partnership, people in their 20s comprise 19.74 percent of the population. That’s 876,265 people living in Tampa Bay who are between the ages of 18 and 34. reports that 10.1 percent of those living in Pasco County are in their 20s, which roughly equates to nearly 48,000 Gen Y’ers, also known as millennials.   Their greatest concentrations are in Wesley Chapel, Land O’Lakes, Lutz, and Trinity.

Consider this: The oldest millennials became young adults around 1999. In that time, they have experienced the dot-com bust, September 11th, and large banking and housing crises. Further, Iraq and Afghanistan are wars largely fought by millennials. These factors influence their risk tolerance, yet they still remain willing to think non-traditionally.

What they want:

Millennials are all about the experience, the convenience and the “wow” factor. TD Bank recently released the results of their Financial Education Survey, in which they found that millennials require more support with their personal finances than previous generations. While 59 percent of those surveyed felt they were “extremely” or “very” knowledgeable about day-to-day banking products like checking, they still wanted advice on what might seem like simple topics: Savings (32 percent), creating a budget (30 percent) and credit cards (26 percent).

As our oldest digital natives, millennials prefer online and mobile platforms to one-to-one interaction. In fact, TD’s report noted that 90 percent of their respondents said they use online or mobile tools for their everyday banking needs, including checking balances and paying bills.

Rising to the opportunity:

 First National Bank of Pasco looked at this and many other determining factors as to why the millennial market does business with some companies, not others, and how those businesses retain these customers. Armed with that knowledge, they joined forces with my team here at The Creative Stable to create a new brand, replacing one that had been around for more than three decades. From the logo to exterior signage, mobile apps to interior appointments, they have created a new look and feel that appeals to a multi-generational audience, and especially to millennial customers.

The new logo:

Easy to read, the real visual interest in this new logo lies in how it’s perceived by different generations. When deconstruct, the “i” (which is actually the numeral one) and the “st”, they visually spell out 1st. This is typically what the millennial viewer sees first, while older generations often don’t see it at all. That little twist of intrigue is highly appealing to the millennial target, who report getting a good experience just viewing the logo and knowing typically only they see its subtleties instantly.

Exterior signage:

Big and bold, the signage shows its color in the daytime and goes to a bright white at night. It’s a contemporary color palette with a hip new attitude—something milliennials crave.

New Lutz branch:

K4 Architecture and Design did a study of 18- to 22-year-olds by assembling a focus group of college students that attend the College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning at the University of Cincinnati.  They thought architectural and interior design students would have a vision of a financial branch that attracts them and works for them.  The first question was, “What is your favorite retail store?”  Believe it or not, it was not the Apple Store.  They selected Fossil, Banana Republic and a spinoff of American Eagle.  If you do not have a frame of reference for these stores, think “industrial eclectic bohemian.”  They are clean and organized but utilize reclaimed wood and textures.

FNBP embraced this concept in its new Lutz branch’s design. It was designed based on the idea that bank branches should be inviting places for millennials to want to hang out. Here you’ll find a coffee bar, special events, Lego competitions, a pet-friendly policy, and comfortable seating will replace across-the-desk transactions. In this new branch, there won’t be any paperwork or literature on desktops, helping to eliminate the clutter millennials don’t like. The new branch is slated to open in January, 2018, and will mark the fourth Pasco location for FNBP.

Partners in innovation:

In keeping with this rebrand, FNBP became the first financial institution in the area to offer high power electric car charging stations, showing a forward-thinking that’s very near and dear to the millennial heart. They also partnered with Jarrett Ford to wrap a hybrid car with a co-branded look and feel that’s part high tech and part high touch.

Go mobile in all offerings:

Another key aspect of millennials is their mobility. Among Bank of America customers, millennial households are twice as likely as others to be active on mobile devices, using them to pay bills, transfer money and deposit checks. This provides an opportunity to meet millennials’ needs before they even realize them. For instance, an alert on a gas-price hike can prompt a reminder to use a credit card that gives cash back on gas purchases.

According to new research by Mitek, 68 percent of millennials would prefer to use mobile capture instead of having to manually input information on their smartphone. Features like remote check deposit will be essential to millennial customers, if they aren’t already.

A FICO study found that customers who use a banking app at least once a week are more satisfied with their banking experience and are more likely to recommend their bank to others.

Remaining focused on business:

This new brand has not deterred FNBP from its focus on forging business banking relationships while it spurs new growth in its retail banking customer base. Millennials are highly entrepreneurial, which fits nicely with the new brand. To further engage and drive that message home, FNBP has launched a testimonial campaign that simply conveys why banking local is better.

The Better Way To Bank:

With a new logo, new tagline, new marketing tools, and new energy, First National Bank of Pasco is poised to redefine the banking experience. This is just the beginning of the innovation to come from FNBP.