Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Gallup Poll:
Banks’ image continues to plummet.

Americans’ perception of the banking industry continues to plummet, according to a new Gallup poll. The poll was conducted August 6th through 9th, 2009. Gallup was seeking Americans overall view of various business sectors. They wanted to know if respondents were “positive, somewhat positive, neutral, somewhat negative or very negative” of the specific industry.

In this annual poll, Gallup found that many industries that took big image hits in the 2008 poll have recovered this year. But one exception is banking. In 2008 they lost 14 points, one of the largest drops of all industries that year. In the recent poll, banking dropped an additional 8 points, the largest of any industry.

A positive image just 2 years ago.
Surprisingly only two years ago, more Americans viewed banking more positively than negatively. As recently as 2006, a majority of Americans had positive ratings of the banking industry. In fact, banking had a 58% approval rating. As of last week, it’s now at 28%. The following chart shows the image decline along with the automobile industry.

The image decline is understandable with all the events that have occurred in the past year. But what’s disturbing is the continued decline, especially since the survey was conducted just over a week ago.

What this means for community banking.
While some community banks may prosper at the expense of their larger competitors, many smaller banks are still tainted by the overall downfall of the industry. And, others are simply wavering on the financial brink themselves. Bank marketing execs can certainly step up to the plate to help remove the tarnished image. But it will take more than a few ads to rebuild Americans’ perception of the banking industry. Everything from consumer service to financial education to advertising transparency must all be addressed in a successful marketing plan.

To see how other industries faired and the most popular sectors, Gallup has its findings online. In addition, The Economist has a great graphic of the Gallup results.


Erik said...

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