Monday, January 24, 2011

Capital One M&A Exec Bangs the Brand Drum

The Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) National Capital Chapter's event speakers typically fit the deal maker mold:  a highly placed corporate executive or major player in the world of private equity.

As a result, presentations at ACG events are often peppered with statistical analysis, market assessments and business model evaluations.  It can be interesting, yet (admittedly) for a marketing, social media and public relations practitioner like myself the depth of the discussion can extend beyond my comprehension.

When Murray Abrams, executive vice president and head of corporate development at Capital One Financial Corporation, took the stage last Friday I assumed I'd be in for more of the same.  And while his presentation did include a financially-oriented recap of their recent acquisition of Chevy Chase Bank, Murray strolled outside this normal fare to talk about the positive impact Capital One's brand has had on the continued growth and success of their business.

Here are comments from Murray that resonated with me:

--Capital One has a long-standing commitment to building a strong and iconic brand.  They invest considerable resources each year to define perceptions of the company among key audiences, including customers, shareholders and employees.

--Last month, Advertising Age magazine included the company in its list of most influential advertising icons of the past decade.

--Over the long haul, brand reputation is a powerful differentiator in the financial services market.  This has allowed the company to more quickly grow the business organically, as well as through acquisitions.

--Capital One will continue to promote its evolution from a credit card company to a diversified provider of financial services to consumers and businesses.  They are one of the top 10 banks in the United States with a strategy of establishing a dominant presence in select geographies.

Capital One's advertising features an interesting cast of vikings.

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