Bank of Missed Opportunity?

It seems like Bank of America is in the right place at the wrong time.  

For nearly two years they have embraced a brand positioning about opportunity.  

At the same time we read online about their request for a multibillion dollar bailout.  The US government now owns about 6% of the bank.  And there are untold billions more at risk due to the acquisition of Merrill Lynch.  So whose opportunity are we talking about?

From the Bank of America website:

Our Brand Positioning
Bank of America’s brand positioning, “Bank of Opportunity,” is emblematic of what Bank of America has always strived for throughout our history ― to create opportunities for the people we serve. 

It is a brilliant idea that is just completely out of step with consumers today.  

So what is a company to do when their brand positioning has boxed them into a corner?  Do they compound the problem by trying to “reposition” the brand?

This is an example of how the inflexibility of brand positioning can amplify the problems of a company instead of reducing risk.  Unless Bank of America can change the discourse, they run the risk of being out-of-step with their customers.

The reality is that people have memories.  We all understand that the current financial crunch is beyond the control of any bank, even one as large as Bank of America.  What we need is a really good narrative line about what role Bank of America will realistically play in our lives, in our communities, in our country.  The narrative needs to adapt to the reality.  

It also raises a very delicate question.  When companies are receiving billions of government aid, should they be spending any of it on advertising?

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