A large part of my career was spent in marketing, developing messages, campaigns and collateral to help differentiate OlyFed, while also providing meaningful and useful resources for our customers and community. I’ve always thought marketing done well is really more about education than sales. Truly, our character and words set the tone for our actions, which ultimately determine our outcomes and impact.
We do many things here at OlyFed that are very intentional. We still have a receptionist that answers all incoming calls in person, we don’t sell our loans, we offer all customers (both new and long-term) the same product specials, we limit our fees and fine print to a minimum and we even serve our own blend of local coffee (Batdorf & Bronson). These seem like little things; however, what I’ve learned over the years is the little things all add up and make the big things.
For us, we’re not striving for success, but rather significance. It’s the meaning and purpose behind our “Banking that’s Mutual” tagline. In fact, in the world of banking, we talk a lot about rates, technology and customer service because these are what we as an industry believe are the big competitive differentiators; but these past few months have helped me recognize the real differentiator is our daily commitment to be a better version of ourselves.
I’ve never seen this truth on display like I have in our team during these extraordinary times as they compassionately care for our small business, mortgage and savings customers. Their courage and kindhearted resilience to serve the human and financial needs of our region are playing a critical role in helping keep our local economy and life moving in a positive direction. In essence, they are fulfilling the promise that we’ve made and have maintained for 114 years, which is we’ll be there for you in good times and bad because it’s the right thing to do.
I recently heard someone say, “Comfort is the enemy of growth,” and now more than ever before we’re all developing and learning to do things differently. The wonderful part is that we’re doing it together and we’re seeing that our connections, relationships and principles are what’s most important. I am honored to work with such virtuous colleagues and proud to be a member of a community with such amazing neighbors and friends.