The Name of the Game? Product Value

By Dave Pond

During a recent episode of the Marketing Money podcast (helmed by John Oxford, director of marketing at Renasant Bank, and Mabus Agency owner Josh Mabus), I was excited to hear the topic of conversation turn from product naming toward product value. 

>> Marketing Money Ep. 125 (31:00) | LISTEN

After all, nothing ticks off customers and clients alike more than owning a worthless product. Unless it’s knowing it costs them money. Then things get real.

The era of “a checking account is a checking account is a checking account” is long gone—and, in most cases, account-opening giveaway enticements have fallen by the wayside. See, today’s market-savvy consumers have the power to shop and compare digital banks, megabanks, and community banks on their smartphones. And if they do come to your branch, it’s usually to find out more information, not just the basics. 

Like anything else in their lives, each consumer’s next checking account must fill the boxes of “What’s in it for me?”—signifying that the value of that account is highest compared to any expenditure the consumer must put forth. It’s the age-old question of perceived value, tailored to the modern era. 

That’s where we’ve found our niche in the financial market for more than two decades—a fact that didn’t get past the Marketing Money hosts.

“The idea behind it is to add a subscription-based style account for a feature vs. just free checking that may save a buck for the customer in a fee but doesn’t give any true value other than just not paying,” Oxford said. “It’s called BaZing. This one gives a lot of real value—it’s real value, and you can use it.”

With its white-label customizable capabilities—Oxford’s Renasant team calls their app “Rewards Extra” to allow for alliteration—StrategyCorps’ BaZing mobile app brings modern benefits to the checking experience. This creates a powerful, Netflix- or Amazon Prime-like subscription-pricing model that differentiates your financial institution’s retail checking lineup from that offered by competitors—especially the megabanks.

But that’s only after we help financial institutions determine customer or member value, primacy, and more.

“The whole premise is StrategyCorps will do this as part of their service,” Mabus said. “They will go through your accounts, see who is profitable and who’s not as far as accounts, and help you get people into paid accounts. [It’s all about] getting them to a product, and getting people in the right place.”

Even if the right account comes with a fee? Yes, Mabus said, especially when the customer sees value there. That’s a mindset many community banks and credit unions struggle with to this day.

“Community banks are just so loath to charge,” Mabus said. “The ideologies of most community bankers are likely, “A workman is worthy of his hire,” and “Things that have value should be charged for,” but then it’s, “We’re the community bank! We can’t charge for it!”

But you can. And you should. This quote from our own Dave DeFazio sums it up nicely.

“If you want to devalue something, give it away for free.”

Take BaZing. In addition to the traditional checking account feature package (which includes “useful yawners” like mobile and online banking, mobile deposit, eStatements) offered by, well, everyone, you have the chance to differentiate yourself by providing any or all of the following eyebrow-raising features:

Roadside Assistance. Cell Phone Protection. Health Savings. Bill Negotiation Services, Fuel Rewards. ID Theft Aid, Credit Monitoring. Accidental Death Insurance, Luggage Protection. Buyer’s Protection and Extended Warranty Coverage. Local and Online Deals and Discounts. 

And, StrategyCorps is adding more features for 2021 and beyond to help financial institutions of all sizes generate $500,000 of new, recurring revenue per $1B of assets by delivering the checking products consumers are demanding and those your competition has failed to deliver.

Ready to talk?

When you’re ready to learn how added-value, subscription-based revenue can be incorporated into your retail checking game plan, let us know.


Dave Pond is a marketing content strategist at StrategyCorps, where new research by Cornerstone Advisors provides an illuminating, deep-dive into changing consumer behaviors and attitudes that threaten the traditional roles that community-based FIs have played. To delve deeper into these insights and learn how to best optimize the value of your checking accounts, download our free white paper today.