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Ten Things I Learned from the 2017 Financial Brand Forum

October 6, 2017

The Financial Brand Forum is the premier conference for financial marketers. It’s the largest conference in the world dedicated specifically to that group. It lasts three days and includes over 50 strategy and how-to workshops given by world-class speakers. Attendees walked away with actionable ideas and practical insights. Some of them could be immediately implemented, some of them would take a while. That’s enough of an advertisement for the 2017 Financial Brand Forum. Let’s get to what was discussed.

To be honest, the outlook from many of this year’s presenters was not favorable for bank marketers – they were shooting straight and not holding back. But remember, I am the reporter here. I will add a little commentary of my own, but by and large, I am commenting on what I learned at the conference and sharing the opinions that were shared there.

I was most inspired by the first keynote speaker, Ray Davis –chairman of the board and former CEO of Umpqua Bank. Ray is responsible for pioneering the first customer-centric financial organization. He reimagined what it was to be a bank. The results? When he took the helm in 1994, Umpqua had 6 locations in Oregon and $140M in assets. Today, it boasts 330 locations in multiple states and $24B in assets.While the other speakers and workshops provided many insights that helped form the following takeaways, Ray’s sage observation, wisdom and advice is the basis for the bulk of this content — after all, you can’t argue with success.

To view all top ten takeaways, click here.

You can also download our Banking on Success white paper.


Christine Tieri is President of Idea Agency in Sturbridge, MA and author of the blog BrandStanza – little ditties that build big brands. With a passion for problem solving and a quest for continuous improvement, Christine works with businesses, brands, communities, and individuals to help build their path to success. As the only Certified Brand Strategist in New England, Christine is driven to discover her clients’ unique position, help them put a stake in the ground, and build programs to support their company goals. Contact Christine for brand development, speaking engagements, guest blogging, panel participation and judging at


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