Inspired Banking: How AB&T Found Its True Self

The Story Behind American Bank & Trust’s New Brand – 

They say the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

 

This month, American Bank & Trust finished an epic journey that spanned more than a year and a half and led to a breathtaking destination: a new brand.

 

It was fall of 2019. Some 15 of our leaders from around Eastern South Dakota had gathered at a hotel in downtown Sioux Falls to dig into some fairly intense strategic planning. Part of that involved a conversation about the need for a new brand.

 

With two branches open in the crowded Sioux Falls market, a third planned for the following year, and ambitions to serve more customers in the highly competitive region, we had a lot to accomplish. Then an interesting story came up from one of our more senior wealth managers. It helped push the conversation forward.

 

“You know, when the daughter of one of my oldest clients got married, her father, my client, invited me to her wedding,” he said. “That’s why I do this. It’s the people. It’s the relationships I’ve built.”

 

We’d just taken our first step.

 

But by the time our team of leaders walked out that room, we were well on our way to a bold shift that resulted in a much different approach to telling the American Bank & Trust story. It was a matter of finding new ways to express hidden truths about our people, our relationships, where we’ve been, and where we’re going.

 

The adventure that followed was a true exercise in discovery. We talked to customers. We talked to employees. What we learned felt like a breath of fresh air, and it helped us evolve our brand.

 

“I hear a lot from people unsolicited, ‘Hey, you guys are making a real splash,’” explained one AB&T team member. “I’d like people to think of us as being on the leading edge with tradition still in mind. Not abandoning who we are but also pushing who we are.”

 

That was a sentiment we heard from both our team and our customers. And that lead to an epiphany about what really defines our work and relationships: Creativity.

 

It’s what fuels us. It’s the true measure of what we deliver to our customers. It’s what sparks them in their own lives. Creativity is about solving problems. It’s about newness and possibility. It’s about inspiration and imagination.

 

That gave us the foundation for our new brand and the tagline that buttons it up: Inspire. Create. Grow.

 

“They’ve got the ability to have a lot more control in individual’s hands versus just regulations or check the box to meet these requirements,” one AB&T customer explained of his experience with our team. “I feel like they help find a solution and get us there versus the other players that wouldn’t do that.”

 

That’s why the new American Bank & Trust brand positions our customer experience where what if? meets why not?

 

And so, with a design system built around painting and vibrant colors to express the humanity and expressiveness of art, our bank invites our customers and communities to dream big.

 

Curiosity sparks great pursuits. Creativity sparks great achievements. American Bank & Trust exists to nurture both. What makes us different is our ability — and our expectation — to use imagination to empower our staff to solve financial challenges. It’s a difference we prefer to show more than tell.

 

We’re not here to follow expectations about banks. We’re here to set them.

 

Which brings us to our next journey. What if we took the first step together?

 

Welcome to the new American Bank & Trust.

 

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