NEW YORK: Bank of America believes that brand building needs to undergo a "fundamental shift", as the financial services giant focuses on forging stronger bonds with its customers.

Dan Hopkin, svp/brand marketing manager at Bank of America, discussed the company's new approach at the Advertising Research Foundation's Audience Measurement 9.0 conference, held in New York.

"At Bank of America, we believe that building a strong brand today really requires a fundamental shift in strategy," he said. (For more, including how the company tracks brand value, read Warc's exclusive report: Building brand value at Bank of America.)

"The firm needs no longer to be focused on pushing products out of the door … Firms need to shift to be designed to serve the customer, and really focus on their needs and their experiences."

Pursuing this model rested in large part on reimagining the core function of Bank of America's products, according to Hopkin.

"It requires that products are sold … because they solve the customer's problem or they fill a customer's need," he said.

"Secondly, we need to shift the focus from product profitability to customer profitability. And what that means is: it's really a short term-long term view."

Such a transition is not always easy for businesses operating on the scale of Bank of America - which boasts more than 5,000 branches across America.

"For a large organisation, sometimes we get very caught up in trying to detail what the production process is, and making sure that we're efficient at the production process," said Hopkin.

"When we do that, sometimes we lose that intimate connection, that human connection with customers. Really, that's not enough: we need to be both efficient and we need to really be able to maintain that connection."

Overall, Bank of America is prioritising "shared success" by basing its key decisions on an assessment of how customers, shareholders and communities can all "win" from the choices it makes.

Data sourced from Warc