How a “back to basics” approach fueled Ally Bank’s brand renewal

Ally Bank, the online financial-services company, moved from being a disruptive first-mover to a brand that was being challenged by legacy players in the digital realm.

Founded in 2009 in the wake of the financial crisis, Ally Bank built its brand through disruption and creativity, pointing out – without pulling any punches – the shortcomings of traditional banks.

Great rates, lower fees, honest talk: "It's the Right Thing to Do," the online-only "branchless bank" proclaimed.

Ally’s marketing, in fact, pointed out everything customers hated about legacy banks – and eased early fears about online banking. The upstart grew by double digits for several years, reaching 5.5 million customers, and more than $100 billion in deposits, over the next decade.

Its 2009 "Do you want a pony?"...

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