The challenge for Wells Fargo: Stay ahead of consumers

Geoffrey Precourt

In a digital age when no one has the time to look back, one of the world's most trusted brands grounds its imagery in an 160-year-old stagecoach – a vehicle that went out of service just 10 years after it inexorably became tied to the enterprise.

Wells Fargo & Co., the San Francisco-based multinational banking and financial-services holding company, is the fourth-largest bank in the U.S. and the country's largest bank by market capitalization. And it's known to its customers and investors by its logo – an 1850s powerful conveyor of commerce that became obsolete by the 1860s.

"We have this legacy trademark," Jamie Moldafsky, Wells Fargo chief marketing officer, told the 2014 Leadership Conference of the U.S. International Advertising Bureau (IAB), "and the great thing about that is it says, 'we've been around 160 years'. But the downside of it is that we have a lot of people who hold on to that legacy – of people delivering things for people."