Wells Fargo connects diversity with profitability

Geoffrey Precourt

There are times when a brand has so many flies on its windshield that it seems impossible to have any vision beyond the immediate present.

Yet, even its darkest hour, Wells Fargo & Co. remains one of the leading American financial-services institutions. And, even as its CEO resigned amid public outrage, the enterprise he left behind still has 77 million customers and serves one in three American households.

And, according to Michael Lacorazza, the firm's EVP/Brand and Advertising & Integrated Marketing, "We probably have the most diverse customer set of virtually any company in the US."

To serve that rich set of cohorts, Wells Fargo grounds its multicultural – or "total-market" – programs on three principles:

  • Its market is composed of a diverse mainstream plus demographic, cultural and language segments.
  • Its mindset reflects the fact total-market insights must be embedded throughout the marketing process.
  • To reach the "new mainstream" requires a nuanced mainstream campaign and segment work.