Byron Bank Polishing A New Image

February 22, 2005
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BYRON CENTER — Byron Center State Bank has adopted a new logo and tag line and shortened its name as part of a re-branding campaign that kicked off Thursday.

The 84-year-old financial institution — now known simply as Byron Bank — just wanted an updated image that would better reflect its modern-day capabilities, its professionalism and "first-class talent," said President and CEO Patrick Gill.

Gill said a lot of customers already had been referring to the bank by the shorter moniker for quite some time. Byron Bank's new logo is black, gold and white and sports an upright chevron above the bank's new name.

Its new tag line or theme — "Centered on You" — plays up its customer-oriented focus as a locally owned and managed independent bank. The "Centered" also seems to hint at the bank's long-time headquarters in Byron Center, but that's only by coincidence, Gill said.

"It was one of those coincidences that we ended up liking because it does have a little subtlety to it. We're not trying to run from our heritage; we're proud of who we've been and we're pleased with who we are. But we think we can make it look just a bit better in the process."

No one appears to have a problem with the change.

"We literally sent out thousands of letters to customers, shareholders and vendors and did not have any negative reaction at all," Gill said.

As of Thursday, all of Byron Bank's 12 branches in its Kent, Ottawa and Allegan county footprint had exterior banners and interior signage in place announcing the bank's re-identification. The placement of all permanent exterior signage is supposed to be completed today.

Gill said the bank's current management team has been working carefully to reposition the skills and capabilities of the company and that the "image freshening" was based on the premise that the bank has made substantive changes in its organizational capacity over the years.

"We're comfortable that we have that process far enough along that a natural complement to the process is re-identifying the bank. It gives us a chance to freshen the look and create a more contemporary appearance and image that's more consistent with the capacity we now have as an organization."

Gill explained that the former, longer name and old image no longer support an accurate perception of the bank in the minds of people who don't know it.

"What we know we are is a highly capable provider of financial services. We want to make sure that we don't cause people to overlook us as an option or an alternative because the image we present doesn't cause them to consider us."

COO Jim Luyk said the previous name and image was "tired, passive and slow," while the new identity is "dynamic, bold, progressive and professional."

He said there's a lot more behind the shortened name and new image than meets the eye.

"It has to do with the cultural change that was started here the day Pat (Gill) arrived," Luyk added. "That cultural change has been underway now for just over two years, and this is just one of those steps in the process of making sure that our external signage and image reflects who we are as a company."    

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