Doral Bank Burnishes Image

The Challenge: Once on the brink of bankruptcy, Puerto Rico’s Doral Bank recapitalized and emerged under new leadership in 2007. Under its new president and CEO Glen Wakeman, the bank sought to transform itself from a mortgage-based financial institution to a full-service bank. The bank also wanted to strengthen its appeal with women, recognizing they are becoming key financial decision-makers in the family. “Doral was a strong name in the financial community, particularly in the mortgage area. We wanted to leave the old Doral, the mortgage institution, and move into a full-service bank,” said Karla Gual, vp of brand development.

The Plan: To differentiate itself from other community banks in Puerto Rico, Doral launched a new image and philanthropy initiatives. The look of its 39 branch locations got an overhaul, with tropical colors like ocean blue, orange and lime, replacing the old grey, black and burgundy color scheme. The image makeover also included new employee uniforms, logo, signage and a new motto, “Eeres parte d” (Being part of). The philanthropic initiatives were Ruta Pink, a breast-cancer prevention program; Domingos dMuseo (free Sundays at the museum) and dParques (a tree-planting program in neighborhood parks). The bank spent an estimated $900,000 on a media campaign spanning TV, radio, outdoor and digital supporting the changes.

The Results: Seven months after the new image was unveiled in February 2008, a survey by Ipsos Hispania showed that consumers’ perception of the bank as being concerned with the community improved by nearly 100 percent, while its overall band image improved 58 percent. In 2008, the bank increased its deposits by 5 percent, grew its client base to 450,000 from 400,000 (the year prior) and opened more than 58,000 new retail accounts in 2008.