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Banking on Digital Growth Podcast

Positioning Your Brand Beyond Commoditization

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Brief Summary of Episode #30

What’s your financial brand’s purpose?

Purpose guides and gains support for your digital growth… 

But be warned, straying too far from it could lead to ruin.

Just look at what happened to Tom’s Shoes.

In the latest episode of Banking on Digital Growth, I take a look at why purpose is the bulwark standing between your brand and the sterile commoditization that can destroy it. 

The rise and fall of Tom’s Shoes is a cautionary tale every financial brand would do well to learn from. 

The meteoric rise of the business happened for one reason:


Tom’s wasn’t guided by attempts to clone its competitors — it had a mission.

No, people flocked to Tom’s Shoes because of its charitable efforts and simple two-word purpose: Improve lives. 

But somewhere along the way, the company lost sight of that purpose. 

Instead of improving lives, the company spent its energy commoditizing products and putting revenue over purpose. 

And it led to their downfall. 

They lost the support of their customers because their story stopped being something to share with friends and family. 

Its story became the same as everyone else’s — and customers were sick of hearing it. 

If you want customers to tell your story, it’s time to start banking on purpose. 

Key Insights and Takeaways

  • How commoditization led to the downfall of Tom’s Shoes
  • How to avoid the same fate for your financial brand
  • How to get back to (or begin) banking on purpose