After reading my post about TomatoBank, the enterprising Anantha at Brandnama did some research into other unusual bank names. His list includes several Indian banks (Yes Bank, Ram Ram Bank, Lord Krishna Bank); he also jogged my memory about New York's Apple Bank, a name that seems less strange when you know NYC's nickname, The Big Apple. (The tagline "We're Good for You," wants us to make the orchard association, but Barry Popik's definitive NYC site concludes otherwise. The bank was originally called Harlem Savings Bank; it changed its name in 1983 after an acquisition.) By the way, doesn't that Apple Bank logo look suspiciously like TomatoBank's?
Another U.S. institution on Anantha's list, Cincinnati's Fifth Third Bank, is a longstanding joke among name developers. Yes, it resulted from a merger between Fifth National Bank and Third National Bank, but as Marty Neumeier points out in his zingy name critique (scroll down), naming a bank after an ordinal number is boring, bland, and meaningless. Two ordinals are just plain nuts. Fifth Third has been in the news lately because--ta-da!--it "plans to redefine itself," according to a Jan. 17 press release. Starting with a name change, perhaps? No such luck.
"It is becoming a different bank on the inside. The way we interact with customers, the products that we sell them, the way that we service the customers becomes different because we want to connect differently,'' said Michelle Van Dyke, the Grand Rapids-based CEO for Fifth Third in Michigan.
And another spokeswoman said, "The branding is less about a new look and more about a new feel." Uh-huh. The only thing I want to "feel" at my bank (which, for the record, is not Fifth Third, or First Second, or Forty-Leventh) is the texture of crisp banknotes.