The Bankers Brew, Coming Soon?
Written by Noel E. Stack, EVP Strategic Alliances
Producing consumer loans, providing banking services, and delivering mortgages are no different than the complexity, art, and science of brewing beer. To be great, they both require the same level of craftsmanship during the development process, while maintaining the highest levels of consistency and quality.
When my number came up to write this month’s blog, I immediately had flashbacks to college and the anxiety I felt when a paper was due. As I struggled to come up with a topic, my Chief Marketing Officer just said, “write about what you know.” Half joking, I said, “I know a lot about beer.” She said, “Great, run with it.”
During a recent interview, Jim Koch, co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company and makers of Samuel Adams beer (commonly referred to as the Godfather of craft brewing), taught us about the criticality of ‘consistency.’
Before the purists get their hops in a twist, those who think Koch was never truly a craft brewer and Sam Adams’ success was mostly a product based on clever marketing – there is no denying that Koch was the driving force behind the craft beer revolution and its success to date.
During this interview, the interviewer tried to negatively position macro brewers, by highlighting how specifically Anheuser-Busch (AB) is doing a disservice to customers by offering a boring, bland beverages – expecting Koch to wholeheartedly agree. Surprisingly, Koch did not. He responded with a compliment to AB and called on his fellow craft brewers to respect what they do. What it boiled down to was, Koch was most impressed by AB’s quality control and ability to make a consistent product in a dozen breweries across the world. That the Budweiser you drink in St. Louis will taste the same as the one you get in California, New York, or London.
While Koch proved himself the consummate professional during the interview by complimenting the macro brewer competitor and how he learned from what they were doing right, he ultimately understood the importance of building a brand of consistent reliability – that is where the value is.
Is your firm building a brand of consistency by formalizing your policies, processes, and procedures? Despite our new world of Work From Home (WFH) – is your bank, financial services firm, or mortgage company developing, implementing, and maintaining a customer experience that meets the same level of consistency that can be found at any distribution center – like AB, Sam Adams, or the Ritz Carlton?
I honestly cannot tell you anything else about the interview with Koch, and I’m not even sure why I read it in the first place since I‘m not interested in home brewing and don’t care for most of the craft brew offerings, but his message on consistency and providing a quality product have always stuck with me.
BlackFin Groups slogan this year has been “Delivering Change” but it could easily be replaced with “Delivering Consistency.” The ability for a company to deliver a high-quality product and service, regardless of who is doing it, when it is being done, or where it’s being done is a skill not easily found. It takes discipline, agility, transparency, humility, and a strong company culture to consistently meet and exceed expectations.
What does your service, say about your firm? Is it time to develop your own bankers brew?