An interesting development in the marketing of stock brokerage firms is playing out. Schwab, a stock trading outfit that has had better days, is returning to its roots, and founder Charles Schwab. As they duke it out against well-known brokerages like Merrill Lynch on the one hand, and many discount companies on the other, Schwab wants to stand out, and humanize its image.
It's what Customer Evangelist specialist Ben McConnell refers to as "peopletizing." But instead of showing the customer, this campaign is highlighting the head of the company. We've seen big radio stations pull this off, by bringing the Program Director down to earth, and in-touch with the audience. As radio companies have gotten bigger and monolithic, giving listeners a way to easily contact the guy on top is a great differentiator.
The campaign itself uses characters (posing as disgruntled customers), talking about what's wrong with big brokers, and other investment headaches. By bringing the company's boss down to earth, while presenting a more casual impression of a white shirt business, Chuck is making positive noise.