TD gets ‘ready’ for change

CMO Theresa McLaughlin on the bank's upgraded green chair and refreshed positioning.


As the great Ferris Bueller taught us, life moves pretty fast.

It’s a fact that TD, and its global chief marketing officer Theresa McLaughlin, know well – and something that prompted the bank’s marketing team to look around at what it might be missing.

More than a year after embarking on a deep dive into insights about the Canadian consumer, TD has debuted an evolved positioning, “Ready for you” – moving on after 17 years of “Banking can be this comfortable.”

“It is really an evolution of our customer promise,” McLaughlin says of “Ready for you,” which is now rolling out in new advertising by Leo Burnett and will be seen throughout the bank’s communications and community initiatives.

“The reason we took the time to take a step back and look at that customer promise is because the world around us is changing so incredibly fast,” McLaughlin says, referring to everything from digital to changing demographics.

The new tagline comes alongside a refresh of the bank’s overall visual identity, including a more modernized version of its iconic green chair, an asset recognizable – and positively associated with TD – by 68% of the market, according to McLaughlin.

The move towards TD’s new visual identity and marketing began in early 2016, when McLaughlin took on her role, following predecessor Dom Mercuri’s retirement. At that time, she embarked on what she calls a “listening tour” to figure out how to adapt TD to the rapidly changing market. Working with the insights team at TD over the past year, she’s delved into research gleaned from speaking with roughly 13,000 Canadians, in and outside of the bank.

From that research, the bank landed on a key insight. The majority of Canadians (79%, in fact), don’t feel confident about their financial future. With both digital and societal changes, Canadians are struggling with how to approach financial decisions like how to pass on their businesses to the worth of their homes, McLaughlin says.

The task became marrying TD’s existing strong brand and positive associations with it with how consumers are thinking about their money today and their financial futures, she says.

Doing that meant not focusing solely on the bank’s digital innovations (although its mobile experience and other offerings are undoubtedly displayed in its new marketing), but how what TD offers fits into helping consumers build their financial confidence, McLaughlin says.

Testing with consumers revealed that while the digital bells and whistles are attractive, the need for human understanding is still in demand, she says.

Much of the bank’s new “Ready for you” marketing, then, is focused on personalization and flexibility, whether customers are interacting in person in the branch, by phone, by chat or through an app (the revamped green armchair, for example, is shown in its new advertising among other kinds of seats in a nod to how the bank can meet various needs).

“It’s not just about telling our digital story,” McLaughlin says. “It’s about telling our digital story in the context of what consumers want.”