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Branding Campaign Creates 6.5 Million Online Impressions

Pioneer Bank

The Challenge

As a leading financial resource and the only mutual bank in New York’s Capital Region, Pioneer Bank has a strong business in the community, and was making gains by modernizing its branches and introducing new mobile banking options.

Despite these advances, Pioneer didn’t have a consistent and clear brand message that employees and customers could understand. No clear plans or strategy had been set in place to reach its goal of uniting the branches and creating brand consistency.

Pioneer hired Burst Marketing to reposition the brand and develop a relevant, differentiating message for target audiences.


Burst began the project by taking Pioneer through our proprietary branding process—a series of steps used to uncover key insights and develop a relevant marketing strategy.

Primary research was conducted to analyze the attitudes of employees, customers and those who don’t do business with Pioneer on the current brand. Research findings revealed that individuals believed Pioneer’s brand was different, but not in a meaningfully relevant or engaging way.

What was important to the process was Pioneer’s organizational culture. As the region’s only mutual bank, Pioneer is unique in its commitment to serving its customers, employees and community, rather than stockholders and investors. The staff’s local knowledge empowered decision-making and personal attention provides a superior customer experience—a key factor in attracting the higher-end banking customer: business owners, commercial loan users and high deposit value individuals.

Keeping insights we uncovered in mind, Burst developed a branding strategy to appeal to existing customers and prospective customers alike.The core creative message revolved around the concept of “the new pioneer,” featuring the dreamers, doers, movers and shakers of the community, whether they be the single mom who’s building a future for her children, the environmentally conscious entrepreneur building a sustainable business or the community leaders building the foundations for the next generation. The battle cry “There’s a new Pioneer in each of us” encouraged viewers to associate themselves with these individuals and the Pioneer brand. The campaign tells stories of these notable Pioneer customers and how they use Pioneer services to succeed in their lives and businesses.

The campaign included creative executions in online display, social media, print, outdoor and owned media as well as a new website.


The initial launch created over 6.5 million online impressions and drove 4,000 unique visitors to the website over a two and a half month period. The campaign set the stage for an aggressive five year growth plan and generated internal excitement with board members and staff. Additionally, our work was featured in the industry leading Financial Marketing blog The Financial Brand.