LAS VEGAS – The Financial Brand Forum 2014 opened Thursday here at Ceasar’s Palace and in an opening address, shared the key to getting CFOs on board with marketing: differentiation.

“Strong brands make more money,” said Jeffry Pilcher, founder/publisher of The Financial Brand, to the more than 400 financial executives from 14 countries, six continents attending the two-day conference. “The differential is the ROI of marketing.”

The more banks and credit unions are the same, the more they train consumers into being rate sensitive. And, he said, homogeneity is an admission that the brand is weak.

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