#BankWars: Biggest Lessons from Sterling Bank’s Epic Shade

Sterling Bank may not be Nigeria’s most popular bank but it has crept into our consciousness all thanks to a now viral (sadly deleted) tweet shading 4 big banks. All but GTB have fired back but 16,000 tweets later, what can we learn from #bankwars?

To steal the spotlight from your competitors, take a swipe at them

Apple did it with Microsoft.

Pepsi did it with Coke.

Sterling upgraded by shading 4 banks at once! When you attack your more popular competitors, they are forced to respond (usually to save face), giving you more brand visibility. GTB was smart not to respond.

In a David vs Goliath fight, the people get behind the underdog

Apple’s classic 1984 Super Bowl ad took a shot at then PC industry giant IBM, cementing Apple’s reputation as an ‘innovator’ and IBM as the ‘conformist Big Brother’.

With 1,941 retweets and 3,047 likes (and counting), Sterling bank definitely attracted sympathy. It’s in our nature to support the helpless against big bullies and we sure got behind the underdog.

To drive sales on a tiny budget, capitalize on controversy

Sterling bank stole the #bankwars spotlight, attracted sympathy and proceeded to convert the new fans into customers and inactive customers to change their status. Their agents helped fans open new accounts instantly. Strike while the iron is hot!

Yes, Access Banks’ response was legendary

but the real winner is Sterling for racking up over 10,000 twitter followers, hundreds of new accounts & millions in free publicity in 24hrs all with 1 devastating design.

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