Bringing a Gun to a Knife Fight

What can you bring to the competitive battlefield that large banks and fintechs can't or won't...

The classic battle of David and Goliath in a lithograph by Osmar Schindler

In discussing his book David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell looks at the biblical story of the literal little guy triumphing over a giant from a different perspective.

First, David’s sling is a devastating weapon. It’s one of the most feared weapons in the ancient world. The stone that comes from his sling has the stopping power equivalent to a bullet from a .45 caliber pistol. It’s a serious weapon. And second, there are many medical experts who believe that Goliath was suffering from acromegaly, which causes you to grow. Many giants have acromegaly, but it has a side effect which is, it causes restrictive sight. Goliath in the biblical story does, if you look closely, sound like a guy who can’t see.

So here we have a big, lumbering guy weighed down with armor, who can’t see much more than a few feet in front of his face, up against a kid running at him with a devastating weapon and a rock traveling with the stopping power of a .45 caliber handgun. That’s not a story of an underdog and a favorite. David has a ton of advantages in that battle, they’re just not obvious.

Aside from divine intervention, the lesson here is that to win as the “little guy,” don’t play the same game as the giants. You can’t outspend Chase, Bank of America, or Square, for that matter. Even adjusted for asset size, large nationals typically spend 2x* what community FI’s do in marketing, product development, and customer-facing tech.

Local community credit unions and banks have long set themselves apart with their level of service. Your ability to know and treat your customers, your neighbors, with the care and attention they deserve is why community banking enjoys the premium in consumer trust, even among younger and more demanding customers.

If you’ve found resistance to increasing the level of higher touch, more personalized experience for your customers, we have a resource for you. This free guide lays out the five most common barriers community FI’s face when trying to replicate the personalization they’ve carefully crafted for their in-branch experience in all of their channels.

The guide to getting past the barriers to a better experience for your customers. Get it Here.

The level of care and personal touch you bring to your customers can be unbeatable when delivered consistently and reliably across all your customer touchpoints. Your ability to provide that is the path to beating giants. To badly paraphrase Sean Connery in his Oscar-winning performance in The Untouchables -> Bring a gun to a knife fight.

Don't get caught short in the battle for your customers

*Source: FDIC Community Banking Study

Share the post:

Get our blog posts delivered to your inbox: