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Five Star Bank

Rebranding a bank to resonate with a new generation.


When Five Star Bank first approached The Martin Group to discuss rebranding, their team felt that the bank’s look and feel was falling short of expressing the strides they had made to stay relevant and relatable to the communities they serve. Five Star Bank also desired to elevate their brand both visually and tonally, introducing a more sophisticated, modern, and humanistic aesthetic that would resonate with a younger, more digital-savvy target audience. The Martin Group was tasked with strengthening Five Star Bank’s value proposition and truly differentiating the brand from competitors, specifically in the growing markets of Erie County (Buffalo, NY) and Monroe County (Rochester, NY).


Our research confirmed that Five Star Bank had low brand awareness in its growth markets compared to their legacy markets. Furthermore, their growth markets tended to skew toward a younger demographic. The core of the marketing challenge would be developing a unique, authentic position that appealed to this younger audience without alienating loyal, long-term customers. We started by developing a new brand color palette while retiring the paper cutout style of their existing branding. Our creative team then explored various design directions for the brand’s logo, font, and overall visual identity. With these refinements as the foundation, we developed integrated brand campaign concepts that took a humanistic approach, featuring representations of the bank’s diverse customer base and realistic visuals depicting life milestone scenarios. In this way, we were able to vastly elevate Five Star’s brand message and awareness in both Rochester and Buffalo using a mix of traditional and digital tactics, including outdoor, radio, responsive display, paid social, streaming audio, and SEM.


The 2022 Brand Campaign generated more than 35 million impressions over three months across traditional and digital tactics in the Buffalo and Rochester DMAs. Traditional media tactics garnered almost 24 million impressions across outdoor and radio. For outdoor, this included two bulletins and five digital units in Buffalo and three bulletin units in Rochester. Digital media tactics drove over 75,000 campaign sessions to the website with display driving the majority, followed by Facebook/Instagram, paid search, Snapchat, Spotify, and Pandora. As expected, paid search had the highest engagement, followed by display.