Eastern Bank’s Brand Purpose Is All About Empowering Communities

Rob Gregory, President of Sales and Marketing, WHOSAY

Paul Alexander is proud of the financial institution he works for. The Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Eastern Bank told Erin Andrews, sportscaster and TV host, during an exclusive interview that his organization has stood up for inclusion since day one, when a female became the bank’s client number one.

“The bank’s first customer was a woman, back in 1818,” he said. “So from that point on Eastern’s always been forward-thinking in terms of helping veterans, immigrants, and in fact next year our focus is going to be about advancing women.”

Alexander went on to explain Eastern’s three-part focus to help not only women but other underprivileged groups. “The three primary things are: women on boards, so that’s one point of focus. Another is pay equity. And then, women in senior management positions,” he said. “Eastern’s been doing this for a long, long time and my boss is a proponent of it. His boss before him and really two CEOs ago that’s where it started. So I would say for the last 30 years it’s been core of what Eastern is about.”

Aside from actually walking the walk, Eastern also talks the talk. Alexander shared with Andrews how the bank also advocates for these initiatives through their marketing and advertising. “The new advertising campaign that we launched back in March is working really, really well,” he said. “The idea is about doing good things to help people prosper. We wanna start a movement around helping communities that have been undeserved about folks who are rising in terms of voice and we wanna make sure that their needs are met.”

For Alexander, it all comes down to brand purpose. From empowering women to helping veterans is all about being a good corporate citizen. “This year is [also] about helping immigrants,” he told Andrews. “So we just provided a fund, where people who have to reapply for DACA benefits can get some assistance.”

But, perhaps, one of Alexander’s most impactful initiatives is his push to encourage entrepreneurship among underserved communities, especifically among developing  

black and Latino-owned businesses. “Boston is one of the worst cities in terms of wealth gap between the majority and minority communities,” he explained. “So Eastern is contributing $10 million over the next three years to create what it’s called a Business Equity Initiative.”

The goal is to take first stage black, Latino and women-owned companies and take them from $250,000 in sales to a million or above. “Cause that’s really where the challenge is; there are a lot of small businesses that get started but getting them to scale is difficult. And so we wanna provide capital funding, resources, consulting expertise to help them get to the next level.”