Maurice H. Hartigan II interviews Wells Fargo CEO Dick Kovacevich in The RMA Journal.
So while a product company concentrates on the product itself, I quickly discovered that in financial services the product is actually secondary to the way in which it‚s distributed. In financial services your product is actually service. The majority of banking products are virtually indistinguishable˜a commodity. It‚s the delivery of the product that creates differentiation, and the critical element in delivery is your people. Most brand managers who came from packaged goods didn‚t understand that it‚s the interaction of your sales and service with the customer that is critical to success, not your ability to differentiate the product.
He goes on to comment on the budget crisis in California — citing some numbers I hadn’t heard before:
During the Internet bubble, incredible tax revenues were generated in California essentially by stock options ˜ $18 billion in 2000. About 33% of California‚s revenue in 2000 was generated by 44,000 taxpayers. That‚s not a sustainable model. If we saw that in our business, we‚d be very concerned.