Anish Bhati helps create meaningful experiences for U.S. Bank customers and prospects
When fans showed up at a Denver Broncos home game in 2021, U.S. Bank had some special experiences to offer them.
The fans who came to the U.S. Bank installation outside the stadium were greeted by cheerleaders and former Broncos players, who were available for photo ops or to sign autographs. The fans could play games with chances to win prizes, and they could learn about ways that U.S. Bank is supporting local communities.
One of the people who helped organize the event, and was on hand to help oversee it, was Anish Bhati, who works on the bank’s experiential marketing team.
“Experiential marketing is all about creating impactful brand experiences for our customers and employees,” Bhati said. “We show up to infuse our brand into culture.”
Bhati, who is based in Cincinnati, joined U.S. Bank in 2018, first as an intern and then on the consumer marketing team, joined the experiential marketing team in 2020.
“I’ve always been more fascinated with marketing the overall brand versus products,” he said. “It allows me to be more creative and think of ways to help humanize the bank.”
The experiential marketing team creates brand experiences at professional sporting events, festivals and conferences, as well as manages the bank’s brand partnership.
“The events we do are typically tied to different sponsorships the bank does, such as with the WNBA, the Broncos, the Minnesota Vikings, the San Francisco 49ers, golfer Collin Morikawa and others,” Bhati said.
In December, Bhati and his colleagues led an event at the LA3C music and arts festival in Los Angeles. The bank sponsored a live art installation where attendees could get original art designs airbrushed on hats and tote bags as free souvenirs.
“We also told our brand story around the bank’s Access Commitment efforts,” which are designed to help close the racial wealth gap, Bhati said.
While many traditional marketing efforts focus on gaining new customers, the experiential marketing team’s focus is more on elevating the U.S. Bank brand, he said.
“It’s more about building brand awareness and affinity,” Bhati said. “Studies have shown that people remember 20% of what they read and hear, 40% of what they observe and 90% of what they experience.”
The experiential marketing team also partners with U.S. Bank business lines to create a presence at business line events. At one recent event, the team displayed a special RFID enabled cube on a pedestal in which each of the cube’s six sides had icons that correlated to different U.S. Bank products and services.
“It allowed people to learn about the bank and its products in a fun and engaging way,” Bhati said. “Some people were blown away; it wasn’t like anything the bank had done before. It definitely wasn’t just tables and brochures.”
Events like that are what Bhati said he likes the most about his job.
“I love being able to push the bank’s thinking and get out of our comfort zone and show up in a cool and fun way,” he said.
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