By: Joshua Danker-Dake | Category: Financial Services | Issue: October 2008
Dee Sokolosky, president and CEO of First Bank of Owasso, advertises using actual clients of the bank, including Pet Stop owner David Wilson.
First Bank of Owasso has drawn a lot of attention lately with its personal, relationship-oriented advertising. If you’ve driven through Owasso (or even through Tulsa), you’ve probably seen their colorful billboards.
“We’re in the relationship-building business,” says Dee Sokolosky, president and CEO of First Bank of Owasso. “That’s our tag line – ‘First relationships last.’ Four years ago, we started a marketing campaign using real people, actual clients of the bank. We feature them on billboards, posters, deposit envelopes and receipts. About once a year we get together and brainstorm about what clients would be good to feature. We’ve showcased a wide variety of business and demographic groups. It’s been very successful. Even the kids recognize the ads. Now we get clients volunteering.”
First Bank of Owasso was organized in 1962 and was the original bank in Owasso. Today, they have over $200 million in total assets. They have three locations in the Owasso area, and employ over 70 people.
“We’re building a new 62,000-square-foot bank at 86th and Garnett,” says Sokolosky. “We’ll move our headquarters there. It will be five stories tall – the tallest building in Owasso. We’re pretty excited. We had the first two-story building in Owasso, the first elevator, and we may have had the first water fountain that wasn’t in the school. And now we’ll have the first five-story building in Owasso.”
One First Bank billboard that’s drawn particular attention is the one on Highway 169 featuring Pet Stop. “Pet Stop became a client of ours in 1996,” says Sokolosky. “David and Sara Wilson, who are featured on the billboard, leased space in the Cornerstone Shopping Center on 86th St. They’re in their own building now. We asked them if they’d like to be featured. They’ve done well with their full-line pet store. They had snakes, iguanas and turtles – at the time, the city of Tulsa didn’t allow reptiles.”
“We’ve had a very positive response to the billboard and the ads,” says Sara Wilson, owner of Pet Stop. “People come in and comment about it almost daily. I think it makes them feel good. It reminds them that we’re the owners of the business, and they support us.”
“We’ve been here since 1996, and First Bank has helped us the whole way, and we’re thankful for that,” says Wilson. In that time, Pet Stop has grown into its current 11,000-square-foot facility. “We’re here right next to the movie theater. It’s a year in November since we remodeled after the fire.”
In addition to your next pet, Pet Stop also sells just about everything you need to look after your pets. “We’ve got a lot of animals – cute, furry guys, snakes, fish and birds, as well as cages, food, and any other products you might need,” says Wilson. “We also host birthday parties for the kids – and the kids can invite animals from the store to come to the party.”
“We’ve got a really great staff,” says Wilson. “Our employees are good people, and we depend on them. We take pride in how we take care of them, and they’ll help you take care of your pet, or help you find a new pet. They help educate everybody, and they provide good service.”