Harper pushing BarnbayThere’s one INB employee whose employment goes back to 1966. We call him Barnaby Bee.

Though he took an extended leave to give himself a makeover, he never really retired. Most staff members had his stuffed likeness in their offices. When you talk to people who have been part of the Springfield community for a number of years, they remember Barnaby. Or as I heard heading to my new job with INB in 2014, “Oh, you’re going to work for INB. The bank with the bee.”

Yes, the bank with the bee.  And with that memory, I found a stuffed bee among my kids’ boxed-up, stuffed animals. I remember my aunt giving it to me to give to give my daughter. Happily, my grandbaby is now the proud bee owner, often adding Barnaby to her grocery cart so she can tote him around the house with her many other favorites: two blankets, a dog, Elmo and a baby doll.

Barnaby Finds His Space

But Barnaby was in limbo in terms of his future job duties. He was neither here -- nor there -- really. INB is a bank, after all. And we do a lot of business banking. Would people take us seriously if Barnaby made a reappearance?

It really wasn’t a question for me.  Mascots work. There’s the Froot Loops Toucan Sam. Wendy’s Wendy. And Planters newly sprouted Baby Mr. Peanut. When you talk about any of these great brands, you don’t need to see the brand name to know who the mascot belongs to. Even local companies know how effective a mascot can be. My former employee, Horace Mann, spent years developing Hootie the owl. Now he makes appearances at local schools and trade shows.

In the case of INB, we’ve spent the last couple of years bringing Barnaby back to the INB landscape. He now has a full-time gig: He’s running our Instagram account. And let’s just say he’s a little bit of a ham.

So if you’re a fan of Barnaby, INB or both, choose to follow us on Instagram #ichooseINB.