How DreamBank Builds a Loyal Community


Chris Rudolph, Business Accelerator Program Director at DreamBank welcomed me to his space recently to speak about social business, and today I’m featuring him here on the Social Business Engine Podcast. DreamBank is an innovative community space in Madison, Wisconsin, provided by American Family Insurance. American Family sees DreamBank as an investment in their community, a gift with no strings attached.

Before starting at DreamBank, Chris founded an innovative fitness business in Madison with little knowledge of how to run a business. After four years in business, he began to get support from coaches and instantly saw a change. Chris sold his company and joined DreamBank to help support others realize their dreams and achieve their goals.


DreamBank holds about 35 free events each month to serve and inspire people to discover their dreams. Guest speakers include experts who present on topics related to small business, social media, marketing, branding, leadership, etc. The restored historic bank building in downtown Madison holds 50 people and allows DreamBank to build relationships with the community. The success they’re seeing is impressive, and now people are pitching themselves to speak at DreamBank.

When I asked Chris why American Family Insurance offers DreamBank to the public for free with no strings attached, his answer may surprise you. DreamBank creates an emotional connection between the local community, through in-person events as well as online through live streaming of their events (as mine was) and also through their social media engagement activities. Research shows people evaluate their insurance every three years and as a champion of dreams, American Family Insurance is building a loyal community of prospective buyers.

“Supporting their dreams has a big impact, and it’s memorable.” @FreedomBizGuy #sbeshow
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Chris noted their heavy reliance on social media and digital as part of their growth and retention strategy. They use social media to amplify their live events with most of their traction coming from Facebook and Instagram. They also air some of their events via live video online to reach an expanded audience. In addition to airing the events live online, DreamBank publishes the videos to their website for people to watch later. This content is then repurposed into short snippets and shared on social media.


As a financial services company, DreamBank allows American Family Insurance to deliver useful content to people across many topics. DreamBank is truly a gift to the community, helping dreams come true for many. Tune into the full podcast episode to learn how you can start a similar initiative in your organization.

Chris Rudolph shares how to build an emotional connection with customers by giving away something for free

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