The results of our efforts are illustrated in the graphs on this slide; prior to initially branding in 2006, we commissioned independent research to determine baseline awareness of First Financial, in Ohio, in Indiana, which as you can see from this slide, was extremely well. Using consistent questions and methodologies we updated the study in 2009 and 2011. With the execution of our brand strategy we have experienced tremendous growth in our brand awareness exceeding 50% in Indiana and approaching 50% in Ohio; provided this growth in brand awareness need for our business. Throughout the business line presentations today you will hear today our executives speak directly to how the increased awareness is a key component of the strategies driving our sales and growth initiatives.
First to put this in the minds of our business prospects. Second, we have to expand our market presence and market share in our key metropolitan markets and provides opportunities for us to successfully deepen client relationships and deliver solutions across multiple business lines. And finally, it allows you to tie our brand with a differentiated client experience.
The final topic I will talk about and I turn it over to here Frank, is to discuss what we call associated engagement. As I mentioned a few moments ago, our primary competitive advantage must be our people. Highly engaged associates were aligned with our business are formerly likely to clients. Research [leads] specific businesses results to associate engagement moves with top quartile engagement achieved substantially lower absenteeism in turnover and conversely higher client engagement, productivity and profitability.
Our vision is to be employer of choice for high performing associates in the communities we serve, developing a cultural engagement allows us to attract and retain people who are committed to our company and our clients who do want to build their careers with First Financial.