Insight illustration financial brands

Creating relationships based on ‘real value’ as opposed to transactional needs is one of the key challenges facing financial brands today.

In the world of financial services, engaging with customers (especially online) can be a tough nut for marketers to crack. The traditional wisdom to bombard customers with flashing offers, great rates and lists of products with over-promised and over-sold values at the heart – is now outmoded and has little impact.

Customers may find it hard to tell one company from another and frankly, we feel they don’t really believe what they’re reading anyway. In order for customers to actually believe that a business is trustworthy and dependable, it needs to prove its value to a diverse range of customer demographics. The solution to achieve this requires a better understanding.

Show understanding

Stands to reason, that if you have a good idea of who your customer is, you’ll be better placed to serve them. A business needs to ask how it can help the customer before it presents them with solutions. That way, the bank or investment adviser starts to be seen as a helpful and empathetic guide to navigating difficult financial waters – rather than a faceless business who wants to fix its customers up with a one-size-fits-all product. Companies need to move away from saying “We can give you a mortgage or loan” to “We can help make life easier, better, happier for you”

All target audience groups or ‘tribes’ have their idiosyncrasies that make them difficult to reach, with Millennials being no exception to this. For Millennials, one of their earliest experiences of banks occurred during the 2008 financial crash and its aftermath. As a result, banks can be seen as greedy and untrustworthy, which makes it hard to rebuild a relationship from such a negative perception.

Because of this the likes of Apple, Monzo and Revolut will make real in-roads into the once impenetrable banking world. They’re able to do this because they make customers feel like they’re getting more than just a place to put their money. Apple give customers a frictionless customer service. Monzo help customers manage their money better. Revolut give customers the best rates with no hidden catches.

Be brave, be yourself

These new players are valued by customers because they make life easier, better and happier – oh and they’ve also been brave enough to do something a little unique and different, by just being themselves.

So, it seems understanding really does add-up in the eyes of the customer – but let’s be honest, it’s how they’ve understood their own business that’s really allowed them to maximise their impact on the market. The brand makes all the difference. By knowing who they are, creating a brand based on value, and placing it at the heart of their business has meant they simply attract the right type of customer.

Does this mean you need a Tim Cook at the helm or an Nik Storonsky with the next funky fintech solution to champion a branded strategy at the heart of your business? No is the honest answer. By bringing in brand specialists to help you build an authentic brand story, any company can celebrate its unique position in the world.

So knowing what makes your business special is equally as important as knowing who you’ll appeal to. We took this approach when rebranding Coreco, one of the UK’s leading mortgage brokers. Truly ‘understanding’ themselves and their clients helped define how they differed in a competitve and often transactional marketplace. The solution created a brand and business model based around ‘a better way’ allowing the whole company to have a culture built on a purpose of ‘questioning convention’ for a better outcome for both them and their clients.

You have to be valuable to be valued

It’s not fanciful to say that financial institutions have a stake in their customer’s future and if they’re able to express that through understanding and empathy it helps to build a relationship that is both valuable and valued by customers.

Dusted has demonstrated this approach through rebranding Coreco and Intralinks and proved that financial dealings don’t have to be forboding and complicated. In simplifying products, eliminating jargon and providing sound financial guidance, the financial ‘partner’ can become just that – something trusted and dependable.