Branding in Banking: 4 steps that makes a strong brand stick
In the past years, the fintech landscape has experienced an explosive growth (more than 128. Bn USD invested globally in fintech) and is now reaching a level of maturity. Amongst the players in the market, there are:
The traditional banks which were surprised by the digital wave, having their customers jumping out of their base and on to the new players.
The traditional banks are keeping up with the digital wave, developing new digital products to make sure that the mass consumers do not switch.
And we have the slick, new neo banks, with a digital core that are sweeping away the consumers of the established banks.
Given the volatility and saturation in the market, the worries that are consistent with any other company apply: What is my differentiation angle? How do I meet my growth targets? How do we scale? How can we acquire and retain talent?
01 | Go back to the core brand
It does sound like a cliche, but believe me it works every time. Not forgetting why you are in this business may become your differentiation angle.
Fintech companies often have a complex offer, difficult to explain in short, snappy sentences and often we do get caught up in industry jargon. People need to understand clearly who you are, what you offer and why they should care.
And they’re not waiting to get to know you, so you need to be able to show that in under 3 seconds. Work on making as simple as possible who you are, what you do and why you’re here and you have a good platform for making that creative.
02 | Lead by serving. Your audience is your best asset.
Important fact: Fintech tends to emphasize the benefits they think are important – but prove to be useless in convincing customers. That is the effect of the “inner bubble” – you look at competitors and what they write, what features they highlight, you look at your product team to highlight what the best features are and think you are ready. What is forgotten is the market test – what the customer perceives as an added value.
03 | Test and optimize. And test. And optimize the customer journey
Make your experience, easy to understand, simple to navigate, simply delightful. More memorable means more sticky. Building stickiness or virality into the design of your products and onboarding experience has more power than any amount of content marketing.
For that journey to become better and smoother you need open and honest feedback with your customers. According to a financial study in 2019, 32% of the customers would not switch from their current traditional bank even when offered a better deal. Loyalty is very high in banking and banks can harvest that.
Feedback is imperative to improving your business and products. Even more so, addressing feedback and incorporating customer feedback, NPS score and improvements into your product’s lifecycle is essential.
Forming an active community has the added benefit of providing regular user feedback, that can feed into the product and brand. On the company side, the community forum can be doubly effective in helping end-users quickly and elegantly fix issues with the platform; and pass on the experience to friends or family at other businesses.
04 | Keep the conversation going with your customer
Email marketing is a skill in itself, but an essential one to get right. However you contact your customers (whether in-app or on email), make sure that at all times you are:
a) you have a good feedback loop system to manage any any concerns or response on new features,
b) staying true to your core brand positioning and tone of voice (so as not to seem inconsistent or overly sales-y) and
c) giving users the opportunity to learn, be advised and supported by their bank. Standard banking services do not work anymore – banks now have to think how they can become and add value to the customer. Can you help them in their personal finance plan?
Branding in banking is very different now from the old school classic logos, purely practical bank branches and advertising ads displayed in airports. But the same classic rules of knowing what you’re offering and why people should care apply. As long as you are clear enough on these things to let your teams get creative with them, you shouldn’t go far wrong.