The reputation of the financial services industry as a whole has taken a beating over recent years – and often for good reason. The value of distancing yourselves from that activity and (re-)gaining your customers’ trust is immeasurable. Focusing your attention on your brand – the story it communicates to your target audiences, and how they engage with it – is an important first step.
Here are some things to consider:
Be clear: Creating a new brand or refreshing an existing one provides the opportunity to be clear about who you are, what you do, and what you stand for. Cut through the clutter and technical jargon, speak to your audiences in the language they use and talk about the things that matter to them.
Be different: Most banks are talking about branches-of-the-future and digital lounges. They are trying to ‘wow’ their customers. Stand apart from your competitors by taking advantage of the opportunity to actually connect with your customers – rather than trying to impress them. You can still offer start-of-the-art banking, but that shouldn’t be the cornerstone of your relationship with your customer or what you stand for. If it is, it won’t be for long.
Be relevant: A financial services company may be involved in a host of different activities – but that doesn’t mean that all of your customers are interested in everything you do. Identify what different audiences care about. Don’t overload them with things that are not relevant or compelling to them.
Be credible: Making unsound promises is what got the financial services industry in trouble in the first place. Trust has been lost, and consumers are now much more sceptical. It’s imperative that your brand story demonstrates an ability to deliver what you promise.
Be human: We live in a digital world – and it’s imperative to provide your customers with the best banking solution across all relevant digital channels. But that doesn’t mean you should overlook the fact that your customers are still people. Be a brand that stands out for having a human touch in a digital world.
Be understanding: A financial institution’s audiences are typically made up of a number of different market segments. At I-AM we can help you target what makes each segment different – and what unites them. We will deliver a language that communicates to these disparate audiences in way that makes your customers feel that you’re talking to them personally. Step one is about understanding exactly to whom you’re talking – and what they want to hear.
Be flexible: Omni-channel banking requires that you understand your customers’ needs and wishes. Meet them where they are; take them where they want to go. Typically, this means embracing the latest technologies across multiple devices, and offering different formats of bank branch. It’s important to be flexible – and it’s important that your new brand let’s your customers know that you are flexible.
Be local: A bank can be national, regional or even global – but it’s important to connect with your customers at a local level. Let them know you understand them and the issues that are specific to them.
Be easier to trust: We will help you tell the right story in the right way. This will make your brand easier to understand, easier to remember, easier to recommend, and – ultimately – easier to trust.
Make advocates of your employees: Bring your staff on-board with your new brand. Engage them from the beginning of the process and keep them informed throughout the journey. The more they can ‘live’ your new brand, the more your customers will identify with your message – and believe it.