Financial Sector Marketing
Brand vs Human
The banking industry and financial sector has had its kickings in recent years. Let’s not start on PPI, company profits and the like!
What can be noticed however it the financial services sector is the change in marketing direction, from big corporate identity to a high street local approach, a bank for the people as well as being the worlds bank, one with 250 years of heritage as well as drawing crowds of everyday folk to meet them on the beach..
Banks are trying to find their appealing qualities with the next generation of savers and buyers. First Direct bank was a huge shift in the sector back in 1989, but in the last decade a load of new challenger banks have been established, offering a wide variety of services that should appeal to the tech savvy millennial and even those SMEs looking for a fairer deal and genuine interest and business support.
The Wider Financial Marketing Landscape
Traditionally the financial sector, inclusive of insurance, investment, real estate etc, particularly in the B2B market, is responsible for some of the blandest marketing known to man. A touch of the ‘If everyone else is doing it, it must be right’ mentality.
Indeed the moody skyline, busy morning street reflecting the legs of city workers , dawn over Singapore imagery is the right thing to use. Sometimes.. But really does it need to be the default ‘Let’s stick that image in there, it’s what we’ve always done and it’s what our clients expect.’
As new entrants and new customers challenge the sector, surely every financial services business needs to challenge itself. Take on a brand audit, try to redefine their image away from the competition.
Brand Appeal – Setting Brand Values
Some brands have tried humour to humanise themselves. Is it a strategy to disarm the customers against the hidden consequence? PayDay loans anyone?
Do we want our banks to be down with the kids? Or should they be great institutions upon which we can rely? For sure we want empathy, more importantly trust. But you must earn it first.
Perhaps honesty rather than trying to create perceptions that everyone is highly valued and that they’re all a friendly and funny bunch.
In financial services sector marketing whether its banking, insurance, investments or other, marketing plans and strategies will probably change as often as financial regulations and terms and conditions! What is great to see is the occasional brave approach from the industry leaders. As they try to gauge the attraction of a human approach versus the traditional corporate styles of advertising.
Creativity should not be at the expense of campaign success, as much as tradition should not be adhered to at the expense of creativity. Brands should start sometimes with a blank sheet of brand identity and see where their future could lie.
If you’re a financial services business and are looking to undertake a brand or communications audit, contact Jason Boden at Plan B Creative. We have plenty of experience with banking and the financial service market and would love to help you create targeted originality.