Despite being motivated for growth, few financial services companies spend a lot of time thinking about their brand. But it could be the key to unlocking new revenue streams and transforming the company’s image within industry that struggles with a lack of popularity in the eyes of the general public.
Let’s take the example of Monzo, the branding-mad startup bank that’s disrupting the finance sector and poaching customers from high street competitors left, right and centre. Despite being only a few years old, Monzo’s brand is instantly recognisable and decidedly different from traditional banks. Its success should be both a source of concern and of inspiration for financial services companies of all kinds.
8RC is an expert retail and business consultancy with more than 30 years of experience super-charging some of the most recognisable brands in the UK and the world. Keep reading to find out why financial services companies should be thinking about their brand as they look to the future.
Your competitors all look alike
Finance is a highly regulated industry that gives you very little wiggle room in terms of setting yourself apart. No matter how innovative or original your approach is, you and your competitors are restricted to offering broadly similar services. This makes it difficult to incentivise customers and open up new revenue streams—after all, if you’re all the same, what’s the point?
Your brand is one of the only things that you can use to offer unique incentives and create an emotional connection with end users. It’s an opportunity to get creative and break through the noise of dozens of similar companies operating in your region.
Build consumer trust
We’ve got bad news for you: the people you’re trying to connect with don’t trust you. That’s before you’ve communicated a single thing to them. Since the financial crisis, trust has been lower in the financial sector than in any other industry. YouGov research indicates that two-thirds of Britons don’t believe that banks work in the best interest of society, for example.
This is what new entrants like Monzo are targeting. Their message is: We’re different. We’re not like those other guys.
Every financial services firm should be asking themselves how they can tap into this very obvious consumer desire for a new approach to banking and finance. With more or less nowhere to go in terms of services, your brand is your most powerful tool.
Improve staff morale
So you’ve built a message. Great. Now, how are you going to get this across to your end users? If your employees aren’t convinced of your brand identity, the answer is that you won’t.
It’s important that your employees feel connected to your company in order to communicate their authentic enthusiasm to your end users. There’s nothing more grating than a fake smile or a ‘customer service’ voice.
Getting your employees, particularly those in direct contact with your end user, emotionally invested in your updated brand identity is crucial if you want to aim higher.
If you’re not already paying attention to brand identity as a financial services firm, it’s about time you got started. With new market entrants already disrupting banking, it won’t be long before fresh ideas for financial advisors, accountants and more start taking over.
8RC is an expert business consultancy with more than 30 years of experience in drawing the very best out of globally-recognised brands. We have developed an industry-proven methodology which we are currently using to take legal and finance sector businesses to the next level.