“In differentiation, not in uniformity, lies the path of progress.” — Louis D. Brandeis
Financial Services leaders and marketers face an often daunting challenge: How to differentiate in a highly regulated sector where rates, fees, products and services are similar.
Compounding this challenge is the fact that businesses and brands believe they are more differentiated than consumers believe them to be. In fact, findings across recent studies conducted by Radius confirm this disconnect:
- Anywhere from 15-35% of customers and clients within banking, insurance and investments say they are open to switching or would consider switching providers if they found a compelling alternative.
- Yet, data suggests actual switch rates are much lower. Typically, only 3%-8% of relationships are truly in play annually.
- When probed, the most common reasons customers/clients don’t switch is that they don’t feel there is a meaningfully different alternative available. The tonality of customer/client comments suggest a fair degree of cynicism and reflect prevailing perceptions that most banks, insurance companies and investment firms are the same. With this perspective, inertia is often what keeps relationships in place.
Compounding this challenge is the fact that businesses and brands believe they are more differentiated than consumers believe them to be.”
This begs the question: How do we get our brand to stand out among a sea of sameness?
We believe the answer lies in identifying and executing against a clear and meaningful brand purpose linked to advancing common good. In fact, we see emphatic evidence that our financial services clients leading with brand purpose and customer-centricity are winning out against those maintaining traditional product-focused models.
Leading with brand purpose serves a dual but connected objective of aligning to current marketplace sentimentality AND motivating and engaging employees. Remember, it’s your employees─ all of them ─ that serve as your brand ambassadors. Is it more meaningful and satisfying for employees to work towards a specific home loan volume goal, for instance, or towards the overarching purpose of providing all families who want one a path to a place they can call home?
We see emphatic evidence that our financial services clients leading with brand purpose and customer-centricity are winning out against those maintaining traditional product-focused models.”
Consumer insights plays a critical role in helping a financial brand identify, create, and live their brand purpose. Key questions that insights can help you address are:
- The legacy brand situation – Where are we coming from, what is our current reality, and what perceptions may need to be enhanced? Are you seen as a big monolithic bank or lender despite having deep, well-rounded community roots, for example?
- What are the most important benefits sought by users of category products and services? For instance, across various Financial sub-sectors, themes that consistently resonate are protection, achievement, community, and family.
- Is there whitespace in your category where no brands are currently perceived as delivering against emotional, non-traditional dimensions?
- Are there innovative new engagement methods that are seen by consumers as directly supportive of our brand purpose? Then, how and who do we market this to?
- How can we measure success? What brand and business results do we want to influence? How will we know we have truly achieved a differentiated space in our category, and -is it driving growth for our brand?
Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about leveraging consumer insights to drive brand purpose and true differentiation.