Moving beyond the parity of pricing and promotions.

At least one-third of all customers believe banks and finance companies are all the same. Similar pricing and promotions techniques often used to acquire customers have merely become stumbling blocks for brands as they look to crack the differentiation code.

While cross-selling will continue to be key to an organization’s overall growth, it’s imperative that all departments are in sync when it comes to understanding the customer’s journey. You can’t just talk in general about products, services and promotions; they must be aligned to when and where people are ready for and need them. 

As the use of data and advanced analytics helps companies determine the right strategies to identify the best solutions for engagement across segments, companies should already be thinking about:

Today's Table Stakes:

Be respectful. Be friendly. Be approachable.

There’s a lot of mirrored language in the category when it comes to how financial players talk to consumers. Too much technical jargon and lack of emotion are sure boosters for monotony and attention shutdown.

Often banking and finance get a bad rap for being lifeless, too textbook in nature and void of personality. Part of understanding your consumer target behaviors will allow you to engage them in relevant ways that are informative, serious and friendly. Yes, these things can coexist.   

TCF Bank

"Surprisingly" Campaign

TCF Bank was a brand founded on the principles of being a fair and accessible partner for its customers. Whether it be its truly Free Checking, extended hours, vast ATM network, or its overdraft protection options, they were built to serve the average Joe, and they have the value, convenience and customer service to back it up.

After years of selling promotions, rational features + benefits and relying on premium giveaways, TCF Bank found themselves void of a consistent brand messaging and brand personality needed to bring in new customers.

To invigorate customer acquisition efforts, we needed to remind our target that TCF values, respects and takes care of you as your everyday banking partner by enriching the overall customer service experience wherever the brand meets you.

Be worth discovering.

Attention is a scare and increasingly expensive resource. It used to be that a brand’s story was created through advertising, but traditional, feature laden advertisements are a woefully inadequate storytelling medium. Ads may help customers find you, but they will no longer make customers like you or want to learn more about you. The only way to win customers in the attention economy is to make something worth paying attention to and exploring. People don’t respond to facts about how your product will fill a practical need, they respond to stories about how it will fulfill a personal desire.

The cost of attention has increased dramatically 7 to 9 fold in the last two decades. Out of a 12 hour and 7 minute day 1:26 is radio 4:4 is tv 2:8 is laptop 3:14 is mobile 0:25 is print 0:28 is connected devices and 0:21 is other

Al Frank

Brand Identity + Client Prospecting

Turning the emotional investment roller coaster into investment serenity.

That’s the Al Frank way. Headquartered in Laguna, California, they aren’t the tailored-suit typhoons of Morningstar and Wall Street. During a swell of conflicting advice from the media and existing uncertainties about the staying power of money, Al Frank anticipated investors were looking for prudent and stable mutual fund investments to stabilize long-term success versus taking the abandon-and-run approach.

By projecting the patience and discipline behind a buy low, sell high and invest for the long-term ideology, Hunt Adkins developed a new brand identify for Al Frank—one that was refreshing and confident in the marketplace.

Be a brand with purpose. Better yet, live it.

9-in-10 consumers expect companies to do more that make a profit. Think about the brands you purchase and your affinity towards them because they donate their proceeds to a good cause or use eco-friendly materials.

Guinness Atkinson Funds

Brand Campaign

Challenge

In an industry overshadowed by “fund supermarkets,” Guinness Atkinson Funds (GAF) needed to connect with investors based on their investment philosophy as well as their performance.

Disconnect

Consumers viewed GAF as a straightforward company that provided good value and a lot of information in a no-frills manner.

Strategy

Position GAF as the mutual funds company that gives you a front seat to tomorrow by allowing you to financially engage with a variety of globally transformative issues.

Outcome

A consumer experience that balanced the excitement of a world in transformation with sound investment strategy. One that illustrated the purpose of the interconnected themes to the brand’s philosophy while providing easy access to research reports and a clear connection to the specific funds they offer.