Finance industry contributor
TL Nguyen – Director of Marketing, NRL Mortgage
In a period of such upheaval and uncertainty, both consumers and brands are being forced to adapt. With customers looking to finance brands for support and confidence, financial marketers and business development teams need to evolve their strategies and strike the balance between what is important for customers now as well as the brand in the long-term. While many finance brands may re-align their short-term priorities away from marketing efforts, consequently causing long-term reduction in market share, now is the time to increase communication and maintain engagement with customers and clients. To power through a recession, financial brands need to be trusted advisers rather than service providers, the solution can be found in recovery branding.
What is recovery branding?
Recovery branding involves altering the brand identity to a familiar, trusted brand that is safe, reliable, and comforting during a time of uncertainty. Reassuring messages that reinforce an emotional connection with the brand and demonstrate empathy are especially vital.
“ Recovery branding involves altering the brand identity to a familiar, trusted brand that is safe, reliable, and comforting during a time of uncertainty.”
As financial marketers, we don’t operate on the same wavelength as our retail counterparts by offering discounts and coupons. An operating model where you can’t simply offer a one-off deal, the complexities of financial products and services mean finance brands need to look for other ways to offer value to customers and clients in a way that helps not hinders a brand once things return to “normal”. The key is two-part: marketing that takes into consideration a customer’s emotional reaction to the economic environment and creating content that addresses the specific needs of our audience by offering value they can leverage to pull themselves through the hard times.
Finance content marketing through a recession and COVID-19 recovery
If finance brands want customers to continue to engage rather than retract, you should:
- Tailor content towards necessity vs. selling luxury // Remember, a recession affects minds before wallets – it’s turning on the news to witness other people get laid off that causes consumers to reduce spending. As financial marketers, our job is to create a psychological relationship between uncertainty and the importance of managing financial assets and services, rather than marketing the overembellished features.
- Introduce a “fighter brand” // While top-of-mind brands shouldn’t move their brands down-market during a recession, they can introduce a “fighter brand,” a discounted version of the premium offering sold under a different name and backed by minimal advertising. Intended to fight back against budget competitors, fighter brands can help to destroy cut-price competition. When the recession ends, the fighter brand can either be quietly withdrawn or continue as a value-add in the overall product line.
- Empathise with your audience // When our clients hurt, we hurt too. Radically transparent brands win during recessions as they are repositioned as vulnerable and empathetic. Create short-term marketing pieces like whitepapers and social media pieces that drive in the punch without alienating the long-term marketing campaign.
The Financial Marketer is an industry publication that addresses the nuances and unique challenges of financial marketing, drawing on our experience at The Dubs, research and industry experts to provide tactics and relevant solutions to marketers. If you’re a financial marketer and would like to contribute to the publication, get in touch.