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Why finance brands need to strive for relatability

Why finance brands need to strive for relatability


3 years ago

3 years ago


Relatability is winning over customers, creating stronger connections and building a more loyal consumer. In fact, 86% of consumers say authenticity is a key factor when deciding what brands they like. A relatable marketing strategy combined with a personalised banking experience can improve customer retention and generate greater trust, with 89% of consumers choosing financial institutions based on how well they incorporated personalised experiences.

While relatability and personalisation will look different for every bank and their targeted audience, it’s an important area to factor into a strong marketing strategy. Here we’ll explain exactly how finance brands can develop relatable and personalised content, that doesn’t just target a single demographic but a few.

Relatability is the way to customer’s hearts and wallets

Customers are attracted to a more relatable finance brand, yet they only find one in four banking brands actually relatable. This disconnect between what consumers want and what current banking brands offer, is a missed opportunity for finance brands’ to gain a more loyal customer base and create a stronger connection.

Creating an emotional connection with consumers through a content marketing strategy and customer experience that reflects their wants and needs is beneficial for finance brands financially. Not only does it promote loyalty and customer retention, but companies that provide an emotional connection outperform the sales growth of their competitors by 85%.

While some brands like UK neobank Monzo are nailing their emotional connection with consumers through content that reflects their Millennial target demographic, many finance brands’ aren’t, suggesting an opportunity to improve.

Connection over revenue

A recent report conducted by BrandCap has created a relatability index for finance brands. Based on four key components, BrandCap noted how different finance brands can embody each factor to create an overall relatable brand image, these include:

  • Competence: Can I interact with this brand easily and how I want?
  • Empathy: Does this brand understand me and my changing needs?
  • Character: Can I see myself reflected in this brand’s character and values?
  • Confidence: Is this brand reliable and trustworthy?

Unsurprisingly, different age groups responded differently to each aspect of relatability. Gen Z favour financial services that prioritise empathy and character, whereas Millennials prefer competence and confidence. Finance brands should therefore be looking at how they can create a brand image that resonates with their target audience and how they can tailor their marketing strategy to a specific demographic. Customers want a sense of relatability, with the top 10 most empathetic companies increasing their value more than twice that of the bottom 10.

Marcus by Goldman and Sachs was considered one of the highest performers in BrandCap’s relatability index as it combined a few key criterias. The educational blog not only exceeded customer expectations by creating a digitally focused user interface that eliminated customer pain points (competence), but also created educational content (empathy) backed by a reliable brand, Goldman and Sachs (confidence).

Finance brands must assess their marketing strategy and brand image to identify what relatability factors they can target to improve their customer connections. Financial services should switch their focus from just revenue building, to a customer centric mindset, with companies that are focused on the consumer being 60% more profitable than those that aren’t.

People not products are a finance brands’ best asset

“ customers feel connected to a brand 57% of them will increase their spending with that brand and 76% will buy from them over a competitor ”

The people behind the brand are a great way for finance brands to incorporate a more relatable marketing strategy. By focusing on those that form the organisation, consumers are more likely to empathise with a brand and form a stronger connection. And customers want to know and hear from a brands’ employees, with 72% of people feeling more connected to a brand whose employees share information on social media.

BlackRock nails this concept on their Instagram account, with a focus on sharing employees’ stories and faces. In fact, their slogan for their account is ‘Life at BlackRock’.

Get social on social media

With the continuing digitisation of the finance world, customers are consistently moving online to connect and find finance brands. It’s becoming more important than ever that finance brands begin focusing on their digital content strategy and ensuring it reflects their target demographic. A study by Sprout Social found customers cited social media as the number one way brands could connect with consumers.

By creating an empathetic digital content marketing strategy that reflects consumers’ wants and needs, a finance brand can form a strong connection and be considered more relatable. Educational content, insights into the business and ESG commitments are some popular topics that a range of demographics are keen and interested in consuming that build a sense of trust and an emotional connection.

UK challenger bank Starling has created a relatable and accessible brand image through their content on social media. Their travel money Instagram posts, environmental projects, Q and A’s with money agony aunt Rosie and their educational YouTube videos appeal to consumers’ demand for empathy, character and competence.

Translate data into a personalised customer experience

Finance brands are inundated with data about their consumer at every stage in the customer journey ––physical and digital. This is an important resource for financial marketers to utilise to create meaningful consumer segments and targeted campaigns to improve the customer experience and increase profits. Finance brands need to take the time to analyse their data, understand their target audience and tailor their content accordingly so it’s relevant and resonates.

Relatability is an ongoing marketing strategy

Relatability isn’t a one time attribute. Instead, it’s a consistent analysis and reassessment of a finance brand’s target market and their demands to ensure a customer connection is maintained over the long-term.

Relatability should be a priority for finance brands as it promotes connection and subsequently bottom-line growth. In fact, when customers feel connected to a brand 57% of them will increase their spending with that brand and 76% will buy from them over a competitor. It’s important to note that relatability will look and appear differently for each finance brand, so it’s vital they continue to research, listen and learn about their target audience and tailor their content and customer experience to them.

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