Consumers today are presented with endless options when searching for financial institutions. With many offering similar selections of products and services, choosing the right partner can become difficult. Consequently, the competition to gain consumer recognition has become fierce. The challenge for financial institutions is how to distinguish themselves from their competitors and win the consumer’s favor. It is therefore imperative for institutions to emphasize its unique value proposition that drives customer retention and expansion. A powerful way to demonstrate this value is by establishing a strong brand identity.

An institution’s brand is more than a logo or tagline; it represents its core values, signifying its integrity and reputation within the industry. An effective brand identity is able to communicate its value to consumers on a personal level, providing the opportunity to stand out against their competitors and build a foundation of trust. An institution can grow exponentially if they can successfully connect and resonate with consumers. The challenge then is finding the strategies that are effective at driving that connectivity.

Offer Personalization

As technology has advanced dramatically over the past several years, consumers have become accustomed to having access to everything they need right at their fingertips. This has to lead many consumers today to prefer and even expect, personalization in all aspects of their lives. Financial institutions can take advantage of this by offering products and services tailored to each consumer, allowing them to communicate with the consumer on a personal level. Although this requires institutions to have access to comprehensive consumer data, many consumers are willing to provide it in return for more personalized service.

In a 2019 survey conducted by Accenture, more than three-quarters of respondents said they would share their data in order to receive the benefits of personalized offers and intuitive services. The key for an institution is brand is to demonstrate genuine value to the consumer, showing them how they can take advantage of their offers and benefit financially.

However, it is worth noting that while many consumers are willing to share their information in return for personalized service, they are also highly concerned with their own security. Therefore it is extremely important that institutions also emphasize data security so that consumers associate both financial value and safety with the brand.

Communicate With Authenticity

With society’s increasing demand for immediacy, consumers today have become much more informed than ever before when it comes to their finances. The ability to easily monitor the results of their financial decisions prompts consumers to make regular adjustments according to their needs and preferences. It is therefore imperative for financial institutions to be honest with consumers about who they are as a brand and what they offer. Even more than that, their services need to be able to deliver results to consumers in real-time. Today’s consumers are not loyal to brands who do not accommodate their needs and will not tolerate an institution that makes empty promises. If they are unsatisfied with an institution’s performance, they will not hesitate to switch brands. As such, communicating with authenticity can help consumers feel that they are genuinely benefiting from the services they receive, thereby strengthening their perceptions of the brand.

Create Omni-Channel Consistency

Creating a successful brand requires strong, consistent communication. Every touchpoint in the customer journey is an opportunity to for institutions to communicate their brand and drive conversion and growth. When customers have a positive experience with a brand, they are more likely to continue to interact and even become loyal to that brand. That said, it is important that all channels of communication are clear and consistent to avoid customers getting confused and frustrated.

An institution’s brand must be in alignment throughout all aspects of its operations, including web and mobile platforms as well as internal and external communications. A consistent omnichannel strategy includes all of the institution’s platforms along with all in-branch communications. Any materials that are distributed within the branch should be in agreement with all other channels so that customers receive consistent messaging during all their interactions with the institution. This clarity provides consumers with true value and enhances their overall brand experience.

The financial market is beginning to recognize the real value of both creating and maintaining a strong brand identity. As consumer awareness continues to increase and preferences shift toward personalization, institutions must realize the importance of having an authentic representation of their brand; one that is able to resonate with consumers on a personal level. By taking a brand-lead approach that includes these strategies, they will be better able to connect with consumers and drive growth.