Fuel Cycle

Why Traditional Banks Struggle to Build Brand Loyalty

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When it comes to new bank offerings, 60% to 80% of them fail, according to a Harvard study.

While mobile banking seems to be the next trend for user experience, providing rewards is the third most important offering top brands consider. Yet, companies struggle to target properly.

 In the meantime, banks are trying to find inspiration from mainstream consumer brands to build their loyalty programs. From Bank of America vouchers to American Express discounts at partner stores, banks are trying as hard as possible to get a hold on increasingly volatile and tech-savvy clients.

 Step 1: Get to know who is your client.

 What does a good brand do when it wants to know its clients? While benchmarks and audits are necessary, the new generation needs something more interactive: a two-way conversation.

Nowadays, consumers are not only for tailored services, but they need to feel special. From Coca-Cola customizing their bottles with customer’s names to M&Ms wedding engraved treats, clients want to feel special and unique.

Within this dialogue, a brand will have to keep in mind one main thing: more than 95 percent of decision making takes place in the subconscious mind, discover by a Harvard professor.

Fuel Cycle just introduced a new partner, called Meta4Inisghts that helps companies survey and gather insights based on the subconscious mind. An empirical way to understand consumers’ thoughts and feelings in several contexts.

Step 2: Find the perfect match

And just like a loving relationship, your relationship with your client will have to be in line with three key ingredients. At least, that is what experts recommend.

You will need to find a compatible target in line with your products, make sure you fulfill their expectations: what do they need? What did they like about past products or experiences?

Ask for feedback on your product: is it relevant for your targeted audience? Is the marketing material appealing to them?

And third, educate. Do not sell. You don’t like when you receive cold calls on your private cell? Well, neither do your clients. Make sure you bring them content they like-content that will elevate their lives.

From Charles Schwab to Chase, centennial banks have understood that re-branding is all about building a community and making it personal.

Which is also why Bank of America has translated all of its online services in Spanish and redesigned its app in 2016 with a Spanish language option. And while it seems that the banking industry is eager to compete with creative loyalty programs, adaptation works best.

Step 3: Digital creativity rewards companies, too

Since offering Spanish services and redesigning its app, Bank of America has since seen its digital users jumped from 33.7 million to 35.5 million users, with mobile transactions accounting for almost 25 percent of all transactions. BoA says that they represent the activity of 1,280 physical banking offices.

As humans are creatures of habits, consumers are quite often giving poor feedback on new products, only because the questions from surveys are poor. Marketers have understood one thing: the more interactive and proactive your business is, the more client base you will generate.

Survey companies like Opinion Outpost, Swagbucks, or InboxDollars have developed business plans where users receive cash when they fill in surveys. In the Fintech field, some Fintech startups reward their users with vouchers in specific stores or even cash, like Earny and Paribus.

Last week, J.P. Morgan released a new mobile app called “You Invest,” including 100 free trades in the first year. It seems that the “gamification” of loyalty has only started…