Some time ago, we discussed the importance of finding a distinctive identity when building a Fintech brand. And it’s still a real challenge.
With a CAGR of 26.2% (Yahoo! Finance/Brainy Insights), the fintech sector has never been so competitive. There’s no doubt that, as 2023 approaches, fintech brands need to create differentiators and stand out from the competition more than ever. The question is, how?
In today’s post, we’ll walk you through some essential tips to bring visibility to your competitive edge as a Fintech, and how to use your digital presence to sharpen it.
We recommend you:
- Understand what sets you apart (and democratize that knowledge).
- Research and understand your target audience.
- Design a strong brand identity that resonates with them.
- Use social media to build approachability and boost your support efforts.
- Embrace guerilla strategies.
- Measure, analyze and iterate.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
Understand What Sets You Apart (and get everyone on the same page)
Regardless of how unique your product may be, chances are you belong to a certain category, whether it’s international payroll solutions, crypto wallets for beginners, neo-banks for freelancers, or any other niche.
The foundation of any good strategy is:
- Understanding what makes you stand out from the rest of the products in your niche.
- Putting your differentiators at the center of your messaging.
- Creating internal assets that keep your teams aligned.
When looking for a differentiator, it’s very common to look for a killer feature. And it’s easy to think that lasting power comes from enabling users to do things they can’t do without your tool. But, aside from a feature, you may have differentiators such as:
- High-quality customer support
- A strong community
- A high-quality resource library
Your differentiator doesn’t have to be a feature, but it has to be something your audience values.
Research and Understand Your Target Audience
How can you understand what your audience values if you don’t understand your audience? Your starting point for any initiative should be your target users’ needs.
Apply your product team’s user-centric mindset to your marketing and sales efforts - and while you’re at it, apply their user insights as well.
Wondering how to bring the product team into your branding efforts?
Here are some insights that can help you move the conversation forward:
- Strong brands create a connection with their customers. 65% of customers say they are emotionally connected to a brand that makes them feel cared for.
- Authentic brands build trust with customers. 64% of customers trust brands that know how to convey the values they share.
- Consistently communicative brands increase ROI.
- Well-defined brands are easy to remember.
Design a Brand Identity That Resonates With Your Target Audience
Comprehensive brand recognition starts with your visual identity design. It’s without a doubt, one of the most important aspects of a successful brand launch.
First impressions matter. And a robust design determines whether you stand out or blend in among the other Fintechs. But, what's exactly the problem with looking like the rest of the brands in your niche?
These days, most Fintech brands use very similar colors, fonts, and tones of voice to address their customers. Most of these elements are inspired by good intentions and best practices. But if brands don’t add their own twist to “what works”, a differentiation problem can arise.
Yet paradoxically, those brands that went beyond conventional color palettes & communication strategies are usually those that perform the best. Of course, design & copywriting aren’t the only reasons of their success; other best practices such as guerilla community-building campaigns play a key role as well. But those initiatives are supported and strengthened by a matching brand design.
So, go beyond best practices, dive into your brand’s mission and essence, and let it transpire into your brand image. You can also take design elements and “conventions” from other industries and bring them to your own in a way that makes sense and boosts your users’ experience.
Plus, remember to:
- Test design options with actual users and stakeholders
- Make sure your brand identity is consistent across all channels
Build a Strategic Social Media Presence
What’s the best way to connect with your target communities, test messaging ideas (at a low cost) and stay top-of-mind? Have a strong social media presence.
We recommend you:
- Don't chase trends blindly
- Implement engaging videos
- Innovate constantly
- Go community-first
Let’s dive deeper.
Don’t hop on trends blindly
Make sure your memes, “engagement traps”, and trend-chasing efforts aligns with your vision, goals, and tone. Otherwise, a superficial campaign can hurt your trustworthiness or alienate your target audience.
At this point, it's also worth mentioning regulations. As a brand in the finance space, you should always make sure you're communicating in a way that complies with:
- Responsible communication best practices
- Fintech regulations
Implement engaging videos
Fintech customers love video.
According to a survey:
- 40% of customers said they would prefer video for at least one financial activity
- 85% said they would use video banking again in the future.
On the other hand, if you’re considering using short videos to engage your audience, we’ve only got one piece of advice: Do it.
According to stats compiled by Hubspot:
- 54% of marketers use short-form videos to promote their products.
- 85% of marketers surveyed believe short-form videos are the most efficient social media format.
- The majority of users (94%) watch explainer videos to better understand a brand or a product, and 84% make a purchase after watching them.
Innovate constantly (and make your community a part of it)
Don’t be afraid to use social media as a testing ground. It’s cost-effective, feedback is almost instant, and it can make your users feel like they’re part of your creative process.
However, the tone and approach you should take will depend on:
- Your existing messaging
- The type of brand interactions your users prefer
- Your specific product and the type of conversations it arouses
Prioritize community building
One of the best ways to stand out from the competitors is to build a network of early adopters who:
- See real value in your product
- Act as spontaneous ambassadors for your brand
In most cases, these early adopters will match your ICP (ideal customer profile).
Create a sense of community around your company and make them feel like they're part of something special.
If you’re prelaunch, we recommend creating the community first, as soon as you can. That way, both product and brand development can be informed by real user insights.
Embrace Guerilla Tactics
In the fintech industry, content marketing plays a crucial role in demand generation and lead nurturing. And it will remain so in 2023.
According to stats compiled by Semrush:
- 73% of companies spent between 10% and 70% of their total marketing budget on content strategy and had a lot of success.
- In 2021, 46% of companies that did highly successful content marketing increased their budgets for paid content promotions.
- 55% of successful content marketing strategies put all their efforts into improving the content quality.
Content marketing works because it involves helping users tackle their pain points and reach their goals, even before they've chosen your product. By creating helpful (or even entertaining) content, you're able to build trust with your audience, which ultimately leads to conversions.
But, in this overcrowded marketing landscape, creating content isn't enough - especially if you’re painting by numbers.
Don’t be afraid to take a couple of tips from the guerrilla marketing playbook.
Here are our top 5 tips for guerrilla content marketing:
- Joining wide cultural conversations in a genuine and relevant way, especially if they’re related to the pains your product solves.
- Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose. Long-form content and video are expensive to produce. Tweets and Instagram carousels aren’t. Turn your expensive content into as many pieces of inexpensive content as you can, while addressing true user needs.
- Conduct your own research. Especially as your social media audience grows, you’ll be able to conduct surveys & polls with a considerable sample size. Gather those insights and turn them into valuable content.
- Repurpose research. Not that large of an audience yet? Take trending research from third-party sources and create value by explaining and contextualizing those findings.
- Niche down with 0 MSV search queries. Create highly-specific content targeting real user questions - even if they’ve got an extremely low monthly search volume.
Track, Analyze & Iterate
Fintech companies focus a lot on customer experience analysis. CX analysis examines all the touchpoints users have with a product or service.
With a strong CX analysis workflow, you’ll be able to:
- Listen and identify the customer's needs and frustrations.
- Provide accurate information and guide the clients by being as informative and accessible as possible.
- Document and report bugs and product shortcomings.
Money and health are usually stressful areas of life, where people have very little tolerance for imprecision or unreliability. It's very important for the user to always be able to "talk to someone", and not feel that their problems are getting stuck in a vortex of interoperability and bureaucracy.
You can offer support through different channels such as live chats, email and social media platforms. In spite of this, fintech companies still face challenges in providing personal and direct customer service.
All your teams should have a direct line of communication with your users. And both your product development and your community-building efforts should be governed by user-centric results tracking & analysis.
As you may know, designing a brand isn’t just about pretty colors and legible fonts. Beyond that, it involves making efforts to analyze your business and industry so that your brand resonates with your audience across marketing channels. And today, innovation is more important than ever.
We’ve designed a powerful branding solution for startups -tested and loved by some of the most promising fintech brands. And we called it “firestarter”. Discover it today and get a market-ready brand in 30 days, without burning through your budget.