Building a Winning Finance Brand That Now Focuses On How It Wants To Make People Feel

Business Challenge

Global banking is under threat from fintech and changing consumer expectations.  A Hotspex Poll revealed that 67% of North American’s would likely consider banking with Google if it was available. 77% would bank with Amazon and 73% with Apple.

A top ten global bank, aware of these changing consumer expectations, knew it needed to improve on its consistency across all lines of business touchpoints. Therefore, the brand engaged Hotspex to help chart a course towards a unified global brand.

Despite a general notion that consumer banking decisions are driven by functionality, a global foundational study revealed that there is a healthy mix of rational and emotional drivers that influence these decisions. It was clear to a company like Hotspex, one rooted in behavioral and emotional science, that getting the right emotions across in a distinctive and consistent manner was key for the bank to prevail in this era of fintech disruption.

Hotspex brand builders built a coherent unified positioning territory based on thousands of survey responses, predictive analytics, the laws of growth (Byron Sharp), and multiple stakeholder brand building workshops.

Hotspex deployed a rigorous behavioral science driven exploration into the drivers of banking to help our client understand which feeling they should strive to impart. Core to this is the Hotspex Map which was developed by leading Behavioral Science PhDs and is based on over 1,000,000 interviews.

Because many of the tools and technologies used are unique to Hotspex, the banks’ procurement department was easy to welcome Hotspex as a new partner on the roster.

1.Brand Strategy & Refining Positioning
The positioning territory that was developed provided flexibility for the marketing team, so they could lean towards a specific emotional region for each division, while still ensuring that the brand remained distinctive and unified. They were able to align senior bank executives from over a dozen divisions to a single winning brand territory to help build the brand and drive profits.

2. Brand Execution & Communications
The Hotspex marketing sciences team helped the bank by facilitating company-wide workshops on how to bring this new positioning to life across the brand’s identity and different touch points. Upon completion of the project Hotspex built a custom Quick Tool so that anybody at the bank could upload any stimuli and get a 12-hour read on business impact and alignment to the brand. Hotspex is also regularly deploying strategic research to make sure the brand is executed on correctly across the bank.

This new coherent emotional territory allowed everyone at the bank – from the CEO to its bank-tellers – to rally around a distinct brand. The work created a set of emotions that could be the focal point of every customer interaction. This set of emotions can be baked into business plans, built into brand trackers and used to hold everybody accountable as they unite to build the brand in a consistent way.

The head of insights, our internal client, was called a “Rockstar” by the CMO as she was able to take these insights to the CEO and other C-Suites across the business. This project truly helped her build internal credibility that she was a strategic leader within the organization. The client even referred Hotspex to several other leading brands dealing with similar challenges.

Since this project, Hotspex has been awarded the tracking mandate and is now viewed as the Strategic Brand Lead on the roster of insights and creative agencies.

Hotspex was recently ranked as the “Most Innovative” in North America by Clients. We have a relentless focus on reimaging how to create and deploy insights to grow our clients’ brands. Another key item that is top of mind for us a Hotspex is building trust. Trust that our deliverables exceed expectations, trust that we will be on time, trust that our clients will look like rock stars. In fact, we track Client Promotions as a key KPI at Hotspex in addition to the Hotspex Index (client stock price gains vs. the S&P 500).

When our clients are doing well, that’s how we know we’re doing the right things. To ensure we get it right with our clients (both new and loyal) we deploy the Hotspex Way. This is a proprietary process that ensures that we exceed client expectations by bringing a strategic perspective to everything we do.

The Hotspex Way allows us to ensure:

     • Responsive and intelligent customer service to client request

     • On time deliverables that wow our clients and their stakeholders

     • Deep understanding of our client’s business, challenges and industry

     • Our clients increase their value to their company

     • Client workload is minimized so they can handle the demands of client-side insights role

“The goal of this brand unification work was to rally the internal team around a distinctive and consistent brand. From attaining new customers, building loyalty with current customers, to attracting the best talent on the street, this emotionally powered brand would inspire the same feeling across all touchpoints and lines of business. For example, A CEO that just finished a billion-dollar M&A transaction should get the same feeling when they walk into a branch, use their personal banking app, make a trade, renew insurance and even when their child is getting their first bank account.”
– Senior Insights Leader, Global Bank