In today's market, brand awareness and consumer mind share are crucial for financial institutions to stay ahead. Competition has never been higher and this rate environment isn’t exactly attractive. Audiences are looking for reputable and trustworthy brands that they can rely on for more than one-time promotions.
What does Consumer Mind Share mean?
In short, consumer mind share refers to the space a brand occupies in a consumer's mind when they think about a particular product or service. This is critical when it comes to building long-term company growth with your audience.
To get a good demonstration of mind share, take a moment to answer this: What are your three favorite fast-food restaurants? It didn’t take much time to come up with those. How about your top 10?
The first three were easy and that’s what we call mind share. How quickly someone can recall your brand name and what their impression of your brand is. Sure, given time you can recall 10 or even 20 but you don’t want the 7th or 10th bank or credit union in your audiences' minds when they need a financial service, do you?
This is why marketing rates or special promotions fail to produce long-term results. They are faucet campaigns – when you turn them off so does the flow of attention. If you want your brand name to be in the top 3 mind share when they need you, you need better branding.
How do we create consumer mind share? It’s the classic story of the tortoise and the hair. It’s staying focusing on message consistency, building an emotional response, and leveraging year around brand awareness campaigns to create a multitude of brand touch points and message exposure over time to win the race.
What is Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness is how we create familiarity and recognition audiences have with your FI brand. This is where the rubber meets the road. Building brand awareness involves creating a consistent message across all marketing channels, including social media, content marketing and more importantly, campaigns to actively get your brand in front of your audiences.
There are certain challenges to getting and maintaining brand awareness.
- Organic social media provides limited reach as platforms struggle to identify and share the mass volume of content created for its users. It is estimated that Facebook only reaches an average of 5% of your followers according to Hootsuite. Some social channels are better than others, but all are, or will, become pay-to-play.
- Content creation via blogs, videos, and podcasts all suffer the same attrition within their distribution channels. They are limited and even with aggressive SEO strategies, they ultimately rely on audiences to be actively looking for you. If you don’t have brand awareness or existing mind share, then you simply won’t be found.
- Promotions, rates and line of business marketing work to build short-term success with audiences who are actively seeking financial services but what about the rest of the market? Those who may not need an auto loan today, but they might in 3-months or 5-months? Do you think they’ll remember you or your rate then?
This is why we follow the critical marketing theory of seven points of contact. The seven points of contact are built upon the premise that a potential customer needs to be exposed to a marketing message at least seven times before they will consider making a purchase. However, in this digital age of saturation and message overload, we believe this to be closer to fifteen points of contact to see the effectiveness.
These contact points need to go beyond specific services you offer – they need to create and establish your brand reputation.
Building Brand Awareness for Banks and Credit Unions
Branding isn’t just about having your logo and name “out there”. Having a successful brand and branding campaign is a complex process and strategy. We leverage a framework for building brands and branding known as the Brand Resonance model to achieve consistent and memorable branding.
In general, brand development and awareness are building distinction through the brand's personality and showcasing it. Finding relatable, emotional connections with meaning that can be communicated to audiences. Proving how your brand has built relationships and helps customers make life easier. Then, finding ways to leverage brand resonance through advocates and word-of-mouth.
A good brand campaign starts with online and offline engagement as a series of initiatives to improve the frequency audiences see you and improve the value of those touch points. How to build a good branding campaign is a significant venture in and of itself, which we will cover another day.
If you find the constant need to run rate and promotions campaigns to generate business, that’s a sure sign that your brand awareness and consumer mind share aren’t where it needs to be.