Challenger Banks Brand Landscape
The banking landscape has been dominated by the same key players for years. But cooling consumer perceptions of the finance industry has consequently cultivated a new breed of challenger banks, rising out of the distrust and uncertainty surrounding the current financial landscape.
The core objective is to disrupt and bring banking back to the consumer, helping individuals take back control of their money. A mobile format has modernised money management making it more accessible and simple. The nine new banks explored in this pack are directly competing with seven key offerings, modernised to improve user experience but they also offer a range of premium plans accessed via subscriptions.
In order to help their digital-first approach and differentiate from traditional banks, the challengers are forward-thinking in implementing new technologies, often achieved by collaboration. For example, N26, established in 2013 has partnered with Allianz to offer insurance as part of its premium plan. Starling Bank works with Tail, to offer cashback and rewards from retailers.
Additional services also incentivise sign-ups, like free usage abroad without extra fees. This recognition of travel is an attempt to connect with contemporary audiences at a more personal level, promoting the banking apps as useful tools to achieving wider interests. The result has been a rapid rise in popularity and an aesthetically smart move when it comes to digital marketing on visuals-first platforms like Instagram. Word of mouth recommendation has proved one of the best forms of promotion. These banks are building communities.
When it comes to marketing, a challenger status is also a licence for character and virility. But there’s more freedom to be found for complementary partnerships that are mutually beneficial for all parties. Challenger banks are yet to tap into sports marketing or partnerships. When it comes to grabbing the attention of consumers wanting to challenge the norm, non-traditional sports could be the the perfect channel. A generally low cost point of entry and a loyal fan base means niche sports including surfing and snowsports are growing in popularity with the audiences targeted by challenger banks. There’s no reason why sport should not be the next big frontier for the young disruptors to differentiate from the traditional.
- Key players
- Strategic partnerships
- Sports marketing
- Key marketing activity
- Reputation and coverage
- Use of social media
- Advice to rights holders
- Advice to challenger banks
For an example of a full Brand Landscape, see our Sports Apparel and Footwear version.