Financial marketing


In Brands We Trust

30th October 2020

Preparing for a new age of financial marketing

Make an indelible mark
Since the Covid-19 crisis we have witnessed a dramatic shift in communications, both in terms of content and tone. In these turbulent times, customers are looking to financial brands to provide renewed confidence and reassurance. The ‘old normal’ has proved to be unfit for purpose, leading to a shift towards ‘serving’ before ‘selling’, providing a customer experience that humanises the relationships between customers and brands.

Like the word ‘Brand’, ‘Trust’ shares its linguistic connections with Old Norse, with ‘brandr’ meaning ‘burn’ and ‘traustr’ translating as ‘strong’. Financial brands now have an outstanding opportunity to make an indelible mark, centred on compassion, empathy, authenticity and, above all, trust

The glue of life
Stephen Covey has described trust as the ‘glue of life’, “the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”

Few would disagree. However, there can be no shortcut to trust; it has to be earned and nurtured over time. It must also be interwoven with purpose, the meaning behind your organisation’s existence, as well as imbued within your values and your culture.

One thing’s for sure – the brands that customers trust most will be the ones that emerge stronger. As Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit reminds us: “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.”

Brand trust is critical
According to The 2020 Edelman ‘Trust Barometer Special’ (1), brand trust has never been more important:
• 70 percent say trusting a brand is more important today than in the past
• 81 percent say personal vulnerability (around health, financial stability, and privacy) is a reason why brand trust has become more important
• 74 percent say a brand’s impact on society is a reason why brand trust has become more important.

Living values. Driving trust.
Interbrand’s recent report, ‘Best Global Brands 2020’ (2) cited an example of a strong brand that has become even stronger as a result of the Covid effect: “PayPal is one of 2020’s fastest risers, thanks to a radical application of its values and the trust those actions drive. In 2015 it decided to prioritise customers’ financial interests over its own higher revenue products. Despite an immediate stock market drop of 9% this move unleashed long-term growth. More recently, Paypal has begun a program to redistribute capital from shareholders back to its lowest paid employees to ensure that everyone who works at PayPal can pay their bills.”

The PURPOSE Framework
At Financial Marketing we have created our own proprietary marketing communications development and planning framework – PURPOSE – as a ‘mirror’ to put up to the business to identify and analyse ‘gaps’ and potential areas of brand dissonance to drive positive change with Trust firmly at the centre of the dial.

Purpose is not the sole pursuit of profits but the animating force for achieving them.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock said: “Without a sense of purpose, no company, either public or private, can achieve its full potential. It will ultimately lose the license to operate from key stakeholders.”

Re-examine your Brand Purpose for 2021
This is not the time to simply ‘hunker down’ and ride out the storm. As we near the end of an extraordinary year, many financial brands are now actively re-evaluating their response to an entirely new world order.

However, with so many challenges ahead, we recognise that it can be hard for businesses to know where to start or where to go next. Let us help you and your team explore, discover and activate every aspect of your Brand. Our tried and tested one-day, online Brand Workshop process creates brands built for today, with tomorrow’s ambitions in mind.

Let’s start a conversation.
If you are looking to create a brand founded on the principles of trust that is at once relevant, remarkable, reputational, resilient and real, why not get in touch with us today.

t +44 (0)20 7464 4400


(1) Trust Barometer Special Report: Brand Trust in 2020. (2020, June 25).

(2) Best Global Brands 2020 Download. (2020, October 20).