Financial marketing


Strategic about Straplines

20th June 2014

Straplines are in the news once again following the social media backlash over the ‘Helpful Banking’ campaign.

In recent years, we have seen news presenters from Wall Street to the Square Mile searing our senses with strapline–based soundbites. Whether it is IndyMac (“you can count on us”) and Lehman Brothers (“where vision gets built”) or Washington Mutual (“Whoo hoo”) – whose slogan alone surely should have alerted investors to their appetite for risk – there are countless media opportunities to ‘attack the strap’.

The key to a successful strapline is to have one that can be defended robustly both in good times and bad.

In our view, any strapline for a financial services brand has to follow the 4Rs principles: it has to be validated against the balanced attributes of being Relevant, Remarkable, Reputational and Real.

Strapline development should always be viewed as an integral part of high-level strategic brand development and integration. It has to be capable of being delivered consistently every day, with supporting actionable Unique Value Propositions.

The other point to be made here is that today, Social Media is the primary tool in crisis management. If an organisation has not bridged the social distance to key influencers and customers through social media, then any crisis becomes significantly harder to control, leading to a negative news cycle. Forming a deeper engagement now through a focus on valuable content development can reap dividends for your brand.

If you are considering validating or changing your strapline, the good news is that help is at hand. In just one day, Financial Marketing helps senior management teams articulate their purpose and gain brand clarity. The result is always an energised organisation and an aligned team going forward with a clear, authentic vision – a ‘cause’ that is delivered in everything you say and do.