OPINION: Customer centricity is key for growth amid uncertainty, writes Andrea Padilla
While the past six months of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been scattered with uncertainty and variability, one thing has remained constant – the need for companies to effectively brand themselves to stand apart from competitors and generate measurable demand amid such unique circumstances
The notion applies to all industries at varying demands. When considering the up-and-coming fintech industry, the challenge is clear – successful companies must aspire to transition from an emergent, to a challenger, to a leader. In other words…
1. Emergent: The start-up stage. This is where all companies begin when entering the market. This is stage one – where companies begin to craft their mission statement, their goals, and how they plan to take the fintech realm by storm.
The brand is not yet defined, but there is a clear plan to move across the line and transition to the challenger territory. The challenge here is how to define a brand beyond its logo. What message are you trying to convey to your target audiences? What are the key aspects that differentiate your brand beyond the competition?
2. Challenger. The acceleration stage. By definition, challengers are not the “number one” brand, but they are quite defined. Challenger brands are disrupting the status quo, and have the chance to move up the realm to the unicorn level – the industry leaders.
When looking to build credibility while advancing through this stage, focus on garnering earned media and positive press placements to appeal to target audiences. Positive press coverage in trusted publications, won via strategic fintech PR tactics, can elevate your brand image, in-turn producing measurable results among stakeholders and customers.
3. Unicorn: The leadership stage. Upon reaching unicorn level, the company is an undisputed industry leader, making waves and serving as inspiration for most other brands aspiring to reach a similar level of success. This is the overarching goal of most all fintech companies.
Moving across each stage takes dedication – a committed team, a measurable action-plan of tasks, and a defined set of objectives and priorities.
There is no clear-cut, “one size fits all” metric for success – the path taken to move across the ladder can be equated to a roller coaster with peaks and valleys, with some tactics proving successful for one company and not for the other, but the caveat is that challenger and unicorn brands continuously conceptualize upon their creativity and agility.
Among the many tactics each Fintech should consider in the mission to move the mountain from emergent, to challenger, to unicorn, my top 5 strategies include:
- Social Media Strategies. Define your target audiences and meet them where they are, whether that includes Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or any other digital platform.
- Create Valuable Content. Engaging content will always be the gateway to people’s hearts. It is essential to create content that not only resonates with the industry landscape, but with the target audiences in mind, developing content that positively impacts the brand amid the various growth cycles.
- Be Customer-Centered. Focus on the particular customer portrait, starting with a specific target audience to ramp-up the customer base.
The probability of upselling to an existing customer is 60 percent, while there is typically only a 15 percent likelihood of selling a product to a new customer. It is key to focus on the customer at hand, while simultaneously growing your base to expand to new capabilities to create the greatest return on investment.
- Commit to Digital. One of the biggest lessons we have learned from the global pandemic is that when all else fails, digital capabilities are still accessible to most people. A half-hearted digital strategy will not keep you top of mind – it will not help you reach that essential unicorn level. Digital capabilities should be integrated across all channels and in every aspect of your company.
- Ambassadors: Start at home. Your employers are the greatest ambassadors of your brand promise. How are you engaging them?
Most importantly, make sure you overdeliver. In small and big ways alike, make sure your stakeholder knows that your company operates with the customer at the top of mind. Take calculated risks. You will never know if a tactic or strategy is successful unless you try.
You have to believe in yourself – in your fintech brand, in your company, and in your team members, and dream big. Create a strong foundation that can support rapid growth. Your company is needed, now more than ever – let your brand tell your story.
Andrea Padilla is Founder & CEO of Square Root Marketing
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