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Consumers feel positive towards major banks and building societies but… / Creston Unlimited

by on April 4, 2012 in Business, featured item, Latest News, Lead story, PR, Research

Research carried out by branding consultancy Creston Unlimited has identified that, despite the financial meltdown, consumers feel positive towards major consumer-facing financial organisations (banks and building societies), scoring them above average compared to all brands for providing them with Confidence (10% above average – a higher Confidence score than for any market sector). 

To receive a full copy of Creston Unlimited’s cross-market survey findings please email Chyris Tyas: ctyas@crestonunlimited.com

This was closely followed by Responsibility, Effectiveness and Savings, which score 9%, 7% and 3% above average respectively.   However, the same financial organisations are only managing to provide low levels of Pleasure to consumers, with this emotion reaching 33% lower than average for all brands – the lowest Pleasure score for any consumer market sector.

The findings were uncovered in a full consumer study – carried out by Creston Unlimited in conjunction with ICM and comprising in-depth qualitative interviews followed up by a quantitative study amongst over 3,500 UK adults – which looked at how brands enrich consumers’ lives and therefore drive the shoppers’ choice across a number of markets.  As well as looking at the financial sector overall, the study looked in-depth at The Co-op, First Direct, Lloyds, NatWest and Nationwide to provide a snapshot of the mass-market financial services sector.

From the eight emotional dimensions which Creston discovered to drive 83% of all consumer brand purchasing decisions, the hierarchy of importance when choosing a financial brand were as follows (indexed against the overall scores for the UK adult population – where 100% is the average):

The analysis also identified that banks do a far better job at enriching the lives of young consumers aged 18-24 for whom they scored above average across every dimension.  In particular, they were much more successful at giving them a sense of Belonging (62% above average) and also were better at providing an element of Pleasure (45% above average).  It is, perhaps, surprising how positive this generation is towards financial brands given the economic mess of the last few years.

 

Income, or lack of it, was also shown to dictate how much of a positive role banks play in consumer lives, with the less well off scoring banks higher than average across every dimension apart from Effectiveness.  For this group, it seems that belonging to a bank offers Status (31% above average), Individuality (28% above average) and also Pleasure (27% above average).  At 7% below average, though, Effectiveness is deemed lower, with banks perhaps failing to help stretch income as far as they would like.  It seems that age and wealth may either create cynicism, or that banks fail to deliver as well to the needs and interests of older and better off customers.

To receive a full copy of Creston Unlimited’s cross-market survey findings please email Chyris Tyas: ctyas@crestonunlimited.com

Summary of Research Findings

  • Consumers feel positive towards major consumer-facing financial organisations, scoring them above average for providing them with Confidence, Responsibility, Effectiveness and Savings (10%, 9%, 7% and 3% above average respectively).
  • Financial brands only manage to provide low levels of Pleasure to consumers, with this emotion reaching 33% lower than average for all brands – the lowest Pleasure score for any consumer market sector.
  • Financial brands do a better job at enriching the lives of people aged 18-24, scoring above average for every dimension – with Belonging at 62% above average and Pleasure at 45% above average.
  • Banks and building societies are also better at enriching the lives of the less well off, especially in terms of Status, Individuality and Pleasure – which score 31%, 28% and 27% above average respectively.
  • The profile of the financial brands in the study was broadly similar, showing lower than expected levels of differentiation – suggesting that there are big opportunities for banks and building societies to do more in terms of enriching consumers lives in order to create standout in such a competitive marketplace.

 

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