Achieving Differentiation in a Crowded Marketplace


Brand Strategy

David Cowan

Managing Director

The Financial Services Forum

Our latest 60 Seconds debate is here, and we would love you to take part.

Achieving differentiation in a crowded marketplace

Do you struggle to create differentiation because you’re encouraged to stick to tried and tested strategies and campaigns? Should the Executive Board be enabling and encouraging marketers to take creative risks? Has our industry forgotten what it is to be brave, and what does that mean for the future of financial services marketing?

We want to know your thoughts for our 60 Seconds feature. In no more than 120 words, please tell us what you think by leaving your comment at the bottom of this page.

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Nick Liddell

Director of Consulting

The Clearing

Jun 14, 2019

Bravery and marketing don’t belong in the same sentence. The Marketing Society has spent much of the past year banging the drum for bravery in marketing and its shortlist of the 20 bravest brands of 2018 included KFC, Sky, Tesco and Skittles. Only one FS brand made the list – Lloyds Bank, which had the courage to use photogenic celebrities to raise awareness about mental illness. It’s not comparable to true acts of bravery like, say, the undocumented immigrant who risked his life rescuing a four-year-old who was dangling from a fourth floor balcony. Marketers don’t need to be brave to create great work. It’s our jobs to make brands different and desirable. There’s no excuse for mediocrity.


Simon Martin


Moreish Marketing

Jun 14, 2019

One of the biggest dangers to differentiation is the overreliance on data. With so much data available, it's easy to focus too much on short term metrics rather than long term success and to stick to easily measurable, “safe”, marketing campaigns enhancements which can be more easily tested rather than push for greater creativity and innovation. Whilst quantiitive data can tell us a lot, it can’t always explain the emotional barriers and motivations of customers and if you just follow the data it's difficult to develop geniunely new ideas, resulting in a collection of similar comms with no one product or brand having any stand out. As marketers it's also important to use emotional intelligence and trust gut instincts during campaign development. It might take a strong marketing and brand director to do this but we find this is often where the biggest gains are.


Justin Mould

Managing Director

Fin International

Jun 13, 2019

The glass ceiling of creativity in the Investment industry has been well and truly broken with the advent of Fintech and social media which has thrown away the old uniform of convention and allowed everyone with mouse to create a meme.Differentiation is less of an issue now and what has replaced it is relevance.Creative does not just need to entertain but ultimately persuade as well.....a far harder task.


Nathan Fulwood

CreateFuture Limited

Jun 13, 2019

There are safe ways to take risks. Give your teams time to really understand what your customers need, and to look at how not just competitors but analogous peers are excelling. Involve a wide range of staff in coming up with ideas, and collaborate with experts from outside your business. Prototype solutions - be that products, services or campaign ideas and get feedback - early and often - before you commit. Take risks. Do it faster. Have fun doing it.


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