CASE STUDY: Specialist lender Together Money looks to Open Doors with new campaign

Alex Sword


The Financial Services Forum

Earlier this year, Together Money launched a new brand campaign spotlighting the role played by specialist lenders in helping people achieve their goals.

In this Q&A, Head of Brand, Strategy and Innovation Jemma Volp-Fletcher explains the thinking and mission behind the campaign. 


FSF: Can you explain the strategy behind the Opening Doors campaign?

Jemma Volp-Fletcher: The strategy behind Opening Doors is rooted in the milestone of our 50th year of lending – it’s a great opportunity to reflect not only our five decades of knowledge and experience as a specialist lender but our people-focused approach.

Our products are used by both individuals for their personal finance needs as well as entrepreneurs, investors and landlords for commercial finance solutions, and the recent economic backdrop has seen many traditional lenders restrict their lending criteria as they reduce their appetite to risk. Together’s highly experienced team of underwriters make lending decisions on a case by case basis, there are no algorithms that might close people and businesses out of achieving their property ambitions, so the current climate has presented a unique opportunity to make that point and drive awareness that there is another route.

Our strategy was to create a targeted campaign with a concept that tapped into the commonalities of emotion across our Personal and Commercial finance customers – to provide the antidote to their fear of missing out on an opportunity – when one door closes, ours is always open. And so we arrived at the central premise of Opening Doors.


Where did the creative concept come from?

Working with our agency, Continuous, we found the insight that in a world of property finance where there are many variables and obstacles including slow response times on lending decisions, that there is a very real fear of missing out on opportunities either personally or in business.

Our creative concept centred around a selection of prospective customers as they embark on their property journey showing a variety of scenarios – a  family moving into their next home, a couple enjoying the results of a major building project, a portfolio landlord securing a fixer-upper at auction, to a small business taking its first steps with a bricks and mortar base.

The concept captures doors that initially won’t open and the frustration experienced when it appears that an opportunity is set to slip away.  In order to get doors opening freely, Together is then positioned as the trusted partner helping customers secure their property ambition.  Whereas doors may not open with other lenders, Together’s flexible criteria, broad product offer and speed of service – opens the door now as it has for 50 years.


What was the channel strategy for the campaign?

The channel strategy is highly targeted to reach our commercial customers through Sky Adsmart, YouTube, Sky Property TV as well as trade print and digital channels, social media and websites including Zoopla and Rightmove.

For personal finance customers, a cut of the ad will also be served through Sky Adsmart, YouTube and social channels with a specific brief to reach those with a propensity to upscale or commence a property investment journey.


Sky AdSmart played a role in the campaign. How did the campaign combine the benefits of mass TV advertising with precise audience targeting? 

This campaign is naturally underpinned by data which gave us the insight that the audiences we wanted to target would respond well to emotion conveyed through TV advertising. Sky AdSmart is a great vehicle to fuse a quality TVC with precision targeting and the added benefit of detailed tracking. This is the first time that Together has included TV advertising within a campaign and being able to relay that meaningful data back to the business is invaluable.


How does the campaign fit into Together’s overall brand position?

Opening Doors is very much a reflection of the Together brand as it is now and was the first real execution of brand position which has certainly matured over the last couple of years. While this brand position will always be underpinned with our common sense approach to lending, the campaign reflects our authenticity, our uncomplicated way, our unwavering ambition for our customers and our heritage and knowledge which we know is more important than ever to provide assurances to those who may be learning about the specialist lending sector for the first time.


What do you have planned to build on this campaign?

Our campaign is also underpinned with a robust PR campaign to raise awareness through a range of news angles and talking points regarding property and the built environment.  We are also bringing the campaign to life via our social channels and content to educate and entertain both our consumer and business audience.

We’re a business very much built on relationships and that starts with our colleagues. We have therefore also made every effort to bring them along with us on this journey too; from vinyl take overs to workshops and UGC, our people are our greatest ambassadors and the response internally has been phenomenal, there’s certainly a renewed sense of pride in the air.


The company is celebrating its 50-year anniversary – where do you see the brand evolving in the future?

Together has grown at a phenomenal rate over the last 50 years and that growth, especially in an environment of restricted high street lending can only continue.

We are finding that more and more, the construct of many automated lending processes excludes a large number of potential customers for example, if they have complex income streams or are looking to buy on a non-standard property or they just need a relationship with a lender who understands their business ambitions and can respond quickly.

This campaign is really the first step in driving awareness of how Together can support the property ambitions of our customers and our future brand work will continue to drive that – with a common sense approach, of course.

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