OPINION: Female finance – is your brand truly connecting?

Simon Martin


Moreish Marketing

By Simon Martin, Director & Founder of Moreish Marketing

As the financial gender gap receives heightened attention, companies are increasingly seeking strategies to bridge this divide. But even with the best intentions, some brands are in a state of inertia for fear of coming across as tokenistic or ‘pinkwashing’ in their efforts to resonate with female audiences. So let’s explore some practical ways in which product propositions and marketing can connect and empower women to engage with their finances.


What we cover
Female financial power – you can’t afford to be missing out

How brands can resonate with female audiences

How could your proposition help?

1.      Clarity on who your proposition can help

2.      Does your brand appeal?

3.      Goal-oriented messaging

4.      Show up at the right time with ways to help

5.      Audit your existing content

6.      Stick your neck out! (And say what you stand for!)

7.      Leverage Advocacy

Attracting and engaging with female audiences:  The final word

Female financial power – you can’t afford to be missing out

We are (hopefully!) all aware of the current discrepancy between the genders when it comes to financial futures. Research shows women retire with less pension savings then men, make 24% less salary than men on average, have lower financial literacy and hold fewer investments than men do.

But the future is rapidly changing. Women already own a third of the world’s wealth and this is increasing – research shows that women are adding $5 trillion to the wealth pool globally every year—and outpacing the growth of the wealth market overall. Women are taking charge of their financial futures and leaning into the world of FS brands which brings growing commercial opportunities that companies cannot afford to miss out on.


How brands can resonate with female audiences

Here we include a checklist that you as FS marketers can put in place to ensure that women are represented and engaged by your proposition.


1.     Clarity on who your proposition can help

There has to be an authentic truth to how your offering can support and appeal to a female audience.  Without a solid purpose behind your service proposition, your efforts could be perceived as superficial pandering or “pinkwashing.”

So firstly, review your current proposition and consider the types of females you’re uniquely positioned to support. Can you help 20-something year olds in education looking for savings advice? Are you speaking to empty nesters looking for advice on drawing down for retirement?

How does the way you offer your services really align to working with or engaging with a female audience? Could you consider tweaking an element of your service offering to uniquely appeal to a female audience somehow?

So many brands in the FS think it’s enough to just raise awareness or state support of an issue, but what are they actually doing to change the status quo? For example, we’ve heard so many brands discuss pension gender inequality, but what are they actually doing to change this failing system? Shedding light on the issue and campaigning for change is great, but could you be doing more to  add real value by being a change agent by being part of the solution.

For example UBS Unique offers an advisory board which is a  collective of business leaders and philanthropists who provide insights and guidance to women on how to make financial know-how more accessible. This feeds into an online community where women can come together to discuss wealth and investments.


2.     Does your brand appeal?

Does your brand speak to the life needs and goals of a particular female audience you can really help? If not you could consider widening the scope and create a discrete sub-brand tailored to appeal to your female audience.

Moreish recently developed a sub-brand for Brooks McDonald, called the Female Folio creating a space where financial advice could be tailored to women’s goals. We developed the tagline “For women writing their own investment story” and a palette of eye-catching campaign designs to avoid cliched gender stereotypes and ensure that we were targeting a wide range of women. Is a tailored sub-brand something you could consider for your brand? Or perhaps a female focussed campaign is a great place to start?


3.     Goal-oriented messaging

For many women, wealth is a means to a number of ends, not an end in itself. For example. women tend to invest in order to fund specific life goals, whether those are leaving a legacy for the next generation, supporting a post-retirement lifestyle, developing a family business or making a social impact in their community.

Your messaging should speak to these different end goals and demonstrate how financial services can tangibly and significantly impact their lives. Can your brand answer ‘how does this impact my family?’, ‘how can I better plan for retirement if I take a career gap now?’, ‘what offerings do you have if I’m a full time carer?’ for example.

ESG messaging is also important to factor in: Women are also more likely than men to invest on the basis of their values, favouring funds that perform well but also create a positive impact, as opposed to investing solely for performance. Use your marketing to demonstrate your ESG investment products available and showcase your credibility.


4.     Show up at the right time with ways to help

Consider media placements and content that resonate with the various life stages and financial concerns experienced by women. Appear in publications, channels, and search results aligned with their interests and needs at different life points. For instance, recent graduates might be searching for job interview tips a, while retirees might be researching holiday options or downsizing properties. By understanding these life stage triggers, you can strategically interrupt their media journeys and ensure your message appears when your audience is most receptive to receiving it.

It’s about showing up where relevant and joining the conversation.


5.      Audit your existing content

Consider the types of imagery, tone of voice and language used across your brand  — do you include positive and inclusive language that encourages greater willingness for women to feel empowered by making their own financial  decisions? Research has shown that women prefer more of a ‘storytelling’ approach when it comes to digesting marketing messages, and, as we mentioned above, consider their finances in terms of life goals, so your copy needs to reflect this approach too – show you understand their needs, life stages and end goals.


6.     Stick your neck out (And say what you stand for!)

If you don’t stand for something, you stand for nothing! Say something of note to demonstrate your relevance to this market. Have a stance on how your brand supports female finance and leads to good customer outcomes- then actively communicate it in your comms. Take a look at some UK financial services brands who are already doing this well, such as;

  • Starling Bank – #make money equal – which argues that money is genderless and the media should stop speaking to men and women differently about it.
  • Outside of FS brands, others who are doing this well include Dove’s ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’ which takes a stance on photoshopped female images to build confidence in women. As well as  Smirnoff & Spotify’s ‘Equaliser Tool’ which addressed gender imbalance in the music industry and built a tool that encouraged the discovery of female artists – giving a voice to those who, until then, hadn’t been heard.


7.    Leverage advocacy

Research shows that when females have a good experience they are much more likely to offer referrals and recommendations than men. Plus, when it comes to brand conversations women have about 10% more conversations each week than men! Consider building a referral strategy around your female audiences. This powerful word of mouth and advocacy leads to increased brand trust and  greater lifetime value, meaning  you can’t afford to get your propositions, messaging or customer experience wrong with this audience.


Attracting and engaging with female audiences:  The final word

As a marketer of a FS brand, we recommend you have a female finance “MOT” –  what are you doing well, where could you be doing better, using the above checklist as a starting point to instigate change. Remember, every action to remove barriers that hinder women will help bring us closer to gender equity in finance and encourage an increasingly-powerful and loyal audience to your brand.

We’d love the opportunity to share some work we’ve done in the female finance space, or to chat to you about financial services marketing strategies for female audiences – simply get in touch with Moreish Marketing here. Let’s raise the bar for female FS marketing campaigns together!

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