In today’s market, there is a strong argument that loyalty is more important now than ever before. When delivered correctly, loyalty can be a very powerful way to positively influence your customers, and your bottom line. But it’s getting harder to achieve.
The banking landscape has changed dramatically in recent years with the fight for customers share of wallet ever more competitive. Banks are continuously implementing technologies and solutions to be one step ahead of their competitors. Consumers continue to want more from their financial services providers, in terms of personalisation, connectivity and convenience. Banks need to find ways to accommodate these demands, as well as continue to strengthen digital communication, to encourage loyalty and drive devotion with their customers.
In the GCC in particular, where the region is quite over-banked, we are also seeing bank mergers take place combining forces to remain competitive and to stay relevant. Although these mergers tend to somewhat reduce the choice available to customers, they do further increase the need for the personalised approach, more targeted communication and investment in engagement and awareness in order for the newly merged entity to build customer trust, devotion and loyalty.
Digital start-ups and fintechs are also rising in global popularity with services such as Liv by Emirates NBD, Mashreq Neo, or further afield, Monzo or Starling in the UK, and Ally in the US. We are seeing these digital solutions offer consumers highly competitive products and more insights and data on how they spend their money. For consumers, it feels like a more customer-centric approach.
It’s not just because today’s customer has more choice than ever before and is more demanding. It’s also that loyalty often sits across multiple business units. Marketing, brand, IT, partnerships and finance all have an important role in setting and delivering against an organisation’s loyalty strategy. And they all have different ideas, priorities and views on what needs reporting or what success looks like.
So, when you consider this complex, fast changing environment, it’s no wonder that true brand loyalty can sometimes seem out of reach.