Brand Strategy

Client Success Story: Challenger Bank Outperforms Competitors by Focusing Communication on the Drivers of Choice

In a market dominated by four behemoth banks that collectively control market share, a challenger bank brand set about to disrupt its larger competitors by:

  • Understanding what is driving choice of brand
  • Understanding how well the challenger brand performed versus the main competition on those choice drivers; and
  • Identifying which drivers the challenger could own and then specifically communicating their performance on those drivers to the market.

The result? Above system growth for the challenger bank and a 2020 Gold David Ogilvy Award from the New York based Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) for Advertising Effectiveness.

The Client Problem

The challenger bank in question was the fifth largest bank in the market and has always lagged the main four competitors which dominate share. In 2018 the brand held very low penetration in transaction accounts relative to the combined ~90% of the four behemoths, and uptake in home loans was in Year-on-Year decline. The brand’s growth had stagnated.

Forethought’s Solution

To develop a strategy for growth Forethought applied the Prophecy Thoughts and Feelings® methodology in a national study to identify the relative importance of rational and emotional choice drivers for the banking category. This revealed that the current brand positioning, which was focused on community, was not effective in driving choice among consumers. Furthermore, it revealed that consumers in this market were unaware of the overall capability of the challenger bank brand.

Client Outcomes

A new brand and communications strategy was developed based on these findings and Forethought worked with the creative agency through pretesting to ensure that the campaign would effectively deliver on messaging that would drive choice in the banking category for our client. The new strategy delivered the following Commercial and Marketing outcomes for the challenger bank:


Want to know what drives choice of brand in your category? Contact Forethought today

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