Does that mean there’s only so much that financial services businesses can get away with?
Michael Trust is important, but so is recall and memorability. The first thing about brand and brand strategy is ‘can we make sure we’re remembered?’ and colour is one of the tools to create that memorability. Julia’s right, you can go as far as you like to create that memorability, but there’s a balance to make sure there is a sense of trust as well; that you’re dependable, reliable and a safe pair of hands. I think the industry has relied too much on that. The point is, will your target audience remember your business at the point when they are going to instruct someone?
This goes beyond choosing between Midnight Blue and Screamin’ Green on a Pantone chart, right?
Michael Yeah, there’s a growing awareness that brand is more than just the logo's colour. The best description of a brand I’ve heard is often associated with Jeff Bezos. He describes brand as what people say about you when you’re not in the room. You’ve got the opportunity to shape the narrative - why do you exist? What difference do you make? Finance, in particular, talks about client service, experience, and the performance of funds under management, but those things are features. Purpose helps to shift the narrative to talk more about benefits. What are the consequences of those things for your end-user? What does good client servicing mean? There’s a real need to help people see the value of financial services beyond the features it offers into the difference it’s going to make, and that’s all about purpose.
Julia We also have to be mindful of conscious and unconscious biases, and we could have a whole other conversation on how you tackle it in organisations. If you’re producing creative content that reveals itself to be primarily male, macho and white, you need to turn around. Hold yourself to a higher account. Ask yourself, ‘Is this good enough?’ And does it align with your values - your purpose?