I get the opportunity to be part of quite a few financial conferences year-round. Every conference addresses the area of competing against the “non-regulated institutions”.
I continue to see Powerpoint presentations with Apple’s logo as a threat to banks, credit unions and even investement firms. I see mobile apps that will be your next financial advisor and kiosks that represent your bank.
I’m here to tell you that Apple that will not kill your financial institution, but a lack of trust could.
As our economy is changing rapidly, consumers’ view of trust is changing equally. Why?
Technology companies are creating new ways to form trust. Sites like Airbnb are showing us that reviews give us justification to trust strangers in our own home, while Uber and Lyft show that an app builds more trust than a taxi license hanging on a rear view mirror.
This is the first generation to not understand life before major bank regulations.
I used to sit with my grandfather and hear the stories of bank failures and nearly losing the farm (literally). Younger millennials have not had this conversation with those generations.
This generation trusts peers over institutional regulation.
This is affecting nearly every area of our economy. Seemingly, consumers largely do not see why regulations benefit them. Consumers believe that collectively, a communal review of products or services will provide a more unbiased rationale.
What are we to do about it?
Acknowledge that it is not your word as an institution that is most-important. Trust is found more in star-ratings from a group of peers than what you put on a flyer.
Use relationships wisely.
Visualize Trust, Don’t Just Talk About It
So you’ve been in business 50+ years and wonder why this statistic alone doesn’t give trust? It should. But it does not always translate. You don’t have to always separate marketing to generations, sometimes the most powerful examples come when we combine generations.
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If you are an established business, you do have a unique ability to relate to millennials. Have a dialogue. Ask for reviews and most importantly, do good work.
Great content does not solve for a lack of engaged fans.
The most viral content often starts due to a relationship. It’s not brands that share things, it’s people. Get to know the human being behind the social media accounts, not just the corporate Twitter handle.
We must educate.
Collectively, financial institutions can help consumers understand their important role and that when people do trust where their money is held, it has a direct impact on our economy.
Not just happy customers. Celebrate advocates and fans.
Have you ever recommended a product you yourself did not own? Most of us have., but many businesses are only focused on gaining customers and forget that non-customers can be great advocates for your business. Perhaps these fans don’t have a need for a product now, but want to share their relationship to you and the trust they have in you, personally. Consider how you can make friends personally and professionally to win advocates.