With PwC reporting that ‘funding of FinTech startups has increased at a compound annual growth rate of 41% over the last four years’, there’s no doubt that FinTech is one of the hottest niches in the startup space.
Seed funding coffers are overflowing, with Angel investors clamouring to get a slice of the FinTech pie. With no shortage of financial backing, up and coming businesses in this space must decide how they should invest this capital to generate the best ROI.
While hiring growth hackers and UX specialists is à la mode, we believe that a back to basics approach, beginning with branding, is the best starting point for fledgling FinTech founders.
After all, a brand is the foundation that underpins and informs every single aspect of a business - from how customers perceive it, to how its products and services are presented to the world, and even what its offices look like.
Read on to discover three best practices for building a stand-out brand in the fiercely competitive FinTech space
1. Develop a Solid Value Proposition
Simon Sinek was onto something when he encouraged us to ‘start with why’.
Long before names, logos and taglines are considered, a business needs to be crystal clear on its reason for being.
A solid value proposition can be distilled into a simple statement that explains:
Who your target customer is
Their situation, need, or problem
What your solution is
How it can help them
We love Geoff Moore’s template from his book ‘Crossing the Chasm’.
“For ____________ (target customer) who ____________ (statement of the need or opportunity) our (product/service name) is ____________ (product category) that (statement of benefit) ____________.”
Want to see how it works in practice? We’ve used our own brand as a guinea pig below:
“For Fintech startups who want to cut through the noise in a competitive marketplace, DMA Partners is a brand communications agency that will help you win the hearts and minds of customers and investors.”
Once you have clarity on the core reason why your business exists, this level of focus will make decision making so much more natural as you’ll always be able to use your value proposition as a point of reference.
2. Embrace Your Differences
Let’s be honest. When you start to think about branding - where is the first place you look to for inspiration? The competition - of course!
While it’s perfectly natural to want to see what’s out there and model what appears to be working in the marketplace, your brand will be a lot stronger if it embraces its points of difference and champions what makes it unique.
So how can you differentiate your brand? Here are a few questions to consider:
Do you serve a specific niche (e.g. first-time buyers vs the mass market)?
Is your product or service faster, better or cheaper than what’s out there?
How can you position your brand to be able to build a movement around your product or service, rather than just acquiring customers?
Can you pursue a unique business model?
Could you give customers an exceptional, world-class experience?
In a space as popular as FinTech, there’s a high probability that if you have a great startup concept, someone else has a similar idea and they’re also looking to commercialise the solutions. This is why understanding and communicating your USPs is crucial.
3. Make It Memorable
Now that you’ve considered the foundations of building a solid brand, it’s time to bring in the senses to determine how your brand will look, feel and sound.
Right now, there’s a massive trend towards minimalist logos, mostly consisting of a simple visual element and minimal text. The visual you choose should illustrate the concept or benefits your business provides to make things as clear as possible.
The role of colour should also be carefully considered. Study colour psychology and determine how you want your customers to feel when they view your brand assets. For example, yellow can exude warmth and happiness, while grey can come across as more clinical and corporate. Taking this into account will help you build the perfect brand colour palette.
Finally, strive to infuse your brand with a relatable, almost human personality. Let this shine through your tone of voice, word choice, photography and videography. When your brand sounds unique and authentic, you’ll attract your ideal customers and repel those who aren’t a good fit.
So when it comes to the more physical aspects of branding, why not have fun and be creative and audacious? This is what will set your FinTech brand worlds apart from the competition and help you cement your place within consumer consciousness.
When FinTech startups approach branding in this way, they’re much more likely to build a business that cuts through the noise and gains real traction in the marketplace.
What’s your favourite FinTech brand and why? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Tweet us @DMA_Partners.
Are you on a mission to build the world’s next FinTech unicorn? Get in touch with our Managing Partner, Philip Martin, at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help you transform your ideas from ‘bland’ to ‘brand’.