In Belgium, ING is one of the main banks, with an outlook that prizes its emotional connection with its clients. Banks must remember that they “intervene at key moments of life”, Marie-Noelle De Greef, head of branding, advertising and sponsoring at ING told WARC at the MMA Impact Forum. (For an in-depth report, read: How ING bank used its app as a media channel.)
ING’s task now, along with all legacy brands, is to prepare for the future, to differentiate for the future, as “we all know that tomorrow, banking will not be the same”. The landscape is becoming more fluid: the real consumer benchmark, De Greef observed, “is the last customer experience you had”.
Legitimacy was wrought through an intelligent take on what a bank could begin to offer to music fans. “Music offered the right opportunity to connect with our consumers,” she said.
At festivals, for instance, ING began to offer simple utilities like lockers and phone chargers, which reinforced the ideas of safety and connectivity.
Having sponsored a Brussels venue, Palais 12, since 2014, the company had some relationship with music, but needed to go beyond sticking a logo on an existing idea – it needed to create something new.
With help from Universal Music, the two firms started to shape the strategy around the point of intersection of brand, audience and talent, using proprietary techniques to understand ING’s needs and the needs of its consumers.
Universal came back with a suggestion for an artist that ING could bring to Palais 12 for a private showcase: Oscar and the Wolf, a Belgian artist who has found critical acclaim and begun to sell out ever larger venues on his way up. ING would promote an exclusive show for ING clients.
The radical idea, however, was that clients would click through from ING’s mobile banking app’s home screen in order to win tickets, and this ran alongside more traditional email marketing efforts to bring in non-app users.
Explaining the decision to leverage the app, De Greef acknowledged that it had not been easy. “Usually when you develop banking products it needs to be serious,” she said. “So it was difficult to make sure that our developers would understand that making an emotional link within a serious matter can happen – it doesn’t destroy the brand value, it can bring more to the brand.”
Sourced from WARC