How Can Your Finance Business Compete with Big Banks?

19 July 22 / Luke Baggott

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Gone are the days of having to rely on high street banks - your small finance business can offer a highly flexible and competitive service; it’s time that you learned to properly market yourself and educate your audience. 

You can innovate and push the boundaries, but what are your key strengths as a small finance business, and what can you do to gain an edge?

In this blog we’ll talk about how your smaller independent finance business can take advantage of the big banks’ inflexibility, helping you to build a marketing strategy that’s highly tailored and truly makes you stand out. 

What are your advantages as an independent finance business?

While it may seem like a David vs Goliath situation, there are a fair few advantages that your smaller firm enjoys over a big bank.

Agile processes

You’re far less likely to be burdened with governance roadblocks and can adjust quickly to changing circumstances. Big banks often find themselves bogged down in bureaucracy, slowing them down.

Make sure to leverage your agile process at every opportunity – you’re here for the client, not for the bankers. 

Ability to push the boundaries

There’s no reason why you can’t make a statement with your branding and messaging. 

Big banks are stuck in their ways and will have well-established brand guidelines that are inflexible. You have no such limitation! Get creative with your brand and make a splash in the industry (we’ll speak a little more about this later). 

Help businesses to grow better

Research shows that bigger banks don’t improve the growth of borrowers, and often actually hinder the growth of smaller businesses through clunky processes and an outdated experience. 

Just because a big bank have substantial resources behind them doesn’t mean that they offer the most efficient service. As a smaller financial business, you’re able to truly get under the skin of your clients, offering a service that is better tailored to their needs than a bank could ever offer. 

High speed applications

Your response times are much quicker than mainstream banks, but most businesses don’t know this! 

It’s essential that you communicate this with your audience, stressing the fact that you understand that most finance applications are done under duress, and that moving quickly is of the utmost importance.

As a smaller business, you have the power to reduce stress and frustration for clients, something that bigger banks can’t do!

Prioritise the customer, not the bank

We understand that it’s not as straightforward as we’re suggesting, as finance applications can vary greatly depending on your customers’ needs. 

However, as a general rule, you can leverage the fact that you’re genuinely interested in doing what’s best for your customers, not just for your wallet. Whether you offer bridging loans, bespoke mortgage advice, cash flow assistance, invoice factoring or one of many other services, you can safely say to potential customers that you have their best interests at heart, and that’s a serious advantage!

How to position yourself as the optimum choice for finance

The above advantages put you in a strong position. While yes, you may not have the same expansive budget as the big boys, you do have your uniqueness and agility on your side, so it’s important that you make the most out of this through a bespoke rebranding and tailored ongoing marketing.

With the right marketing partner, you’ll be able to make waves in the finance industry; it’s all about efficient spend and proper targeting. So, how should you get started?

Identify your USPs

What can you do that a big bank can’t?

Do you offer any truly unique services?

Is your customer service second-to-none?

Whatever your USPs are, you should be capitalising on them and marketing them aggressively. Even if they’re not particularly unique, with the right copywriter & brand specialists on board, you can make any USP highly enticing, especially in an incredibly competitive industry (like finance). 

Create a market-disrupting brand

As mentioned, you’re not constrained by stuffy out-of-date brand guidelines. You’re able to create a brand that’s truly representative of your business.

You might choose to:

  • Use a totally unique colour palette (straying away from the corporate blues and whites that are typical of a finance business).
  • Implement provocative imagery & visual cues to draw people into your copy.
  • Include language that avoids financial jargon, breaking it down for the layman.
  • Use video or animation to draw attention.

Be a little cheeky

We firmly believe that you should ‘ask for forgiveness, not permission’. 

As an independent finance business, you have the freedom and ability to push your luck a little bit. Crack a few lighthearted jokes, get creative with your marketing and show potential customers that you really do get who the are, what they want and what they need. 

While you may be a B2B business, you’re still selling to people. In order to break the mould and stand out, sometimes you have to crack a few eggs – being cheeky may well be the best way for you to do this. 

Make a splash at networking events

Everybody knows what to expect from HSBC or Natwest. Networking events are a superb opportunity for you to showcase your expertise, skills and USPs.

It’s easy to set up an average stall with an average hook, or bring along average resources, but that’s not the way you should be thinking about networking events. 

Engaging content. Eye-catching displays. Animated features. Think outside the box & you’ll find yourself seeing significantly more success at the events you choose to attend.

Not only this, but try experimenting with events that are outside of your usual remit. Attend sector-specific events that your target audience will be interested in and tailor your messaging to suit. It’s a fantastic way to create a lasting impression, as you’ll stand out far more if you’re one of the only financial businesses at an event.

Make your finance business stand out from the crowd

We won’t sugar coat it, it’s tough competing with a well funded behemoth.

But it’s not impossible. 

At Catalyst, we specialise in helping small financial businesses to create marketing strategies that cut through the noise, helping you to stand toe-to-toe with the big banks.

Our financial clients use us either as a supplement to their current marketing, filling in skill gaps, or as an end-to-end marketing solution. Whatever you need, we’re here to help.

To talk to one of our finance marketing specialists, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. We’re here to answer any questions you may have.

Talk to our specialists

Alternatively, reach out to us using the below details:

E: hello@wearecatalyst.co.uk 

T: 0121 296 5275

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