Let’s face it, we live in the country of supersizing. More is always better, right? If one type of checking account is good, how about eight or nine? And why have basic financial planning when you can have complex estate planning, even if the size of your estate doesn’t warrant it.
In financial services, we often pursue the shotgun approach to winning customers. If one thing doesn’t work, let’s throw something else at a prospect. Something’s bound to stick. Unfortunately, this not only does not work, but often has a negative impact, leading to confusion and annoyance:
Too many options. Often this strategy results in a proliferation of product choices that aren’t differentiated. Using the example of checking accounts, we have seen organizations try to accommodate every possible situation and end up offering more than a dozen different types of checking accounts with very little difference between many of them.
Mismatch between products and customer. What is appropriate for one segment may be of little use to another, which can cause frustration. Offering retirement and education planning to an individual or family with $20 million could be interpreted as not really understanding the market. Conversely, offering complex tax planning to someone with a lower level of assets for whom the potential benefit is minimal is probably not going to win business either.
Brand dilution by following trends. Just because a product or offer is in the news doesn’t mean you should offer it. For example, robo-advisors seem to be everywhere these days, but is it right for an organization and reflective of its value proposition? If not, then offering this solution may hurt your brand unless you take steps to incorporate this change into your brand message.
Effective offers are carefully constructed and consider customer needs and goals. They can be clearly and easily articulated and understood by the target market. Perhaps most importantly, they reflect the essence of an organization and the value they deliver to their customers.