Who are you?

FT writer Laura Noonan does a great job pointing out the culture shock that many (most?) former bankers face when joining a startup. In her article yesterday, she also mentions how the change spotlights any fissures or weaknesses in an executive’s personality as, in effect, the safety net is pulled away. While I am sure these executives – a number of whom are our clients – have spent a lot of time thinking over this, have they put as much effort into isolating the true purpose and personality of their new firm? If not, it could prove costly.

Fintech leaders need to elicit an emotional response from their potential clients, not in a sappy way, but to generate a demand ‘pull’. Without a gut understanding of whether there is this instinctive demand – as opposed to need – for their service, they face an uphill battle.

Successful businesses win over the hearts and minds of their clients. People buy people. They buy stories. They don’t buy software; they buy an easier, more profitable way of running their business. Or they make decisions based on the fear of missing out (FOMO).

To be successful at running a fintech firm requires a deep knowledge of the psychology of potential clients as much as it does an understanding of the technology architecture. After all, there is almost always a valid economic argument for the product or service. That’s not the differentiator.

For a fintech business to shine, it must be alive with a purpose that is beyond the widget, platform or service that it provides. It should stand out beyond the numbers. It must have a reason to be embraced. It must excite. Clients should want to buy the solution, not feel they have to, because there are a thousand excuses for not doing things that are technically valid.

As would be expected in our line of work, we speak to many fintech leaders. Without question, they all have a deep understanding of the product set they are delivering to the industry. But that is rarely enough.

There are hundreds of fintech companies fighting for a slice of the multi-billion dollar technology spend of the big banks. Most of them are also looking for funding. They are unlikely to attract either unless they look in the mirror and ask, who am I? And what am I really here for?

A business should have as much personality as its founders, arguably more as it is made up of many individuals. Contact us to learn more about securing a strong brand identity.

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