Getty Images has released new research on Australians’ perception of the financial services industry.
Released alongside a global white paper, the Financial Services Visual Trends Report, identifying trends in the visual representation of the financial services industry, the findings show that financial services brands in Australia are most effectively visually aligning with the values and interests of Generation Z.
The white paper, produced by Getty Images’ Creative Insights Team, reviewed some of the world’s biggest financial services brands’ visuals strategies, as well as Getty Images’ top selling images and search data.
It found that financial services brands are increasingly choosing a ‘human touch’ in visual communications, incorporating diversity, inclusion and realness in their visual representation.
The white paper identified trends that centred around realness, representation and relatability, indicating that financial services brands are attempting to connect with consumers on personal, human issues that resonate across a broad audience.
Searches for terms like ‘belonging’, ‘inclusion’ and ‘disability’ have risen across the industry in recent years, suggesting a desire to connect with consumers on values and on an emotional level.
The local research, conducted by YouGov, reveals that this approach is particularly attractive to Generation Z, who are more socially driven than other generations.
Forty per cent of Gen Z consumers said they trust financial services brands that represent an understanding of Australian society as a whole and almost forty per cent (38 per cent) said that they would trust a provider that represented their values as an individual.
Getty Images senior manager of creative insights, Kate Rourke said: “Today, Gen Z are mostly teens and young adults.
“But by 2020, as they enter the workforce – their habits, preferences and understanding of the internet of things will change the future of banking.”
She added: “Just think about the huge social shifts in the last couple of decades – Gen Z has experienced the most rapid, dramatic shifts of societal standards.
“They are both more accepting of diversity than any other generation and less tolerant of negative social behaviours and banks need to reflect this visually or miss out on this important spending power.”
Over forty per cent of this consumer group (43 per cent) identifies with Commonwealth Bank as the financial services brand they trust the most.
Commonwealth Bank’s focus on diverse representation incorporates the areas that this generation consider most important, including different races and ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds and differently abled individuals, in its visual communications.
Rourke continued: “Younger customers are digital-banking and mobile-banking natives who are increasingly shifting to financial-technologies like PayPal, Amazon and Apple.
“In order to compete, financial services brands need to craft an approach that connects with this ‘powerhouse’ consumer group, especially as they’re considered to become a larger cohort than both Baby Boomers and Millennials.”
Despite a tumultuous few years for the industry, over half of Australians (52.9 per cent) consider financial services providers to be trustworthy.
In order to continue to develop this trust, financial services providers need to ensure that their campaigns align with what consumers want to see, both representing and resonating with Australians.