Putting Trust Back Into Financial Institutions: The Role Of Visual Branding

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The financial services industry is a sector that relies on the concept of trust like no other. Customers put their trust into these institutions to manage and protect their hard-earned money, with the expectation nothing will go wrong.

But it’s not that easy. A tumultuous 12 months for the financial industry here in Australia combined with various global factors has meant these brands now need to work harder to ensure they are perceived as trustworthy by their customers.

So, what can be done to stand out in the trustworthiness stakes?

A recent study by Getty Images found visual branding plays a significant role in how financial institutions are perceived by their customers and the wider public.

Getty combined internal findings with analysis of the visual strategies of 20 of the world’s biggest financial services brands to uncover some major findings.

Most significant was the revelation that humanity matters. Adding a ‘human touch’ goes a long way when it comes to visual branding strategies for these companies.

When looking at patterns across the global sector, factors that were 100 per cent consistent across the various institution’s visual strategies were; using real emotion to tell a human story, diversity & inclusion and simple compositions.

Additionally, 83 per cent used natural warm tones to emphasise these human stories, while 72 per cent represented milestones in a customer’s life.

And while the industry analysis shows us the visual commonalities between various brands – and how similar the strategies of these major brands are – perhaps more telling is Getty’s internal research.

The image company studied the millions of different searches users entered into its system in 2018 and found a similar desire for humanity.

Searches for ‘inclusion’ spiked 118 per cent, while ‘community’ was up 107 per cent.

But the most noteworthy change was the number of searches for the term ‘belonging’, which climbed an astonishing 3,400 per cent.

This demonstrates the significance of ‘individual togetherness’ in visual branding, according to Getty.

Interestingly, the study also found that adding a human touch to your visual campaign doesn’t necessarily have to include humans.

‘Non-people’ content is now found in 95 per cent of briefs as brands look for simple ways to avoid people-related issues around diversity and inclusion.

By using images of everyday objects, that are still relatable, financial institutions are able to continue to build an emotional connection with consumers.

To find out more, click here to download the report.


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