From Product-Centric to Purpose-Driven: Finding Focus For A NeoBank

  • Financial Services
two black current debit cards on a purple background

The Challenge

Seen as a digital “challenger” banking service most used by lower income adults, Current needed to alter its perception in the landscape. Vivaldi Group was called on to solidify a purpose and brand strategy to propel new growth.

The Opportunity

To better reach customers, Current had to gain a deeper understanding of customer needs, goals, and challenges. It was also vital to identify different audience segments, which would require differentiated brand messaging.

The Outcome

From brand purpose, to new position, and new consumer language, Vivaldi provided a guiding go-to-market strategy to help expand Current’s user base. Vivaldi's robust OOH campaign significantly boosted brand awareness and attracted a wave of new customers.

How can a non-traditional banking service reach the right users?

Current was created with the aim of making financial services more accessible. Used by millions of customers, its position as a digital “challenger” bank found it most utilized by lower income adults. Having seen a successful growth rate over a few years, Current was looking to take the next step towards becoming a truly established and differentiated player in the US neobanking landscape. Current turned to Vivaldi to find a purpose and a brand strategy that would galvanize and inform its entire organization, as well as unlock new territories for growth.  

While low-income young adults had been classically considered a homogeneous group in the banking investor landscape, and often been punished and held back by the traditional banking system, Current had an opportunity to change that, while building trust with the unbanked and lower income customers. In order to do that, Vivaldi knew it was necessary to gain a deep understanding of Current’s users, their relationship with money, their personal goals, ambitions, as well as challenges. To garner a deeper understanding of their customer needs, Vivaldi leveraged a segmentation approach to develop a strategic understanding of this audience and uncovered significant insights and differences within the cohort. 

Current had entered the market with a product-centric focus, but they had an opportunity to mean much more to more people. To actually support people in their hopes, dreams and aspirations while building them up, instead of holding them back.  Through research, Vivaldi uncovered that there was a much larger addressable market for their product offerings and for their future roadmap. As a result, Vivaldi created a purpose and brand strategy that was much more aspirational, adding new segments and developing the core customer. Vivaldi delivered a brand purpose and position, as well as a new consumer language that was united and relevant across core customers through to new pockets of demand that had been identified. 

With a path to expand its user base, Vivaldi built a new demand-first go-to-market strategy, giving Current the ability to attract new segments while better serving already existing segments. This included a new roadmap to product innovation that was guided and aligned with the new position and role that the brand was aiming to play in customers’ lives.  

a collage of different advertisements for current bank

"What do you think we are, a bank?"

Although the process of refining the brand strategy was underway, Current still needed to build momentum and gain users for its existing product and deliver a message that would be relevant today and into the future, when the new positioning was solidified. To deliver on this requirement, Vivaldi developed a series of campaigns to help drive brand awareness, including an OOH campaign for a summer takeover of NYC to start the process of appealing to a broader audience and manifest its new position in the market.  

This effectively established Current as separate from traditional banking and its related pain points, generated conversation on social media, garnered attention and drove increased affinity for the brand, resulting in a 23%+ increase in brand awareness. 

Earlier this year, the new visual identity and consumer language was fully rolled out in the market, as a result of the strategy and vision that Vivaldi and Current developed in close collaboration.