After a period when high street banks haven’t been top of the general public’s Christmas card list, Barclays wanted to demonstrate a change of approach, one born of a very real desire to regain the public’s trust and preference.
Barclays asked Red Bee Media to produce branded content for a new marketing initiative called ‘Your Bank’. This initiative invites consumers to help influence changes to everyday banking. Your Bank includes an online platform to gather and share ideas to improve Barclays products, services and overall banking experience.
The development of Your Bank presented as much of a challenge as an opportunity. Namely, how do you make people stick around voluntarily to explore a website dedicated to everyday banking issues – not normally a high interest category? And how could Barclays show that it was and is acting on the ideas suggested? The branded content on the Your Bank website therefore needed to both enthrall and inform.
Video content held the key to answering those particular challenges. Its power to move, amuse and persuade people was used by Red Bee to tell real stories about the changes Barclays had made and is still making now.
Working with Barclays, Red Bee identified the stories with the most tangible and demonstrable human impact – the ones that would lend themselves best to video. Wherever possible, these stories were told from the customers’ perspective, not that of the Bank. This was important for two reasons. Firstly, it placed customers and their needs at the heart of the story, demonstrating Barclays’ determination to put customers first in all of its thinking. And secondly, it made the stories more instantly relatable to the audience.
Your Bank launched with a series of these stories in the format of online films, some showcasing initiatives that Barclays had already implemented to make everyday banking better as a result of its customers’ feedback, others
demonstrating Barclays’ commitment to listening to and understanding its customers. The first batch of films included:
- Blind stand-up comedian Chris McCausland introducing Barclays’ new audio cash machines for blind and partially sighted people. Chris gives us some insight of his previous difficulties with talking machines.
- An animated story of how a customer and a Barclays Personal Banker created a new type of high visibility debit card for visually impaired customers.
- The experiences of Barney, a Barclays Branch Manager, who spends an uncomfortable day in an “age suit” that simulates the physical restrictions and difficulties of being elderly or infirm, to research branch accessibility for older customers.
- The story of Ken Bellringer, injured in Afghanistan, now on placement with ￼Barclays as part of its AFTER programme for ex-military personnel.
- John Dennerly, a country park manager in Scotland who is deaf, introducing Barclays’ new sign video service.
- The story of Sam, an older customer empowered to get online through a joint initiative between Age UK and Barclays.
- And a series of films featuring Barclays “Ideation” workshops with customers to generate ideas for making everyday banking better.
The online videos were placed within the integrated Your Bank online platform (customised and managed by Dare) and on the Barclays YouTube channel. The launch was supported by print, outdoor and digital advertising driving consumers to the Your Bank website.
Within the first three months of launch:
- 449,000 interactions
- 283,000 video views
- 26,900 poll votes
- 3,693 ideas submitted by consumers
The Your Bank branded video content is playing a key role in persuading the public that their ideas count and that it’s worthwhile to submit them. The high level of interaction and idea submission is an indicative measure of audience engagement for Barclays, which can only help them improve customer service for the future.
Michael Reeves, Business Development Director, Red Bee Media
Thanks to Your Bank and its branded video content, Barclays is now able to have an ongoing conversation with customers – learning from them, listening to them and demonstrating the changes it’s making for them.
The ‘Your Bank’ platform and its content represents a very public commitment to listening to our customers and showing how we are going to act on change, big and small, which can make their lives easier.
Sara Bennison, Managing Director, Marketing Communications, Barclays UK Retail Bank
This case study was originally published in the 2014 Edition of Best of Branded Content Marketing (BOBCM), co-edited by Justin Kirby and Greta MacFarlane.