Friday, September 25, 2009

Branding for Financial Sites

I'm reading a marketing classic called "Positioning" right now. I've already read it once but think I need a refresher, as I'm trying to think hard about PeerFX's branding efforts.

I did some research the past 2 days on other online financial sites and how they brand themselves. I saw the usual, green, white. (uh oh. those are the colors that we were thinking of too). The key thing that I noticed was the tag lines for their logos.

Here are a few:
"The Currency Site"
"The World's Favorite Currency Site"
"Foreign Exchange & International Payments"

After reading that I really can't blame people to saying that our industry is boring. BLAH.

Some of the claims made in those tag lines are similar to the corner store that says their pizza is "famous".

I love our tag line - Changing Exchanging

The one thing is that since we've commercialized the platform we saw that the people using our service aren't the ones we had expected. We had designed the website for a younger crowd in their 20's, and here we were attracting groups in their 30's, 40's, even 50's. We figured it's because the youngsters aren't transacting enough to see significant savings.

What this means for us is that we need to go through a mini-rebranding process, while we can still afford to make the changes before a push with our national marketing efforts. Any ideas? What does PeerFX make you think of now? What should we change in order to attract the right customers? Which are males age 30 - 55 who are owners or management in a small-to-medium sized business with US business relations? We also have consultants selling services across the border getting paid in USD but have Canadian do we add spice to our brand so that people remember us (and of course use our service)?


MoJo said...

Hi there, interesting viewpoints and I do also find the catchphrase PeerFX has to be a very good one as well.

I stumbled here actually because I was using P2P to watch Dragons Den, and remembered the only good idea I ever saw on the show ... PeerFX (I had to search for the name again). So I look through to see how you guys have developed and must say your on a good track and proud this is a Canadian operation. I'm 24years old, and so I fit the demographic that really never thought too hard about currency exchange, because my transactions are well below the level for this to be worthwhile but I can give my viewpoints on how to engage the younger crowd better.

* Create a "Pay with PeerFX" campaign and launch with it a payment API. Imagine the independent eBay powersellers that sell using other methods besides just Paypal ... they could use this API to allow there consumers to pay using PeerFX which could offer better rates than Paypals delayed conversion rates.

* Make it easier to Wire Money, I know this isn't the business you guys are in but if I could make an account and add the Bank accounts of my relatives living abroad then we can have a truly P2P based currency exchange. You guys are just making an extra step to getting that money to my relatives. A key part is these accounts have to be stored in the database, because I don't want to re-enter the values next time I re-login this is crucial as it allows for building a .

* As my last point stated, this is missing the Peer component of things. Make a community posting wall, a running ticker of current rates (your system must have a real time exchange rate ticker)

* Add a incentive for making two PeerFX members to trade with each other, as it is now there is no reason to encourage the person you send money to to also join ... Skype has positively reinforces people to join as calls between members is free. Also build communications tools to bridge the divide between those members ... like a instant message system where in I can send "Hey grandma I got the $100 you sent, thanks."

* Both old and young believe in collective bargaining, so tell us if a very large user base improves on the exchange rate if not maybe you guys should scale back on that 0.50% you take as the user base increases.

Now for attracting the older crowd, I would say emphasize on what is important to the over 30 crowd. Investing, and Saving for Retirement ... how PeerFX plans to improve on that is another matter but those are key areas to make an impact in. Also business owners should be able to have access to historic rates, a savings calculator, and a rate band ($10,000 @ 0.50%, $100K @ 0.45%, $1M@ 0.43%). Also aren't there limits to how much you can send at one time ... before your popularity increases maybe this should be noted on the FAQ.

Lastly what happened to Robert Dunlop? He isn't part of the team anymore as he isn't listed in the leadership section of the PeerFX website? Just wondering as he seemed like an integral part of the team in the Dragons Den spot.

Florence said...

Hi Mojo, thanks for all the great comments. Definitely we've looked into some of your suggestions already and it's only a matter of time before people start paying with PeerFX online. As with all other businesses though, we need to take the steps to build up to that leap :)

On your point about wiring money, we actually do have that service available right now and for one low fixed fee. We also allow you to store payout account information, so just like you wanted, you can select a payout account that you already entered and away you go. Simple and easy.

Yup - we have thought about a community posting wall, but from a marketing perspective, we want to hit a certain number of users first so that the community wall postings will be frequent enough to make it useful for all our users. We are also looking into the live exchange rate feed now, and expect that to be done soon.

YUP - you are absolutely correct on the large user base getting a better rate. The only reason why we have the PeerFX rates posted on our front page now is because we don't have the required volume to cut back on our rates yet.

With regards to limits on the amount that can be sent at one time, right now we haven't limited this in our system, and this is because if a customer decides to send a large volume, we are obligated to report the transaction details to the regulatory bodies, but other than that we have the freedom to send different amounts as long as the details are clearly recorded.

As for my past co-founder, he is now working in a different province and decided to take on a different route. This happened soon after we aired on Dragons' Den so it's been about 2 years now that I've taken this on.

Hopefully this clarifies a lot of the questions you had in your comment and thanks for all the suggestions - keep them coming!


Dobes said...

If you find some good info on that group, let me know ... we'd love to get some intel on that same demographic - cross-border businessmen ...