Loyalty Pitch Stories - Nationwide FlexOne Film Card
I'm feeling a little David Brent like this morning as I reach over and dust off my copy of the IPM Award Winners 2015 brochure.... You know the episode of The Office where Brent says "What that old thing? Who's put that there? as he gently lays his treasured magazine article, in which he features on the rubbish bin by the desk in his office so he can collect it safely later off camera.
Anyway... for those of you who have a copy it's on page page 13, Financial & Professional Services category... Nationwide FlexOne Film Card wins GOLD and Lloyds Bank wins SILVER for Club Lloyds... I won't lie it was a little bit awkward as both were our clients and we had launched both programs. Incidentally, our work on Nationwide also went on to pick up a BRONZE for best new product launch - across all categories (page 29).
Enough of the "Brentisms"
What made this an awesome pitch?
There were a number of things that contributed to this being one of the best pitches I've ever worked on.
I have a number of strong beliefs when it comes to responding to a brief, the first is that no one individual wins a pitch. Pitches are generally won by high performing teams. This doesn't necessarily mean your team need to be superhero's or that you need hoards of them, but it helps if they work in harmony and are all focussed on delivering a shared strategy to the "best that it can be" delivered.
The Nationwide win, and the Club Lloyds win, in fact all of our wins during that period were all team wins - this is a people business and at that time I had one of the best teams around me.
I can't remember exactly, but the lead times from pitch to delivery was quite small. Something like three months. In many ways shorter lead times help you when responding to a pitch, because it makes you focus of what can be delivered in time and therefore helps you dismiss options based on the available time line. Equally it helps you focus on what can be delivered.
Clearly the budget is confidential but it was a reasonable budget based on the brief.
The brief was also straight forward, they wanted to grow the number of 11-17 year olds opening up a Nationwide FlexOne account. We had volumes and a budget, the rest was up to us... we had a blank sheet of paper.
We listened, more than we talked - we asked questions
When we went to pick up the brief, we listened more than we talked. We'd already done our home work on the brand and what FlexOne was all about. Their main proposition being around educating young people about their finances "Helping young people take control of their finances"
We noticed that Nationwide had commissioned a number of video's on the YouTube channel that were aimed at educating the audience in question. All were well produced and had good content and production values.
We talked about how important financial education was to them as part of their proposition - the strategy already started to form as we talked.
"The last time we checked, if you want to find 11-17 year olds, you'll find them in schools"
That was the opening slide of our presentation. It was the conclusion we arrived at in the car on the way back from Swindon to pick up the brief. In fact we pretty much had the whole strategy and approach wrapped up by the time we got back to the office.
Nationwide already had a large share of Youth Savings balances but it wanted to also get a large share of Youth Current accounts (11-17) to ensure full banking relationships later in life. The solution we devised was program to engage with this audience both directly and via schools in a fun and educational way.
This is what we created
Customers taking out a FlexOne account immediately received a 25% off VUE cinema discount card (specially created for the program), giving two people unlimited discount to any film for a a year. After all, one way to educate young people to feel comfortable with money is to give them an opportunity to save on doing something they love with their friends.
At the same time, we developed a Nationwide schools competition, The Big Money Movie Pitch. Students 11-14 from over 5,000 schools were invited to pitch a two minute short film on the topic of managing money - a film for young people, by young people. The winning entry was then made into a professional short film and was shown at an exclusive schools film premiere and used by Nationwide to educate young people as part of its on-going library.
Whilst we had developed the idea and strategy early on - we needed an open minded cinema partner that was willing to create a totally new / bespoke incentive product, source and put on educational screenings and host and help judge a nationals school's competition.
We were lucky that we had VUE as a client. We took them through the pitch and they then worked alongside us to develop both elements.
One of the quickest decisions ever, approved and appointed to deliver the program in less than 48 Hrs.
Originally the program was only going to run as a tactical promotion, however, it was so successful that it got extended into a much longer program.
Financial education was at the core of Nationwide's proposition, so we put it at the core of our response
It was also important to reward new customers with something that would add value to their life whilst at the same time make them feel more confident with money
By incorporating schools, not only did we amplify the message with this audience, but we reinforced the commitment to financial education with the Nationwide brand
Whilst it was a simple and focussed strategy, it wasn't necessarily easy or straightforward to deliver but we achieved and launched the program both on-time and within budget
Commercially it over achieved in terms of number of new accounts delivered
From a brand point of view it was also a bonus to win an IPM Gold and Bronze