Brand Tracking: metro bank
May 2012 – early steps
Just two years after the brand was founded, we spoke to its PR Manager – a position which at that time reported directly to the CEO. At that early stage, it was all about raising its profile in the media and embarking on “step-by-step” expansion as it looked to increase its 11-branch portfolio to 45 by mid-2014.
march 2013 – who let the dogs in?
Ten months on, another PR Manager for the brand told us that a total focus on customer service and experience was Metro Bank’s main point of differentiation. For example, it was laying on snacks for customers’ dogs in-store, to both portray a friendly image and create stories that would translate well to press coverage that could communicate its USP.
June 2013 – London's Local
We caught up with the brand’s Product Communication Manager to talk about its marketing to younger audiences and the need for Metro Bank to “grow up with our customers”. In addition, he said that the brand had tripled its lending to business customers over the previous 12 months and was looking to position itself as “London’s local bank”.
October 2014 – pushing customer service
We discussed the brand's recently launched mobile payments app – part of its aforementioned push on customer service to take on the traditional high street banks. It had also recently launched a seven-day on-site call centre at its London head office.
January 2016 – mobile money
The brand’s Comms Manager told us about its use of “drive-thru” branches as a further point of differentiation, looking to show its unique emphasis on what the customer wants. At this point, the brand counted total deposits of £4.4bn, up from £3.2bn at the end of 2014.
March 2016 – London Stock Exchange listing
The bank announced that it had raised £400m equity capital ahead of listing on the London Stock Exchange, giving the brand a valuation of £1.6bn.
October 2016 – first profit
As the brand reported its first ever quarterly profits – with revenue up 78% year-on-year – we updated our clients on the key marketing contacts they should be looking to connect with.
January 2017 – a bank but not a bank
We spoke to the brand’s new Head of Comms, who had recently joined from rival Nationwide. In line with what the brand's marketers had consistently told us about improving the customer experience, she said that the brand wanted to be seen by customers as “a retailer that happens to have found itself in the banking industry” – with the goal of overcoming some of the negative connotations consumers have of the financial sector. She also said that Metro Bank needed to exploit social media more effectively in the future as it grew to 60 locations by the end of the year.
July 2017 – reviews coming
The brand's Head of Comms exclusively revealed that it's planning to review its two incumbents in early 2018 and is on the lookout for shops that are more “social-savvy” – an area she’d identified as needing improvement in January. She also said that the brand’s gearing up to launch an online current account to break out of its London and South East base, and wants to build the kinds of emotional connections with consumers that sports and entertainment companies have.
Tracking brands with Pearlfinders
Winning major accounts takes time, planning, and requires a thorough understanding of the changing priorities in the companies you’re targeting. Pearlfinders tracks developments at top spending brands, allowing clients to build a full picture of the real challenges being encountered, new faces joining the marketing team, and any major new developments affecting how your prospects are approaching marketing.