Updated: Apr 14
How can you build a loyal customer community? And what's common between Monzo and BrewDog? Teresa Bartaseviciute, Marketing Manager at Automated Payment Transfer, discusses what made the communities of the iconic UK challenger brands such a success and how you can replicate it at your fintech.
I must admit I have an obsession with companies, which are truly market a.k.a customer-led, especially if they achieve it by building a strong community. Surprisingly, there are not that many very successful examples of truly customer-led companies as it involves heavy investment in understanding your customer and willingness to quickly change and switch priorities together with the market. With globalisation and digitalisation, the velocity of the change becomes faster and faster making a quick change difficult even for agile teams.
In a few recent years, I have been following two brands, which, in my opinion, nailed what it means to be consumer first: UK’s fintech darling challenger bank Monzo and BrewDog with its Equity For Punks scheme.
Let’s discuss what made their communities a success and how you could replicate it at your fintech.
Monzo vs BrewDog's communities
Monzo Users’ Community Forum (Consumer Banking category) - Monzo is one of the pioneering app-only challenger banks in the UK with over 4 million customers. The Monzo Community forum is an online place where Monzo users come to help build the bank of the future by offering their feedback and learning about new features. The forum can be accessed by the public at https://community.monzo.com/.
BrewDog’s 'Equity For Punks' investor's community (Fast Moving Consumer Goods category) - BrewDog is a popular independent beer brand and international chain of pubs. Their community of 145,000 (and counting more) direct investors in BrewDog managed via BrewDog.com online platform and phone app.
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Innovative companies love early adopters
Rogers explains a specific type of early user: the innovator who adopts an innovation before it becomes mainstream and does not need peer pressure to make their choice. Both BrewDog and Monzo are considered to be companies, which brought innovation to their categories. Therefore, there was a need to create an online feedback system (community), where early adopters, who are natural problem solvers, could express their opinion on how to improve the product while being actively prompted by assigned company moderators.
Build loyalty with crowdfunding
Monzo’s strategy is to make its customers owners of the company instead of traditional advertising. BrewDog also launched the “Equity for Punks” crowdfunding campaign to utilise the loyalty even further by investing in the company and get their help to advertise the company which they now are themselves part-owners.
Use person to person communication
The forums of both companies are answered by CEOs and members of the team with the real names behind the avatar.
Match tone of voice to your target market
Monzo uses their customers' language to build a connection with the brand: it is informal, uses active voice and emojis. The BrewDog brand voice is rebellious and encourages its followers to rebel and change the world together with the company.
Make your consumers your product shapers
Monzo’s approach is community-driven innovation. Its users can submit their needs to an online forum. These are then consolidated into a roadmap publicly available where users can vote on features they'd like to see. The posts that generate the most discussion in its forum are also included at monthly meetings.
Create a cult for positive change
BrewDog is devoted to building a passionate community to whom the BrewDog brand represents not only a good beer but much deeper values to identify with - such as passion, innovation and sustainability.
About the author: Currently, Teresa Bartaseviciute is working as a marketing manager at Automated Payment Transfer Ltd, a London-based fintech specialising in bank-to-bank (Bacs) payments. Teresa has 6 years of B2B and B2C marketing experience in the UK in
FMCG, events and technology industries, where she led marketing teams to deliver creative, branding, marketing, and promotional initiatives while ensuring organisational growth and expansion. Teresa Bartaseviciute is also studying for a Masters degree in Data Analytics & Marketing at Arden University (2020-2021), studied Advertising & Marketing Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Lithuania in 2009 and holds The CIM Award in Professional Marketing.
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