N26: Be bold and stand out from the crowd
Updated: Apr 14, 2021
Have you ever wondered what makes a successful fintech marketing strategy? In our "How they did it" series, we look at how some of the most successful and exciting fintechs in the world have approached marketing in their early days. Today's post tells the story of N26 and their #nobullshit branding campaign.
N26 challenged the status quo with their bold #nobullshit outdoor campaign.
Build a unique personality for your brand and stick to it Dull, boring, tasteless, disconnected – these are words usually associated with traditional finance marketing. Facing lower consumer confidence and increasingly stringent regulations, most financial companies still seem to be stuck in their product marketing comfort zone and speaking the same language. You can hardly differentiate a finance brand, especially in the retail banking sector, where everyone seems to be repeating the same messages over and over again: free checking, good rates, low fees, reward programmes, good service, etc. So, even those customers who are most willing to change or switch, eventually don’t.
Determined to challenge the status quo and make a real impact, N26’s team decided to make a bold move, by attempting to change the common narrative and create a unique personality for their brand with their #nobullshit campaign.
The campaign’s manifesto said:
‘There is a lot of bullshit flying around these days. It can be hard to filter through what’s true and what’s, well - bullshit. That’s where we come in. We here at N26 are frankly tired of all the bullshit that comes with banking. It’s time to change that. By cutting out extra fees and keeping costs low, we want to create a bank that’s uniquely useable, wherever you are. And one that acts and talks like a human.’
The key word here is ‘human’. As mentioned earlier, in the current competitive and highly-advanced economic landscape where everyone offers cutting-edge technology and user experience, one possible way to stand out from the crowd is to focus your strategy on
gaining customer trust and building strong relationships. But to do this, you will have to be more than just consumer-focused. You will have to become people-first and show your human side.
This is exactly what N26’s aimed to achieve with their #nobulshit bank campaign; to get closer to their customer target segment of millennials and speak their language. Some customers and critics, of course, might find it rather blunt and controversial. However, one thing is for sure, the campaign did attract the public and industry attention, and positioned N26 as a true fintech disruptor.
N26 is a leading German mobile bank offering a paid-for and free current accounts across Europe. The company was founded in 2013 by the Austrian duo Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal. They launched their pilot product in 2015 and received a full banking license from the ECB and Bafin in 2016. Since then, N26 has acquired more than 5m customers across 17 European markets.
So far, the company has raised a total of $800M funding, with more than $100m raised in its latest Series D funding round.