How Skipton Building Society is giving meaning to money

Powerful insight-led storytelling and emotive positioning evolves Skipton Building Society as the UK building society that enables customers to give more than just money.

Skipton, the UK’s fourth largest building society, has launched a new TV campaign as part of a long-term strategic and creative brand platform, developed by leading integrated agency, Jaywing.

Insight-led storytelling

The brand’s platform is centred around ‘meaningful giving’ – the idea that when your money is in a good place, you can afford to give to those you love in life, in the heartfelt moments that matter.

“Working collaboratively with Jaywing to co-create our strategy, the first task was to unearth what’s really important to our audience in our new post-Covid world”, explains Lynne Cook, head of marketing at Skipton Building Society. “And it’s something that’s more important than money. It’s their loved ones, the ones who will be impacted the most – whether it’s helping their children get on the property ladder, or giving them a helping hand with their careers, it's the mums, dads and parents of this generation that are worrying the most”.

The creative insight – that, when you already have the material things in life, you want to use your money to make good things happen for your family – inspired the brand platform of ‘meaningful giving’. Having built strong audience recall and memory structures over the last three years, the development of the brand’s strategy moves Skipton’s journey on from the rational space of raising awareness and brand knowledge; it evolves the positioning from ‘helping people find their good place since 1853’ to a more emotive one.

Consumer insight showed that the core market falls into the more affluent midlife demographic. These people, whilst financially secure, have a lot on their plates. They are part of the squeezed middle generation who have a lot of personal responsibilities, often worrying about who will care for elderly parents, concerned about their children who are starting out in their adult lives, as well as wanting to make sure they have the finances in place to retire comfortably.

And Skipton Building Society, being different from other building societies in that they have an important and growing business in financial advice, makes more affluent customers a natural target — they are an older generation of empty-nesters, approaching or at the peak of their earning power, or even retired, with the funds to take advantage of Skipton’s advice.

Tapping into changing mindsets

Jaywing and Skipton Building Society were able to use insights to identify how the pandemic has redefined people’s attitudes to their finances in far-reaching ways. The campaign taps positively into the nation’s changing mindsets, and the simple truth that giving can mean more than money.

Karl Stones, executive creative director at Jaywing, explains: The pandemic has prompted us all to re-evaluate our priorities. And for many, nothing matters more than sharing big life moments with the people closest to us. Forced into isolation, with weddings and house moves cancelled, universities shuttered and business struggling, people have felt powerless.

“Now that we're returning to some level of normality, those big life events are front and centre of people's minds. So, what better reason to save than to have the power to give your son the career he's always wanted? Or to help your daughter find her dream home? When you have savings, you have the power to make those moments happen.”

TV - a potent channel for telling an emotional story

Skipton Building Society has a national presence, with branches from Aberdeen to Plymouth, so it needed TV to reach a broad national audience. “We wanted to tell an emotional story of why the brand matters to its customers, and TV is the most potent channel for this”, explains Stones.

Produced with world-renowned TV production house, Knucklehead, the ads were directed by filmmaker Michelle Coomber with Academy award-winning producer Rob Lewis providing the soundtrack. The campaign broke on TV this week and also includes national press, digital and social activity.

Stones adds: “We knew that the most emotionally charged way to speak to our audience was through the needs of the generations relying on them, which has in turn enabled us to craft beautiful stories guaranteed to resonate.”

Whilst emotive positioning is not a new trend, heightened feelings, along with the nation’s changing mindsets, makes digging deeper into what audiences really care about more important than ever. There’s greater opportunity for brands to make positive associations that enhance perceptions and empathy, alongside increasing recognition that the most effective work touches people’s emotions.

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