Here are five reasons why the names can be a key element to consider:
1 No one knows what the product’s name means
Case in point: HELOC. What the heck is a HELOC? Only those inside the financial industry even know it’s a Home Equity Line of Credit, yet, the term is used on all sorts of marketing materials meant for the general public. These products are a nice revenue stream for financial institutions, but are those institutions throwing up roadblocks by using jargon instead of something descriptive, meaningful, aspirational?
Our clients love to show home improvement projects or vacation imagery in the HELOC ads we create for them. And those are often the very things on which people spend their HELOC money. So maybe the name could reflect those types of situations: Dream Big or Go Do Stuff. OK, so those might be a little too lighthearted for most credit unions or banks, but maybe they get some ideas flowing for you!
2 The account’s name isn’t relevant
Let’s take a look at “checking accounts.” Handwritten checks are no longer the main way people make transactions. According to the most recent Federal Reserve study on payments, debit cards and ACH each outweigh the check transactions made in the United States. That same study tells us using checks to make payments has fallen by more than 4% each year for the past six years, so the trend is likely to continue down. Most of the people who write checks are over 55 – heck most people in their 20s don’t even know how to write a check according to a WePay study.
So what could we name these accounts instead? Think about what the members and customers are doing with these accounts. They’re paying bills, buying products and services, completing transactions. Could any of those terms be considered (paying, buying, transaction)? Could we work off of the opposite account – “savings” and go with something like “spending”? These are some more straightforward, practical ideas. Your credit union or community bank might decide to go with something more closely related to your brand, culture, personality.
3 Stand out from your competitors
The names we’ve talked about so far, HELOC and Checking, are found throughout the industry. So imagine how your community bank or credit union can make a statement with a name that is more descriptive and relevant to the target audience. It is so hard to differentiate from other financial institutions, having a different name can be the start to setting your bank apart. This is especially true when the product name works hand-in-hand with your branding. If your product names are easier for people to understand, they will likely feel a closer connection to your brand overall, that you are less of an institution and have more of a human side.
4 Make a connection to your target audience
Product names are a great opportunity to make a connection to your target audience. The buzz these days is to find ways to appeal to The Millennials. What if you take your data about that demographic and apply it your product names? Or maybe you are a credit union with deep roots in a community known for something special, like a regional crop (peaches? cotton? here in the south) or a long-standing industry (Nashville = Music City)? Playing off of those influences can show your target audience your level of commitment to that community.
5 Be more direct with your account name
With all of these tips, we do want to caution against being too vague or too cute with the name. We have seen some products fight to gain traction and often a name change can make a difference. Maybe you’ve heard of, or even have in your own portfolio, Adventure Loans? These are typically loans available for RVs, ATVs, and motorcycles. And why that name might be an easy way to group the items together, when an ad just lists that name and not much else, it’s hard for the audience to understand what is being offered. Maybe the name might stay for the purposes of the internal documents, but the advertisement lists the specific items? Or at least shows the items very prominently.
Marketing departments are usually tasked with creating the product names. It’s easy for other departments to toss the task out in a meeting with lots of impromptu brainstorming. Just encourage everyone to take a breath, then use your skills and data to research, plan and create. If you need some help with these tasks, or even just a sounding board during the process to provide some encouragement, please give us a call (256-714-6596) or shoot us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org)!