Tag Archive for: Financial Services

Case Study By Industry | Financial Services & Banking


The Diverse Segments team of a major Financial Services & Banking brand has a dedicated focus on understanding the specific needs and preferences of consumers to help inform culturally relevant and authentic in-market executions. While the team partners with many market research vendors, they came to Collage Group to add depth to their insights across multicultural and generational consumers in the U.S.  

While the team had developed many successful dedicated advertising executions across the years that speak to cultural nuances, the Financial Services & Banking brand approached Collage Group with a new challenge. They wanted to prove that cultural insights can be applied to create campaigns that widely resonate across the total market, as well. 


Collage Group has supported many brands in this effort with more than 10 years of quantifiable data evaluating more than 300 brands and ads. The data overwhelmingly shows that culturally resonate advertising featuring a specific segment can and will resonate across broader audiences if done in an authentic, relatable way. This is counter to the thinking that brands face a “trade-off” when deciding between a culturally nuanced dedicated ad aimed at a specific consumer segment and a more generic total market execution.

Collage Group partnered with the Financial Services & Banking brand to recommend a solution that would apply the CultureRate:Brand and Ad evaluation methodology in depth across its brand and ads. The result aimed to illuminate that it is possible to break the “genpop vs. targeted” trade-off specifically among the financial sector, helping the Financial Services & Banking brand escape the trap of being generic or forgettable. Further, the solution included key takeaways for the brand to understand where and how they rank among their competitors, and make informed decisions for future ad and brand investments.

CultureRate:Ad Evaluation

Through CultureRate:Ad, the Financial Services & Banking brand’s ads were put to the test as part of a suite of rigorous methodologies that helped brands navigate the rapidly shifting consumer landscape. The ads were evaluated on two metrics: the Ad Cultural Fluency Quotient (A- CFQ) and Backlash, both of which are supported with an exhaustive range of diagnostic metrics.
    • A-CFQ is Collage Group’s proprietary KPI that uses four factors to optimally predict high brand favorability and purchase intent.
    • Backlash metrics take conventional brand favorability a step further by quantifying the degree to which an ad can “flip” perception from positive to negative or vice versa.
Combining A-CFQ and Backlash metrics for target segments revealed the dynamics that made for the Financial Services & Banking brand’s ads successful, or unsuccessful, as compared to their competitors.

CultureRate:Brand Evaluation

Through CultureRate:Brand, the brand was evaluated on the Brand Cultural Fluency Quotient (B-CFQ), which measures how well brands are resonating with consumers. It assessed the Financial Services & Banking brand along six key cultural dimensions: brand fit, relevance, memories, values, trust and advocacy. The B-CFQ Threshold then helped illuminate for the Financial Services & Banking brand whether their B-CFQ score was high enough to lead to increased brand favorability and purchase intent.


As a result of the CultureRate:Ad and Brand evaluations, Collage Group provided key insight into how the the Financial Services & Banking company’s brand and ads are performing across each diverse consumer segment – Hispanic, Black, Asian and NH-White consumers – as well as by Hispanic Acculturation level.


The findings – which evaluated the Financial Services & Banking company vs. its financial service competitors – showed, that while it may be harder for those in the financial space to develop cultural connections with consumers overall, there are still clear winners that have broken through to resonate with multiple segments simultaneously.


Evaluating how the Financial Services & Banking brand performed within each consumer segment, as well as in direct relation to their key competitors, enabled the Financial Services & Banking brand to understand their competitive positioning and make informed decisions for future ad and brand investments. This work was then shared across the Diverse Segments team to illuminate, and take action on, where the brand was winning and identify opportunities for growth.

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Case Study By Industry | FinTech
Global Corporate Revenue: $7 Billion

Insight in Action: Improving Online Experiences to Win Hispanic Consumers

Learn how the world’s leading brands are applying Collage Group’s cultural insights to drive enhancements in the online financial experience that improve cultural resonance.


Believing Hispanic consumers preferred in-person and in-language tax preparation and advice, an online tax preparation company’s Senior Marketing Manager was eager to deepen the company’s understanding of this rapidly growing consumer segment.


As part of Collage Group’s Work to manage the complex digital experience in financial services, the Manager provided strong hypotheses to inform the project scope. The Collage Group team synthesized these insights with other member inputs to evaluate the strength of the language hypothesis and place it in the context of new consumer insights on privacy concerns and institutional trust.

As a result of identifying areas of shared value across the data and insights among membership, the Manager was able to combine these insights with other Collage resources to enhance the product experience.


Collage Group provided information and insights critical to improving the consumer journey to better link highly tactical issues specific to tax preparation with broader group traits among Hispanic consumers. 

Collage Group insights improved the online customer experience by linking tax preparation issues to Hispanic group traits.
Category-level detail asked for by the client was a useful, practical starting point for connecting with specific demographics.


More deeply understand Hispanic preferences for in-language and in-person tax advice.


Syndicated cultural intelligence research on how to manage the complex digital experience in financial services provided the foundation for member hypothesis testing that could be connected to a larger understanding of Hispanic consumers.


Collage’s deep dive into cultural insights allows brand leaders to interpret the category-level detail into broader strategy and application of the insights.


Immerse in Hispanic cultural experience


Webinars and presentations on Hispanic Cultural Traits revealed how the cultural traits of Warmth and being Tuned-In could serve as a roadmap. This helped enhance the company’s strategy to motivate changes in category-specific preferences in the context of understanding and engaging the overall segment.


Putting Insights Into Action

Instead of being satisfied with shallow insights into the Hispanic segment that equated “in-person” and “in-language,” the Manager found that two factors could be leveraged to improve the Hispanic online experience, including: (a) a tendency to trust institutions more than other demographics, and (b) the fear of not making mistakes when preparing taxes in English.

To activate more effectively, the Manager integrated these category specific findings with Collage insights into the Group Traits of Hispanics, particularly the Warmth and being Tuned-In traits.

The Manager realized that Hispanic adoption of an online financial experience would depend on clearly showing that fully bilingual online representatives and audit support could reduce fear of making mistakes. Further, these offerings could be positioned at key phases of the product experience to drive upsell of audit services.

In addition, the Manager recognized that these services needed to be positioned in ways that appealed to the Warmth group trait, which aids in connecting respect for institutional authority with the desire for friendly interaction.

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Capture Financial Service Consumers with the Power of Digital

Today’s consumers are digital-forward when approaching their personal finances, and brands need to keep up. Learn how multicultural and youth segments are driving online adoption in financial services, and what your brands can do to win their attention, consumption, and loyalty.

Fill out the form to view a clip from our webinar, Capture Financial Service Consumers with the Power of Digital.

Transitioning financial products and services online is an industry imperative. Online services have three powerful advantages over brick-and-mortar:

  1. Online brands can offer better services to more people at lower cost
  2. Online brands can better understand the specific needs and preferences of individual consumers
  3. Online brands can leverage the digital innovations transforming the financial services industry

Succeeding in the digital arena requires not only providing products and services geared towards these three advantages, but also communicating these advantages to consumers. To do this right, financial institutions need to understand the attitudes, preferences, and behaviors of the diverse consumer segments underpinning online adoption in the first place.

In late 2019, we spoke with our membership to understand their most pressing questions about complex digital services in the financial services space. Based on these discussions and our own institutional knowledge, in January 2020 we conducted a nationally representative survey with 2,176 respondents. We over-sampled for household incomes over $50,000/year, to analyze with precision the preferences of relatively affluent consumers. We also over-sampled for Hispanic consumers, across acculturation levels.

What we see from the market is that consumers grapple with three significant barriers when they approach financial services online: data security, institutional trust, and financial literacy. By digging deeper into how these challenges affect consumers across generational and multicultural segments, we identified five actions brands can take to help consumers overcome these challenges.

The 5 Actions to Drive Digital Service Utilization in the Financial Services Industry:

  1. Combat Worry by Educating Consumers on Steps They Can Take to Protect Themselves
  2. Win Consumer Attention by Clarifying the Ways You Help Them Fight Identity Theft
  3. Build Trust by Emphasizing Real-World and Virtual Interactions with Relatable Advisers
  4. Use Language Capabilities to Appeal to Multicultural Consumers Interested in Multi-generational Financial Planning
  5. Offer a Learning Ecosystem Consumers Will Want to Use

Our insights help drive some of the world’s top brands. Talk to us about the benefits of our methodologies.

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Diverse Representation in Ads Is Not Enough to Win The “New Wave” of Diverse, Young Americans

Across 2019, we analyzed almost 150 ads, gathering almost 100,000 surveys and 20 million datapoints. Using this data, we developed the Cultural Fluency Quotient, a new metric to predict brand favorability and purchase intent, and ran machine learning on the data to derive powerful new insights into what matters for every demographic.  Read on for critical insights into the creative strategy you need to win the New Wave.

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Keys to Culturally Fluent Creative for the New Wave

In a climate of increasing tribalism exacerbated by social media polarization, advertisers must appeal to the most complex mix of demographics in American history while steering clear of unintended backlash.  Every quarter has its walk of shame for one or more brands, most recently Peloton for its widely reviled holiday commercial “The Gift that Gives Back” that tanked the stock by over 10% in early December 2019.

As many members know, we have been building a capability we call CultureRate:Ad leveraging a database of consumer response to ads. Across the last 18 months, we have been conducting research based on a new way of looking at brand favorability called Groundswell and Backlash, and applied machine learning to reveal powerful insights into how people from different cultural backgrounds process ads.

As the database grows, our ability to derive deeper insights and develop more predictive metrics increases.  For this study we developed the Cultural Fluency Quotient (CFQ), a weighted combination of three factors that best predict post-view brand favorability and purchase intent, which is then indexed for each demographic.  We ranked ads on CFQ for each demographic and ran machine learning on the top and bottom performing ads to derive the factors that best predict both high Cultural Fluency and what to avoid.

One key insight here is to go beyond performance norms.  We therefore also look at how important a norm is to high CFQ.  After all, it makes no sense to focus overly on how well an ad’s visuals perform (for example), if visuals are not a driver of cultural fluency.  For this reason, we use our machine learning results to derive importance scores an dozens of attributes of ads.  We then plot the results on a 2×2, as shown below.  The winning ads do well (horizontal axis) on what matters (vertical axis).

When we run the numbers, the findings are similar for every demographic. The best ads tell a simple story using ONE multicultural perspective, with attention to authentic texture.  These ads avoid the trap of representing every demographic at once, and ensure the viewer is not confused by the relationship between the product and the story.

The top two insights from this analysis imply:

  • It’s Not Just Casting: Creating common ground is not just “representation.”  You see that in the chart below that People & Characters are not as important as Story and Message. Diverse representation is necessary but it’s only price of entry.

  • The Story is Everything: Storytelling is by far the most impactful way to build cultural relevance. No story, no cultural fluency.

Few ads better exemplify this point than US Banks “Hard Work Works: Flying Home.”

Traditionally, our society has always considered the younger generations to be less aware of financial risk.

According to the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy and Homeownership (CPS/HVS) survey, the U.S. home ownership rate in 2017 was 64.2%. However, this rate varies drastically when looking at home ownership rates by ethnicity.

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A 2016 study by the Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association (LIMRA), estimated that 48% of U.S. households have an average coverage gap of $200,000. This unmet life insurance need adds up to over $12 trillion in total market opportunity. So how can brands capitalize on this? We examine the roadblocks that multicultural consumers face when it comes to buying life insurance, as well as opportunities for brands to connect with them across the purchase journey – pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase.

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We often think of checking and savings accounts as commonplace, but in reality over a quarter of the U.S. population doesn’t have either one. This translates into 67 million individuals being financially underserved in America. These consumers are referred to as “underservedbecause they’re not fully leveraging traditional financial offerings of a bank.

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The mandate to drive sales and build loyalty among Hispanic consumers holds true across all industries. This is felt acutely in the financial industry. Driven by economic, cultural, and language factors, Hispanic consumers significantly under-index on banking status and financial products usage. This represents not only huge business upside for financial services companies, but also a human opportunity to increase access to historically underserved consumers.

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