ABOUT

When most people think of exciting, disruptive tech, the last place that comes to mind is the staid world of banking. Resistant to change since cavemen chiseled the first deposit slip, the banking industry’s reputation of glacial innovation is well earned. Of course, this was borne out of some necessity: in years past, one of the scariest words a bank customer could hear (besides “overdrawn”) was “disruption”. Banks were meant to be secure, stable, trusted, and unchanging.

Of course, that all changed during the global financial crisis. Consumer confidence in their banks crashed almost as hard as stock markets. At the same time, smartphones were slowly taking over the world and reinventing industries left and right. Over time, these factors led to the rise of the “Challenger Banks”: startups armed with the technology, ability, and desire to work directly with their customers to build the bank of the future.

The UK served as the global hotbed for these challenger banks and, in 2015, one in particular captured the hearts and minds of young brits: Monzo. Initially launched as a grassroots movement and crowdfunding campaign, in 4 short years Monzo grew to over 2 million customers in the UK, adding 200,000 each month (the fastest growing bank in the country – challenger or established) and a valuation well over £3 Billion. Even in the land of Unicorns, Monzo’s meteoric rise read like an unbelievable fairytale.

In 2019, firmly established as a household name in the UK, Monzo turned its attention to the United States. While the consumer profile looked similar to their rabid fanbase at home, this “New World” represented a return to square one for Monzo. Faced with the challenge of how to best introduce itself to American press and consumers, Monzo turned to Clarity San Francisco.

From there, Monzo’s senior leadership worked closely with Clarity to establish a press strategy and messaging fully tailored to the US market. Despite their reputation overseas, Clarity understood that stateside media would not simply roll out the red carpet for Monzo’s arrival on American shores. After all, the US banking industry has shown itself particularly adept to fending off challengers in the past, and press are not unaware of the battle ahead for Monzo.

To combat this skepticism, Clarity developed a strategy for Monzo that included in-person meetings for Monzo CEO Tom Blomfield with press across the spectrum from the Wall Street Journal, to TechCrunch, to Reuters. For each briefing, messaging was closely researched and tailored to speak to the benefits of Monzo while understanding the nuances of each publication and the difficult questions the team would likely face.

As a result, the briefings (and resulting coverage) could not have been more positive on the future prospects for Monzo in the US.

 

Here were (just some) of the results:

 

Results

Monzo’s CEO met in-person with ~15 reporters in the US ahead of launch, for hour-long, one on one chats with Bloomberg, CNBC, Business Insider, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and more.
Secured 30+ pieces of US and international coverage for Monzo’s stateside launch.
Established long-term relationships with Tier 1 press that continue to pay dividends to this day as Monzo follows a similar grassroots approach to US growth as they did in the UK.

selected press

UK digital bank Monzo takes first steps into U.S. market

Fast-growing British digital bank Monzo is launching in the United States throug...

UK app-only bank Monzo launches in the US to take on America's financial giants

British fintech start-up Monzo has selected Los Angeles as its initial U.S. base, and is looking to expand to other cities.

Monzo Takes a Step into the US Digital Banking Fray

UK digital bank Monzo takes first steps into U.S. market. It hopes to attract an engaged early-user base which will provide feedback to help tailor the company's offering

U.K. Digital-Only Bank Monzo Comes To The U.S.

Fast growing UK digital-only bank Monzo is coming to the U.S., rolling out a debit card and mobile app to the first 2,000 early adopters.

UK digital-only bank Monzo is launching in the US — but getting American customers to sign on may be a challenge

Monzo joins neobanks like Chime that are bringing digital-only, no-fee banking to the US and hoping to disrupt the consumer banking industry.

UK fintech darling Monzo will try its luck in the US

The digital bank has big ambitions, and plenty of competition.

U.K. challenger bank Monzo aims for U.S. charter in broad stateside push

Monzo has been adding roughly 200,000 users a month in the U.K., and is hoping to replicate that success as it launches in the U.S.

more of our work

Kadence International

Company Goal: Kadence wanted to transform its website from a brochure site into a marketing machine – with the key goal being inbound lead generation in the form of briefs and RFQs. Looking to capitalise on clear opportunities to improve SEO and UX, Kadence partnered with Clarity.

Clarity’s Challenge: We needed to build a best-in-class, UX-focused B2B website that sits at the heart of global digital marketing driven growth for Kadence International, improving SEO results and lead generation.

The Solution

Strategy, discovery & definition

The project began with a thorough digital strategy, discovery and definition phase of work, incorporating various workshops and sessions with key Kadence stakeholders across multiple different time zones.

Initial work in this phase included a competitor review and an audit of existing analytics. We also worked with Kadence to define lead qualification stages across their buyer journey.

SEO

Driving organic search results was a big focus for this project so SEO was another key element of the strategy, discovery and definition phase. Our SEO team carried out SEO keyword research, planned technical & onsite SEO requirements and shaped an initial content plan driven by SEO data. This ensured that strong SEO foundations were built into the website from the very beginning, and that when the new site went live it was set to make SEO gains immediately.

UX

As part of the design process, the Clarity UX & design team mapped out user journeys for the new Kadence site. For each stage of the buyer journey, Clarity listed anticipated user needs/actions and married these to opportunities for Kadence. Using scenarios for key user personas, Clarity then created diagrams for routes through the site as a visual aid to the development of the content map and wireframes.

This strategy work was of crucial importance, laying the foundations for a new site that would deliver marketing results.

Design

Kadence provided brand guidelines which informed the design of the new website. Our design team created a dynamic and engaging site that showcases Kadence’s service and sector specialisms, whilst also communicating their ‘global boutique’ proposition and regional capabilities.

Web development and integrations

In order to accommodate Kadence’s global target market, the site is primed to make use of multilingual functionality, allowing Kadence’s global marketing team to translate and localise content in certain areas of the site.

The site features a Knowledge Hub that supports searching, filtering and gated content downloads, which is home to Kadence’s library of resources and proprietary research reports.

The site is also integrated with the firm’s existing CRM and email marketing tools. This has allowed Kadence to clearly track the opportunities associated with the website and establish a clear ROI.

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Currensea

Company Goal: Raise awareness of Currensea’s SME card as the best payments option for small businesses trading goods and services from abroad.

Clarity’s Challenge: Pivot Currensea’s consumer offering (a travel debit card) to a B2B offering in the midst of COVID lockdown.

Currensea is a travel money debit card which enables customers to spend directly from their main bank account when abroad, without charges or fees. Launching its consumer offering in January 2020, three months before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down international travel, it had to pivot to survive. So the team created a card for small businesses who wanted to continue trading internationally as cost effectively as possible through this difficult period. Currensea partnered with the B2B experts at Clarity in order to launch the new proposition.

The campaign, called Britain Back in Business, was a three-pronged approach to stagger Currensea’s B2B launch, driving momentum and leads over time and reflecting how Currensea’s product could power-up SMEs and the wider economy during a challenging time.

Clarity’s approach highlighted the product’s unique value add, generating awareness and leads for the company, which despite operating in the heavily affected travel sector, has not made any redundancies or put any staff on furlough, and continues to go from strength-to-strength. The campaign also made public the specific issues faced by the nation’s SMEs, showcasing Currensea as a trusted advisor for customers during a difficult time.

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CHEQ

Company Goal: To protect brands from falling prey to ad fraud and undesirable placements

Clarity’s Challenge: Create a distinct, ownable narrative

Cheq enlisted Clarity to help position the company’s technology for preemptive brand protection. Clarity helped to create an ownable narrative under the banner of “Autonomous Brand Safety,” with messaging and proof points that support CHEQ’s differentiated approach.

With the aid of a team of advertising experts, Clarity unleashed an aggressive content marketing campaign to advocate for the  idea behind the narrative and support it with data.

The team also helped to develop an advertising program that turned former NBA all-star Dikembe Motombo into CHEQ’s “Chief Block Officer”

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