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

The Next Web Conference 2022

Company Goal: Elevate TNW Conference’s profile among founders, companies and investors in the global tech industry. Strengthen TNW’s earned media reach. Facilitate partnerships.

Clarity’s Challenge: Overcome a crowded in-person events market post COVID, as well as navigating media, partners and participant attendance in a world of ever-changing travel restrictions.

The world is changing with the speed of tech. And The Next Web Conference has its fingers firmly on its pulse. For over a decade, Europe’s leading tech festival draws thousands of tech enthusiasts, companies, investors and startups to Amsterdam every year. After the COVID lockdowns, The Next Web was ready to scale up in 2022. Freshly acquired by the Financial Times, they were looking to expand the reach of their flagship conference. The communications objectives were as ambitious as the TNW team: to grow brand awareness and raise the profile of TNW in the industry; to increase media attendance and participation; to increase coverage of speakers and partners before and during the event; and to build relationships with partners and expand the startup and investor reach.

After the COVID lockdowns, The Next Web was ready to scale up in 2022. Freshly acquired by the Financial Times, they were looking to expand the reach of their flagship conference. The communications objectives were as ambitious as the TNW team: to grow brand awareness and raise the profile of TNW in the industry; to increase media attendance and participation; to increase coverage of speakers and partners before and during the event; and to build relationships with partners and expand the startup and investor reach.

The runway was tight – a mere two months before the opening keynote and nothing in place. Clarity Amsterdam doubled down and delivered.

The client not only loved the results, but the whole Clarity experience. The Next Web will continue to work with us to make 2023 an even bigger success. Clarity will keep working with TNW to further position them as a global brand, with media partnerships, event and comms support and other activities for their thriving tech community.

Read More...

what3words

Company Goal: ///redraw.global.maps

Clarity’s Challenge: Help Airbnb Rent a Reindeer

How do you Airbnb a remote yurt in Mongolia that moves multiple times a year, has no street address, and and is only accessible after a 3 day trek via reindeer? No, this isn’t some horrific future SAT question – this was an actual challenge posed by Airbnb as they searched for the next great adventure travel experience. Thankfully, what3words was the only tech startup in the world capable of answering that challenge. Using their global addressing system that divides earth into 57 trillion 3m x 3m squares, each with its own 3-word address, what3words unlocked an entirely new adventure travel experience for millions of Airbnb users practically overnight.

Now comes Clarity’s (arguably) more difficult challenge: how do you get travel writers, whose technology coverage doesn’t go much deeper than “10 best action cameras for your next vacation,” to care about the deeply technical problem of creating a new, geocoded, addressing system?

While we’d love to say we dropped a bunch of reporters in the woods of Mongolia with food, water and a compass (we’ll do that next time), our strategy for this campaign came down to good, old-fashioned storytelling and a hefty dose of grit.

We saw the Airbnb news not just as an opportunity to tell the story of remote global addressing, but also the explosion of adventure travel across Airbnb, the need for sustainable tourism, and how what3words helped preserve these people’s traditional ways of life. As a result, we garnered attention across travel media, both in the US and internationally.

We also leveraged the Airbnb news to meet with some of the world’s top technology press in different verticals critical to the what3words mission: automotive, smart cities, industrial logistics and more.

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Entrupy's "State of the Fake" Report

Company Goal: Protect borders, businesses and consumers from counterfeit products

Clarity’s Challenge: Solidify Entrupy’s authority in the anti-counterfeiting conversation

Manufacturing and selling counterfeit products is something done in the shadows, and very little about how this underground market works is actually known. While the general public may occasionally get news of big seizures of fake handbags and sneakers by customs officials at ports of entry, these stories don’t tell us anything about the market itself.

Entrupy, on the other hand, had terabytes of data on counterfeit accessories. Clarity proposed that we leverage that proprietary data to position the company as more than just experts on identifying fakes. We could position them as the foremost authorities on the entire (black) market.

Creating a report with absolutely no model to work from was no easy task. The first step was simply getting all the data together. Not knowing what would and would not yield interesting findings, we compared year over year, state over state, brand over brand, and as we parsed the numbers, we began the painstaking process of identifying the noteworthy and interesting numbers around which we could derive insights.

Once we’d spliced, diced, inspected and detected the nuggets of gold, we began tackling challenge #2: turning all of this data into a report. Clarity and Entrupy collaborated to identify trends and provide high-level insights that would add something fresh and valuable to the conversation about product counterfeiting.

The full report, designed by the Clarity team, was released on World Anti-Counterfeiting Day, June 6.

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