The financial market is slowly recovering from the 2008 financial crisis, and J.D. Power and Associates found a significant improvement in retail bank customer satisfaction in 2013. But Forrester’s own research shows that brand confidence lags behind as financial service marketers fail to win back customer trust, particularly among the all-important Baby Boomers. 

In May 2013, Forrester conducted Consumer Technographics® research with 4,575 US online adults to uncover the drivers of a successful 21st century financial services brand. This research is part of Forrester’s TRUE brand compass framework designed to identify which brands are winning the battle for consumer mindshare and to help marketers build a brand that is trusted, remarkable, unmistakable, and essential (TRUE). This framework has two core components:

  1. The TRUE brand compass ranking gives a snapshot of a brand’s resonance — the emotional connection a customer has with a brand. Is your brand a trailblazer — winning consumer mindshare — or astray — lost its way and connection to consumers? 
  2. The TRUE brand compass scorecard reveals a brand’s progress along the four dimensions. Is your brand strong on being trusted? Weak on being essential?

Forrester’s TRUE brand compass evaluation shows that seven out of the 10 financial service brands surveyed ranked as laggards — defined as brands that are falling behind on the brand building journey. The research also showed that brands are particularly weak among Boomers.  

Boomers’ higher financial services usage — from mortgages to credit cards — makes them an attractive prize for marketers. But financial services brands have to work hard to reengage anti-establishment boomers with their brand. Older Boomers in the 58-to-68 age group consistently ranked financial services brands lower than Millennials. None of the brands surveyed achieved leader status with these Older Boomers, and many — from American Express to E-Trade — ranked in the lowest segment of astray — defined as a brand that has lost sight of its North Star and must recalibrate its direction. In contrast, Millennials in the 25-to-33 age group are overall more positive in their rankings of financial services brands, with nine of the 10 brands ranked as either a leader or a follower.

To learn more about financial services TRUE brand leaders and laggards, check out my new report "Financial Service Brands Fail To Earn TRUE Consumer Trust."