How simplicity drives our business” In conversation with Jasper Martens, Chief Marketing Officer, PensionBee

What makes a brand loved? To get to the bottom of that question, Laura spent some time talking to Jasper Martens, Chief Marketing Officer at PensionBee.  He’s made it his mission to bring pensions kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

Tell me about your brand and why people love it.

“PensionBee is a mobile pension provider. We are making pensions simple, but also engaging, by combining pensions from your previous jobs, all in one new online plan that you can manage on any device you want. The simplicity of the brand is what customers really love ­– taking something really complicated and fixing it in under five minutes. In a nutshell, that’s what we’re about.”

What 3 words best describe your brand?

“Simple, innovative, confident.”

How do you think you can evidence that a brand is loved?

“What stands out for me is how many people are recommending PensionBee to their friends. I think that’s a very good indicator that we’re doing something right – along with a great retention rate of 97%. The other one that goes quite deep is people’s behaviour. People are logging in 10 or 12 times a month on their mobile app to see their balance, to engage and contribute. For me, those are all indicators that people clearly love the product.”

What has helped your brand grow?

“For us, it’s loving our customers. If you love them, you make the pension product simple to understand and entice people to engage with their pension. So having customer love at the heart of your business is the first thing that helps you grow your brand. Of course, it’s also about simplicity and trust. And finally, Instagram has definitely helped us grow. With an Insta story we can show a problem – and then offer a solution within a few seconds. It’s job done. We’ve also invested in meaningful relationships with the key journalists. They know we have our finger on the pulse and ask us to comment on things that happen in pension-land. So we’ve become an authority on the topics we want to have authority over.”

“It was always about loving our customers – because that means you want to take care of them and build a product that suits their needs. Other pension providers aren’t doing that.”

How will you grow your brand in the future?

“I’m excited about launching our first fossil fuel free pension in the UK. It will give our customers a great return – and make the planet a better place too. We’ve also just launched another pension designed to make it easier for the self-employed to contribute to a scheme. We’re doing more through our app – downloads have shot through the roof recently! And we’re using YouTube to share videos of customers using PensionBee, taken on their own phones. It helps us reach other customers – and it’s genuine.”

How can we make financial service brands more well-loved?

“Where I often see financial brands going wrong is that their headline might sound great, but then follows so much jargon. Lots of disclaimers, risk warnings, compliance or ineffective copy. It looks stuffy and too hard to handle. So for me, keeping something really simple is the magic ingredient. If we didn’t make it simple, if we did offer you 500 different plans to pick from, can you really see yourself scrolling through them on the train? It doesn’t work.”

What’s your favourite app or tech right now?

“I am still a massive Monzo fan. I have been for two and a half years actually. It was nerve-wracking to suddenly deposit my salary into their account. But two and a half years down the line, I’m using their app on a daily basis and I’m in love with Monzo still. And maybe I’m a bit late to the party, but I’m now controlling my heating and my lights with my voice. I connected my voice speaker with my Nest thermostats and smart lighting – it’s a bit of tech that I really seem to enjoy.”

What’s your best business book/podcast recommendation?

“Not jumping too much on the bandwagon, but I really do like the FinTech Insider podcast from Simon Taylor and crew. I tune in almost every week. It’s very fintech-y. Sometimes it’s a bit geeky. If you want to get up to speed in terms of what’s going on in FinTech Land then for me, it’s the podcast to go to.”

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