28th November 2020

“How the power of purpose can help grow your brand” In conversation with Pete Markey, Chief Marketing Officer, TSB Bank

Continuing our mission to discover what makes a brand loved, Laura chatted to Pete Markey, Chief Marketing Officer at TSB Bank. Once a legacy brand from the 1980s, today it has been transformed into a modern bank with more than 5 million customers.

Tell me about your brand and why people love it.

“People use us because our whole purpose is around money confidence, for everyone, every day. That came out of some work we did looking at who the customers are that we serve and that we want to serve more of. What’s interesting is that money confidence is all about life confidence. If people are confident with their money, they feel more confident to make the right decisions in life.”

What 3 words best describe your brand?

“Nice, Modern, Challenger – or it could be The Nice Bank.”

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

“I think the Net Promoter Score is really helpful and the customer advocacy metrics that tell you if someone is likely to recommend your brand and product. I also look at brands I admire to see what they’re doing. Friend referral schemes are good because it takes a lot to recommend a brand to other people. We also measure colleague advocacy through our staff engagement survey – if you can get it to a place where staff love working with the brand, they want to recommend it to their customers. It’s a really powerful place to be.” 

What has helped your brand grow?

“The first one is being purpose-driven. So actually, deploying on purpose, being consistent with the purpose and messaging and keeping that centre stage. It’s not just communication, but how we design products and services that has been really key. The second is a culture thing. People genuinely care about the business and its customers. And I don’t think that’s true of every business.

And thirdly, we’ve been working with Pride of Britain and have just extended that partnership for another five years. It galvanises people – they unite around the idea that there are selfless people who want to help others. It’s been a great thing to be associated with and a really important part of our brand story.”

“There’s a beating heart in TSB. Some businesses are like machines, where it’s hard to find a pulse. But here, people genuinely care about the business and its customers.”

How will you grow your brand in the future?

“Firstly, deepening customer relationships through our data and technology. We’re investing in the Adobe Experience platform which is a great bit of cloud-based tech. It will allow us to have real-time conversations with customers and drive the right kind of outcomes for them. The second is about ongoing enhancements to the customer experience. I’m responsible for all of TSB’s digital sales journeys and will continue to enhance, evolve and improve that. And thirdly, you’ll see us do a lot more around demonstrating the modern face of TSB and what our purpose is about, including Pride of Britain.”

What would you tell yourself if you were starting the business today?

“If I look at the early days when I first came to TSB, and how we galvanised the business around us, I would have energised the things that I know we’re easily energised around now. As marketers, you’ve got to do more than just do the communication for a business. You’ve got to help make the purpose real, from the culture to the products, the services and the environment in which those products and services come to life.  If I was advising anybody, it would be to get around that purpose really quickly, create energy and make it real every single day.”

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

“For me, the key is listening to customers and understanding their changing needs. The most successful brands will be the ones that can maintain their relevance in people’s lives. It’s ultimately about customer experience and that includes the right products, the right service experience and the right timing. Our job is to make things as easy or straightforward for customers and as frictionless as possible.”

What’s your favourite app or tech right now?

“There’s a brain training app called Elevate which tests your knowledge of Maths and is really good. From a customer experience point of view, I also like the Boots app. You can see your advantage card points and it’s great on a practical level.”

What’s your best business book/podcast recommendation?

“Mark Evans, the Marketing Director of Direct Line, has a brilliant podcast called Oh the Places we’ll Go. Every week he has an amazing array of guests from the marketing and advertising industry. It’s fun, very, very clever and has become essential listening.”

If you enjoyed reading this, download our new guide, 7 Ways to Make your Marketing Unstoppable and discover more fascinating insights, direct from some of our best-loved brands. To get a hard copy just send us your details here.