How can long-term savings providers build propositions that engage Generation Snowflake?

Whether they’re traditional firms or recent market disruptors, long-term savings providers may want to be ready to make some big changes. Generation Snowflake, the focus for this blog series, has some specific preferences where brands are concerned. And currently, savings propositions are wide of the mark.

Our previous blog explored the five key characteristics that snowflakes look for in the brands they favour. Let’s take a look at what each of them means for long-term savings propositions.

Relevance

The challenge is to make propositions relevant to snowflakes now, as well as in their distant futures. In addition to rewarding them for saving, providers must demonstrate that there’s no binary choice to be made between putting money away for tomorrow and enjoying rich life experiences today. How to achieve that?

  • Establish a market-leading ecosystem of rewards partners to recompense snowflakes when they hit milestones.
  • Encourage a micro-savings culture with a modern take on ‘if you look after the pennies, the pounds will take care of themselves’. That could, for example, be through a rounding-up savings system where £4 spent on lunch is rounded up to £5, with the additional £1 transferred straight to savings. That way, saving becomes painless (and automatic). Fintech start-ups like Acorn and Moneybox are already gaining traction with this kind of offering. Snowflakes would prefer propositions such as this to be linked to their current account, where pre-invested savings can be easily viewed alongside the account balance, and easily invested. A ‘current and future’ account perhaps?

Personalised

Snowflakes expect a proposition that’s highly flexible, and tailored to their life. Propositions geared to pre-defined lists of events defined by a baby-boomer 20 years ago won’t work. Snowflakes want to define their own life aspirations and save towards them.

Two capabilities are critical to bringing this proposition to life:

  • Advanced analytics including, for example, predictive analytics that actually forecasts customers’ future behaviour and allows the savings provider to communicate with them in advance.
  • A single view of all financial assets by embracing the opportunities that blockchain presents.

Accessible

Snowflakes expect to engage, view and transact with their long-term savings provider how and when they choose. In effect, they want to define their own footprints in the snow. To bring this to life, providers must:

  • Deliver an omnichannel service, but be mainly app-based.
  • Be predominantly digital (with minimal human interaction).
  • Offer non-judgemental advice (mainly through intelligent automation / ‘roboadvice’).
  • Be available 24/365.

Engaging

Like a snow crystal, whose shape changes with the temperature, Generation Snowflake demands an adaptable proposition. Snowflakes want a more engaging, ongoing service with frequent touchpoints to prevent them losing interest and ‘floating away’.

They’ll expect the same amusement they obtain from other non-financial apps, so gamification will have to be a standard feature. Ideas include developing a ‘time-hop’ future view to show what life could look like in 50 years. Or perhaps a ‘prudence monitor’, where ‘Dad’s’ voice is programmed into the app to warn when rash purchases look imminent.

Of course, an underlying hygiene factor enabling all this is a seamless, high-quality digital user experience.

Proactive

Snowflakes want long-term savings firms to foster more of a ‘push’ culture, constantly looking out for the best deals for individual customers. Providers could make this happen by fielding virtual financial advisors who truly understand snowflakes’ priority objectives and act proactively to secure them. Because these advisors would be running off algorithms, there’d be no reason for them to stop searching out the best deals. It would bring real 24/7 value-add.

Capturing snowflakes for the future demands an avalanche of change by long-term savings firms. Right now, there’s a wide gap between their existing propositions and the market-leading customer engagement that’s almost taken for granted in retail.

To win in this space, providers (disruptors and traditional players) must truly embrace and integrate advanced analytics, intelligent automation and market-leading digital capabilities across the whole customer engagement lifecycle. Let the snowstorm begin!

Thanks for reading.

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