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Creating and Launching a New Brand in the Highly Competitive Fintech Market

Household appliances and electronics
client
tools

Euromonitor

SimilarWeb

Google Trends

Statista

client
tools

Euromonitor

SimilarWeb

Google Trends

Statista

content

CUSTOMER

DODAM (Ukr. “We will add”) is a Ukrainian fintech company that specializes in issuing loans online.

CHALLENGE

  • Create a brand for a new player in the niche of microfinance institutions (MFI);
  • Reach the TOP-10 position for a new brand among existing market players.

INITIAL DATA

Previously, the client already had the experience of developing a similar project, but locally and offline. Our task was to create a competitive online brand and ensure its entry into the TOP-10 positions of the microfinance institutions niche in Ukraine within a year.Since the task included numerous components, several Promodo departments took part in the project:

- Research & Development,

- Brand Content,

- UX/UI Design,

- SEO,

- PPC Management.

We turned to the Promodo company for the development of a comprehensive marketing strategy, UX and UI design of the site, in fact for "help in the birth of our brand". We should note that we were very satisfied with this cooperation.In fact, we worked as one team, listened to each other every step of the way and made sure to quickly take into account all visions and wishes (if they were relevant, of course) and went to the benefit of a future goal. I would also like to thank Oleksandr Prysiazhniuk, Yuriy Pustovoitov, Kateryna Husachenko, Pavlo Chenchyk, Nastya Melnyk, and the naming, brand book creation, creative creation, and media planning teams. In fact, separately for everyone.

Oleksandr Kanyuka

CTO of DODAM Project

SPOILER

Features of the MFI niche, which we discovered in the process of solving the client's problem and which affected the final result of the project:

  • The MFI market is oversaturated. There are 1,020 financial companies in Ukraine, and approximately 100 companies of the total amount provide microcredit services to individuals;
  • Today, neo-banks are a powerful competitor of traditional banks and other credit institutions;
  • It is impossible to attract the attention of customers due to the features of the product because the MFI market is standardized by terms (%, discounts, credit term, etc.);
  • A low level of customer loyalty to MFIs (11% of users of this type of service did not take a loan from the same organization more than once);
  • A high level of advertising noise in the niche.

SOLUTION

To create a new brand in a highly competitive niche, we offered the client to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy. It became the foundation for planning all further steps for the brand promotion on the market.

The project was implemented in 2021 and went through the following stages:

In this case study, we will consider the key points of each block.

Market and Customers Analysis

Recently, financial stability has become a desirable goal for many Ukrainians. However, the number of received credits and loans increased significantly with this trend.

During the research of the MFI market, we have found:

  • how customers usually solve their financial problems;
  • which brands they usually turn to;
  • how these brands act online;
  • what conditions are offered to customers.

What did we research during the market analysis stage?

  • We have studied the impact of COVID-19 on the MFI market.
  • Conducted secondary office research based on data from international and Ukrainian research companies.
  • Analyzed and segmented competitors in the field of microcredit.
  • We studied the active channels of traffic attraction of competitors and their dynamics of development online.
  • Analyzed data on competitors' mobile applications.
  • Compared services and special deals for online channels.
  • We analyzed the communication of competitors with customers.

Considering the fact that we worked on the project in 2021, we took into account data from previous years. For example, in 2019, the microcredit market grew by 50% compared to 2018.

We found that the market grew by 82% in the first quarter of 2020, but fell by 17% after the start of the quarantine. However, in the third quarter of 2020, the market returned to the indicators of 2019.

$27.48 BILLION was the total loan portfolio issued by banks in 2020. Distribution of the loan portfolio of Ukrainian banks.Source: Final report "Lending market research in Ukraine"

Impact of COVID-19 on the MFI Market

In the course of the study, we discovered how the crisis caused by the coronavirus affected the market*.

  • The pandemic has decreased the solvency of a typical borrower in the global market.
  • MFIs focused on lending to "reliable” borrowers.
  • The need for a detailed analysis of the borrower's portrait has increased.
  • The share of mobile and the use of loan applications has increased.

*Sources: Ministry of Finance, Report of the Independent Association of Banks of Ukraine "Research of the lending market in Ukraine".

Traffic Analysis

To determine what share of traffic a new brand can take, we analyzed the leaders of the niche and identified the TOP 5 players with traffic of more than 300,000 visitors per month. They receive the largest share of online visitors, which is more than 70%.

Share of traffic received by competitors by segment.Source: SimilarWeb, analysis period: March 2020 - February 2021

Mobile Applications Analysis

We managed to learn more about the user experience of the target audience by analyzing user preferences for competitor applications. It enabled identifying services and communication channels familiar to the audience, through which our client would be able to build communication.

Products Analysis

In order to offer a competitive product for the target audience, we analyzed the products of 5 competitors according to 8 criteria.

Based on the results of the research, we found that competitors offer almost identical credit terms. The differences are minimal. They mainly refer to loan repayment terms or the interest rate per day.

Services Analysis

We compared the main competitors by the level of service. As it turned out, the top players differ only in the presence of offline branches, presence in social networks and presence in the App Store.

Competitors Analysis using Censydiam

Censydiam is a marketing tool that helps to understand consumer motivation, find a communication niche and make strategic decisions about product positioning.

We paid special attention to the analysis of the communication of competitors because this is one of the possible points of difference in the market for a new brand.

In order to determine what needs of customers the competitors focused their attention on, we conducted an analysis using the methodology Censydiam:

  • compared advertising messages;
  • analyzed graphic and video materials shown for the Internet users.

SLOGANS OF COMPETITORS:

COMPETITORS ACCORDING TO СENSYDIAM*:

*some market players are presented on the graph

The results of the investigation showed us the current situation in the market and allowed us to introduce the first hypotheses, which we revised at the stage of the preliminary investigation.

Qualitative Research

We conducted a qualitative study to identify the target audience's expectations of the product, perceptions and values, together with our partner New Image Marketing Group.

After talking with the respondents, we received data for segmenting the audience based on the motives for taking a loan.

Based on the identified motives, we divided the audience into three segments.

They differ in terms of credit situations, attitudes towards money, feelings when there is a lack of funds, criteria for selecting MFIs, alternative loan locations, etc.

Among the features that we learned about the target audience of MFIs at the stage of qualitative research:

  • take a microloan less seriously than a bank loan;
  • Ukrainians take more loans than they think (they do not perceive some transactions as a loan at all);
  • negative information about MFIs does not prevent them from taking loans;
  • online loans are popular because there is no need to "ask" for money from an individual.

Quantitative Research

In the course of conducting quantitative research, we determined the potential audience of MFIs in Ukraine. Besides, a decision was made to study the market more broadly and research not only the audience that has already interacted with competitors, but also those who have never used the services of MFI, but borrow elsewhere.

Based on the number of people, the average amount of a single loan and the frequency of loans, we determined the size of each of the segments:

Based on the results of the analysis, we found out that segment P can potentially bring 2 times more revenue* in the MFI compared to segment B.

LIST OF MFIS WITH LOYAL BORROWERS (BORROWED MORE THAN ONCE):

*Source: Quantitative research, 1204 answers of survey respondents, %

In the survey, respondents answered the question: "Which MFIs did they borrow from more than once?"

Therefore, the audience of MFIs has a low level of loyalty to brands on the market: borrowers take loans from different players, looking for better conditions for themselves. They return to the leaders during the period of promotions or discounts.

Why Do Borrowers Choose from Several MFIs?

Customers are rational and look for benefits in obtaining a loan:

  • compare interest rates;
  • look for special deals;
  • do not neglect promo codes.

In the survey, respondents were asked to indicate the MFI brands they know.

In such a way, we discovered that there are 2 leaders in the market that capture the largest share of the target audience, namely MoneyVeo and ShvydkoHroshi.

Consumers' Emotional Associations with MFIs

Through open-ended questions to the respondents, we managed to obtain data on images, associations and emotions concerning MFIs. During the stages of branding and positioning, we relied on the deep needs of the target audience.

An interesting fact is that some of the respondents identified the Moneyveo brand as having a positive association with the category. It means that the MFI niche already has its household name.

Emotions felt by consumers when they take a loan from an MFI

During our research, we have found out that people talk about MFIs reluctantly. Usually, respondents were shy to talk about loans because for them it is a solution to problems.

The loan brings both joy and fear to consumers. This is a decision that helps to solve the problem quickly, but thoughts about the repayments also bother.

Customers' Emotions When They Do Not have the Opportunity to Repay the Debt on Time

Analyzing the results of the research, we realized that we were working with the industry which may cause uncomfortable emotions for Ukrainians.

This category has very low loyalty, no emotional attachment is formed to brands. Usually, borrowers choose based on rational calculations and loan conditions.

Interaction with MFIs causes mainly negative emotions (fear and anger*) among customers because it is a solution to a problem that is uncomfortable to talk about. However, the possibility of applying for a loan gives a feeling of confidence.

*Source: Quantitative research, 1204 answers of survey respondents, %


The target audience is not measured only by current borrowers. At the same time, the brand can work on the brand awareness development among new groups of potential customers, since anyone can become a user of this niche unexpectedly.

Brand Positioning

Having information about the activities of competitors and consumer preferences, we moved on to the development of brand positioning.

Positioning is a brand promotion tool that helps define the place the brand occupies in the minds of consumers and what will differentiate it from the competitors.


Next, at the intersection of these values, you need to occupy a free niche, which will allow the brand to become visible to the potential target audience.

As a result of detailed information processing and team brainstorming, we identified the main pain of customers that can be solved by the company.

Based on this data, we determined the position of the brand and chose the Sensydiam vector, which had the fewest TOP competitors. The chosen vector is the opposite one to vitality and satisfaction. Such an approach will allow you to stand out from the competition at the first stage due to the message, tonality and creatives.

The main message of communicationー We will add to the balance.

BRANDING

Company name ー DODAM (Ukr. “We will add”).

Why DODAM?

Adding is the main motive that drives the representatives of the target audience.

We're shifting the emphasis from "getting money into debt" to the fact that it's an add-on, namely a small piece that's missing.

Logo

The logo is based on balance. How is this possible?

Comparison of Competitor Logos

The brand is clearly distinguished from competitors due to the typeface and color scheme.

Tone of Voice

Tone of Voice is a style of communication with the audience.


The brand communicates in a friendly but confident manner. It respects everyone and communicates non-familiarly but in live language.

Examples of Use

Website

The peculiarity of the MFI niche is that the main and last point of contact between the client and the brand is the website. At the same time, most of them are similar in type and color.

Examples of Competitors' Websites

Our task was to make the customer distinguish our brand from others when visiting the site. It is important that the color decision matches the overall mood of the brand and conveys it at the level of small elements such as banners and buttons.

Main Page of the DODAM Website
https://dodam.com.ua/uk/

Videos

Media Planning

At the stages of market analysis as well as qualitative and quantitative research, we received information about the channels of communication of competitors with customers. We found out where the customers receive information, and what applications and services they use.

Based on this data, we developed a media plan that used a set of tools to achieve two goals at once: namely brand awareness development and traffic increase to the site.

Brand Awareness is the level of awareness of the target audience about the brand, and its ability to remember and recognize it in different situations and circumstances.


Main communication channels of competitors:

The choice of tools for the implementation of the media plan is based on:

  • Types of audiences with which interaction is planned (cold, warm and hot audiences);
    Cold audience refers to customers who may be potentially interested in a product or service, but at the moment they do not need them.
  • tasks at this stage.

Results

The DODAM brand was launched in December 2021. It provided an opportunity to receive demand for its service and actively accumulate a client base.

It’s rather complicated to stand out in the market of MFI because all products are similar. That is why we chose the option to stand out among competitors through communication.

The identity, logo, tone of voice, everything should be the same and convey a single message.

When launching DODAM, we chose the path of differentiation through communication and decided to bring balance not only to customers' lives but also to all elements of the brand.

Summing up, we can say that we managed to create a brand that can take a leading place in the MFI niche. However, the war in Ukraine will probably have a significant impact on the period of achieving the goal.


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