It’s hard to stand out, ain’t it? With so many players in the Fintech scene, we are in a situation where something pretty just isn’t enough anymore. Customers expect more to use their time and effort on something. So what’s the solution? Stand out by offering new value and have a place in people’s lives – in addition to being pretty. But how? Know your customers.

Whether you’re just a bank offering basic bank services or some other player in the Fintech scene, you are among the many that are offering the same thing. And switching from one service provider to another is easy in this digital era, but if the alternative offers nothing new, why bother. I’m sure most within the scene are trying to come up with something unique that will win the customers on their side. But how can you come up with anything that provides any value if you don’t know who are you doing it for and what they value

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I know who the customers are?
  2. Do I know what they value?
  3. Do I know what they need?
  4. Do I know where they need it, why they would need it and where?

If you are thinking “Yes, I know the answers to these questions”, then there’s two possible reasons for that. Either you have actually done work with the customers to know them or you are just making assumptions. And if you’re making assumptions, I’d advise you to stop that and start the process of understanding your customers.

There are only a few things you can take for granted about customers. Customers are by nature interested in personal security and security of their closest ones. Anything related to personal security, whether it be food, shelter, wealth or just the idea of being secure, will be appealing to the customers. But when we are operating in a market where most of the operators are appealing to the security needs that’s not going to make you stand out.

So what might they need and value? Well, it depends on your customers. They might need a solution for investing and they value ethical investments. They might need someone to take care of everything for them and to make as much money regardless of the ethical factors or to focus their investments on a specific industry. Some might own land, some might own art, some might want to drive an eV and they might want to get all that while sitting on a bus. Just a few random examples, but I think you get the picture.

Luckily you don’t have to know every customer and their individual needs and values. We humans are individuals, but we form groups with similar needs and values. These groups are the foundation of customer segmentation for your service. We have for example car owners, young and old people, students, those that sleep with a teddy under their arm and those that love sushi.

You might think that the way it works is that you create something and then find the right group that needs the think you provide. Put out ads or something like that to lure them. Sure, it might sometimes work like that, but most often it doesn’t. It works the other way around. You find a group with needs that you can solve and values that you can accommodate. That’s the way you stand out and that’s the way you offer something valued and needed.

So start doing work with the customers. Interviews, group talks, facilitated workshops, analytics, observations etc. and continue to do so on a regular basis. It might sound that getting the information needed is hard since the methods above might sound unfamiliar to you, but it really isn’t – just use the right methods and someone who knows how to use them. All you have to do is know the question you want answered and choose the method based on that. And it’s not that time consuming either. When using the right methods, it’s effective and fast. So no long ethnographic studies, but instead pin-pointed research to specific groups.

So if you are even after reading this still going to continue with your assumptions, I wish you luck. You’ll need it. What you don’t know sure will hurt you. And to those that are doing or will be doing more work with their customers to understand them, I wish you all the success you deserve.