Best Practice from The Lounge Group
Many high street banks overlook the needs of 16 to 21 year-olds who have chosen to kick start their working life, rather than go to university. As a result, Alliance & Leicester launched a young workers account in 2006 with good, but limited success.
In 2007 with renewed vigour and a refreshed product, they wanted to launch the Premier 21 Current Account and aim to achieve maximum potential. Traditionally banks offered free iPods and free travel cards to attract young people – one offs, but The Lounge Group wanted to create an emotional connection with customers by tapping into their passions.
The challenge was to raise awareness of the Premier 21 Current Account amongst 16-21 year olds and their parents in the UK, significantly increase the number of 16-21 year olds opening Premier 21 Current Accounts from 7000 to 14 000 by December 2007 and create real stand out and differentiation of Alliance & Leicester from its competitors
The Lounge's strategy was to harness the lifestyle and aspirations of the target audience and make Premier 21 the 'Inspired Choice’ through an interactive campaign that would connect inspiring careers with an inspired bank account.
Doctor, lawyer, accountant? What about video game designer, DJ or hair stylist to the stars? These are the types of careers 16-21 year olds are looking to break into nowadays and was one of the key research findings to better understand the passions, professions and ambitions of young workers. Research conducted for the campaign also identified that four out of 10 young people (43%) were choosing not to go to university and young people believed a university degree wasn’t necessary for ensuring success of future earning potential.
The account benefits were strong, including a 10.00% credit interest rate, a mobile banking service and access to an award winning internet banking site. Our job was to get the message out and encourage consideration.
The Lounge created the Premier 21 Celebrity Mentor campaign, bringing together some of the best role models in business. By signing up for a Premier 21 Current Account young workers would be given exclusive access to hints and tips for breaking into their chosen industry through podcasts, web chats and the ultimate prize - a personal session with one of 10 celebrity mentors.
An interactive website was a destination where the audience could learn more about the product, the celebrity mentors and the mentor days. A registration system was in place to ensure those who were successful in securing an account, could then register for a place on their chosen mentor day.
Research with the target audience played an integral role in identifying the top 10 industries. Influencers were then recruited to add profile and drive media interest. These included: Music – David & Carrie Grant, Sport – Greg Ruszedski, Beauty – Louise Constad, Cookery – James Martin, Hairdressing – Trevor Sorbie, Writing – Lucie Cave, DJing – Trevor Nelson, Business – Tim Campbell, Dance – Paulette Minott and Design – Wayne Hemingway.
One of the key features of the campaign idea was that it would lift A&L from the personal finance pages to the lifestyle, beauty and sport pages.
However, we didn’t want people to just read about Premier 21, we wanted them to experience it. Premier 21 Hit Squads hit the streets visiting 36 colleges and lecturing at 13 (ex. Lousie Constad gave a talk at the London College of Fashion).
They also visited shopping centres with dancers, DJ’s and make-up artists. On site branding, leaflet distribution and account sign up facilities created a groundswell of activity and word of mouth.
Each Mentor Day was unique. We worked with each to create a schedule that would provide participants with valuable advice and practical training in an inspirational setting. Trevor Sorbie hosted his mentor day at the L’Oreal Studios with practical cutting sessions and an overview of his world famous hair shows.
Tim Campbell hosted his mentor day at the British Library where participants learned how to turn their pipe dreams into reality by creating business plans. Paulette Minott put wanna-be dancers through their paces at Pineapple Studios with dance battles and a visit from Alesha Dixon.
The Lounge Group exceeded its target with 15,300 young workers successfully opening a Premier 21 Current Account between May and December 2007. The campaign was also successful in extending Alliance & Leicester’s media reach from the personal finance pages to the lifestyle, careers and beauty pages, regional and trade press, plus hits on national stations Virgin Radio, Xfm and Heart 100.7. All mentioned Alliance & Leicester, the Premier 21 Current Account and the website. Total audience reach was 41,262,823 with an advertising value equivalent of £539,885 – excluding online.
The campaign was also recognised by banking industry peers, winning “Most Promising New Product” and “Overall Excellence Award” at the Financial Innovation Awards.
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