Kinross and Render case study
Icesave is a new on-line brand owned and operated by Landsbanki Islands, Iceland’s premier banking group.
In October 2006, Kinross and Render were appointed to launch the first product to be marketed under the Icesave brand – an easy access on-line savings account.
The objectives were to:
- launch the Icesave brand to consumers via financial services media
– quickly communicate the brand promise of consistent competitiveness, clarity, transparency and simplicity
- achieve strong consumer take-up of the first on-line savings product
Kinross and Render’s research revealed very little to differentiate the 30 plus on-line savings products, other than interest rates where competition is strong. Most competitors lacked ‘personality’ in their marketing.
It was important to give the brand a personality and, given consumer research had highlighted positive attitudes towards Iceland, we used key characteristics of Iceland as reference points for materials and journalist hospitality.
The messages were kept simple – a great interest rate, with no strings from a regulated/safe provider; the first product from a brand intent on achieving leadership, and the Icelanders entry to the UK market will benefit consumers.
One to one briefings to key media and industry commentators were undertaken ahead of distribution of a launch release and a stunning photograph of an ice skater carving the launch rate in the ice.
An Ice Bar went ‘on tour’ to the offices of the National Magazine Company and IPC Media, with briefings for personal finance, website and features editors of consumer media held at the stand over iced tea and coffee.
An Icesave goody bag, containing products that summed up some of the best things about Iceland, helped to generate excitement and make Icesave memorable.
A press trip to Iceland was organised for journalists from Financial Mail on Sunday, Management Today, Moneywise and Woman & Home, designed to express the strengths and impact of Icelandic entrepreneurialism.
Follow-up activities included case study placements and ensuring that we were first out with announcements on an increase in the rate to savers when the Bank of England raised interest rates.
Within the first two months of launch Icesave’s PR reached a circulation of 150,420,490, with positive messages about the product or direct recommendations – independent of the coverage achieved across most of the best buy tables.
On-line coverage on the best financial websites was extensive and the BBC’s Money Box covered Icesave in two programmes, including an interview with Icesave’s MD.
Some 148 separate items appeared in the national press in Quarter 1.
Typical headlines ranged from Money Mail’s ‘A hot rate on offer at Icesave’ to the Independent’s ‘The iceman cometh and savers swoon’.
The programme also achieved a number of cover stories, including one in The Guardian which also featured a full page spread on Icesave and one of our photographs of the ice-skater.
The positive coverage has continued. The Sunday Times has run two case studies – under the headlines ‘ Icesave looks like a hot deal’ and ‘Savers told to dump ING for Icesave’.
Management Today and The Mail on Sunday have already run extensive features based on the Iceland press visit and further features are planned by other journalists who attended the press trip or roadshow.
Website and call centre tracking showed a direct relationship between high levels of enquiries and positive media endorsements.
Most importantly, Icesave exceeded its target level of subscribers for the launch period many times over, achieving deposits of £2 billion and over 60,000 customers with four months of launch.
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