Webinar Recap: Driving Positive Brand Sentiment During A Crisis

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How Banks and Financial Services Generate Positive Brand Sentiment by Taking Charge of their Message

As the world continues to feel the effects of COVID-19, companies across all industries are faced with changes to not just their forecast and business model, but also to the ways they message and are perceived by customers.

Financial services companies are looking to adjust and adapt their messages in order to reassure consumers that they can fulfill their brand promise.

BrandTotal CEO and Co-Founder, Alon Leibovich, met with Natasha Stevens, EVP of Strategy and Product innovation at GfK, one of the largest market research organizations in the world, to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and brand sentiment. 


Key Takeaways 

  • Consumers are expecting brands to act, yet are wary – execution is crucial
  • Speak up! Run towards the problem, which includes sponsoring your message
  • Ensure the relevant message for the relevant audience – promotion is fine, as long as the campaigns are targeted to your core audience
  • You can optimize your Brand Marketing to generate positive brand sentiment – this should be a KPI

New personality types and concerns about the future

Based on GfK research, two new personality types have emerged: the “Nervous” versus “Accepting” segments

  • 58% of the “Accepting” segment feels they will bounce back
  • 91% of the “Nervous” segment say they will be a lot more cautious

Consumers highly attentive, painting an opportunity (or landmine) for brands

Brands have an opportunity to connect with their core audience and delivery on a promise. 

  • 78% of consumers see companies as a force for good (unchanged since March)
  • 84% of consumers say company behavior will affect their future desire to do business (up from 73% in March)

Consumers are highly attentive to brand actions and expect big brands to do more

Successful messaging in practice
We saw specific examples of messaging for three brands: Chase, GEICO and Square. Ad sentiment was provided by BrandTotal’s Net Sentiment Score, using Natural Language Processing. 

The key learning was that brands with effective messaging were able to generate positive net sentiment by ticking all the boxes for crisis-era messaging

During the analysis period, Chase bank had net sentiment was 32% more positive than the overall Banking Category. They achieved this by focusing on payment relief in response to COVID-19, nailing each aspect of the “5 factors”.

Chase bank net sentiment brand messaging

For example, their creatives reassuring small businesses covered the “Empathy/Understanding” category, and their campaign highlighting their $50m donation to underserved communities shone in the “Corporate Responsibility” category.


Data-driven lessons learned
This webinar included concrete takeaways for any size company, brand, or marketing department. Specifically, nailing the “5 messaging themes” is essential for brand success.

See the entire webinar

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