Guest Opinion: The Importance of a Common Brand

May 2015:

Carolina Trivelli is responsible within ASBANC, the Peruvian banking association charged with developing “Modelo Perú,” the new mobile money service mandated by federal legislation in 2014. Carolina was formerly the Minister of Development and Social Inclusion for Perú, and is committed to making “Modelo Perú” an instrument for financial inclusion. “Modelo Perú” is currently in development – she expects it to launch sometime in the summer of 2015.

It takes a spirit of adventure to test and use a new channel for transactions. To be adventurous with our money, to try something new and explore a new channel’s potential, we must know its risks, costs, usefulness and versatility. We must become familiar with it. The hardest part is attracting the “early adopters” and showing them quickly how useful, versatile, secure and easy it is to use. Ideally, this should be conveyed in a single phrase, a single (remote) contact with the customer. People need to know how to talk about the new product.

That is why we need a common brand. A single name that sums up all these messages—useful, versatile, secure and easy—but is also common to all its users. A common brand that identifies the channel, points of service, services and benefits. With a common brand, promotional efforts are more economical; we all promote the same thing, which is crucial in a business that, by definition, must operate on a large scale and be adopted massively.

In Peru, more than 30 financial entities are joining together to launch a mobile wallet. Because these financial entities compete among themselves for customers, they differentiate their products. In this case, we do not want to differentiate. We want to install this new channel for issuers of electronic wallets, but especially for all the users, and we want them to be able to make transactions easily between wallets.

Differentiating names and products may come later, but not at the launch of a new transactional channel. Differentiating is good for segmenting, but not for reaching the widest possible audience. Differentiating names, rates, commissions and service points shrinks the market, and our goal is to expand it. A common brand brings individual efforts together to yield a result that is greater than the sum of its parts.

In a few months, we will tell you about the common brand being launched by Modelo Perú and how a collaborative effort involving more than 30 financial entities has been achieved in order to help the financial inclusion efforts.