After years working on the biggest brands out there, I am still shocked at the number of times  ‘innovation’ actually boils down to the blindingly obvious. Let me give you an example: A well known UK high street bank wanted to launch a new current account. They spent millions on some hardcore consultancy and  they came up with the following platform to launch the new current account  – the more products a person holds with the bank, the better their current account terms would be. Whoo hoo! Everyone’s a winner; the bank gets you to take out more products, you get a bit of interest and some perks on your current account. Easy? You’d think so. But not so fast. After a whole heap of consumer research the bank came to my company saying – people think this idea sucks…we don’t know why! Worse still, we’ve done all this expensive consultancy work and we need a plan. Fast. Help!

So, we asked, ‘What is blindingly obvious about people and their relationship with the bank ?’ Think about it. What is the first thing you think your bank should recognise about you? Is it how many products you have with them ? No, probably not.

It is usually, how long you have been banking with them. It is also likely to be something to do with them knowing what your spending patterns are like over time.  So why not reward longevity and loyalty instead?  If businesses start with what matters to their customers – in this case -‘ how long I have been with my bank’, and work on new products from those foundation insights, they end up with a better customer response.  In this case the bank started with what worked best for them ( no surprise there) and customers hated it ( no surprise there either).

Obvious. Blindingly obvious.

Banks fail to deliver true customer centricity.

Banks fail to deliver true customer centricity.

Watch this space in the coming weeks and months for more blindingly obvious examples.