Modern Marketing

How Stash uses clarity, consistence, and cohesion to bolster its brand identity

  • As Stash grew its product base during Covid, the company faced a new challenge in figuring out how to define itself to consumers.
  • At Tearsheet’s Acquire Conference, Chidi Achara, chief creative officer at the company, explained how Stash used ‘the three Cs’ to reach users.
close

Email a Friend

How Stash uses clarity, consistence, and cohesion to bolster its brand identity

Covid led to a boom in investing, according to a recent CNBC|Momentive Poll. 26% of the general public started investing in 2020. 60% of 18 to 34 year olds said they started investing in 2020 or later.

When asked what changed during this period, consumers gave different reasons. Plans for the future (35%), advice from family and friends (19%), and recently figuring out how to invest (16%), were among the top incentives. Others included leftover money from pandemic relief funds and crypto curiosity.

Then of course there’s the rise of memestocks and the Gamestop craze on Reddit, which led to a whole new generation of investors – no longer crowded by just Wall Street veterans or financial experts.

Consumers’ increased interest in investing has meant some nice upticks for a lot of investing apps. Stash, for example, saw a lot of growth over the course of the pandemic. The company went from 4.5 million customers in June 2020 to over 6 million customers today.

Stash started out as a pretty straightforward investing app with a clear investing product. But as it gained more users, it began to expand its product, covering both investing and banking. The company now has not only automated investing tools, but also banking products – like an automated savings account, a stock-back card – which awards users for shopping at a specific place by giving them stock in that company – and early wage access.

But with its new line of products, the company faced a challenge: It wanted to better define itself to its users. Consumers saw it as anything from an investing app, to a challenger bank, to a super app in the making. 

Chidi Achara, chief creative officer at Stash, spoke at Tearsheet’s Acquire Conference about how the company has been able to build its brand through focusing on the three Cs – clarity, consistency, and cohesion.

“Clarity of communication drives engagement, consistency builds trust, and cohesion adds a layer of credibility,” said Achara, who prior to joining Stash, hailed from a career in consumer products and retail.

Achara has been using his experience in retail to build a brand image for Stash that stick with consumers. In fact, most people on his team don’t come from finance – and that’s not by happenstance.

“We don’t actually have a lot of finance veterans on our squad,” said Achara. “We have a lot of retailers who are used to communicating why this product will add value to your life, very quickly, very clearly, with some warmth and some witt, to try and engage the attention of our customers.”

The three Cs have come into Stash’s marketing tactics in different ways. Clarity, for instance, has been about keeping Stash’s mission statement at the forefront of any campaign.

The trick, it seems, is to keep the value proposition clear, no matter the context. If he were at a bar, and someone asked him what his company does, Achara said he’d respond with ‘it’s an app that makes it easy for you to invest for the long-term, starting with just a few bucks.’

This sort of clarity helps express Stash’s mission. If consumers are able to easily process what Stash does, they are able to trust it more.

“It’s a little bit like everyday life, we all pick the people and co-workers who communicate clearly and are consistent with their positions,” said Achara. “And why should it be any different for brands?”

Consistency also relates to messaging – all of Stash’s products are delivered through investing goggles, in a way.

Its banking product, for example, offers a stock-back card instead of the more common cashback incentive.

“It’s about positioning everything on the Stash platform in a way that makes sense and adds value to our customers’ lives around this idea of investing in yourself for the long term,” said Achara.

Finally, there’s the idea of cohesion that Achara talks about – it all has to fit into consumers’ lives in a way that’s palpable.

Customers aren’t excited about fintech, he says. They know it exists but for them a lot of these firms just fall into ‘tomayto, tomahto’ territory. Yes, they may see Chime as a challenger bank and Robinhood as an investing app, but there isn’t really a whole lot more depth than that.

“It’s not like a degree of differentiation in people’s minds between, say, an Apple and an IBM, or a BMW and a Subaru,” said Achara. “I mean, [these fintech firms] are still kind of seen as sort of doing the same thing. And I think these are all challenges that we have to contend with.”

Stash has developed strategies to market itself in a way that feels relevant to consumers’ everyday lives. 

Its Union Square campaign, for example, targeted consumers during their daily commute, calling them to invest in their future. Meanwhile, Stash’s ‘Great Things Take Time’ campaign was about sharing stories of people investing in their future, whether through dance or culinary endeavors – not necessarily things related directly to finance.

“Our vision is centered around creating a sense of hope that you can have greater control not just over your finances, but over your life.”

0 comments on “How Stash uses clarity, consistence, and cohesion to bolster its brand identity”

Member Exclusive, Modern Marketing

Marketing Briefing: The case of product-first and the SEO burst

  • In this week’s briefing, we cover what’s new in marketing for banks – big, small, and digital alike.
  • Plus, we’re digging into SEO in the fintech world through some interesting numbers.
Rivka Abramson | May 23, 2022
Modern Marketing

The double edged sword of good UX: How Robinhood’s gamification of investing backfired during the market downturn

  • Companies like Robinhood are breaking rules with gamification in retail and cryptocurrency trade.
  • Gamification is worsening the problem for those struggling with crypto-addiction and compulsive day trading.
Rabab Ahsan | May 17, 2022
Acquire Podcast, Modern Marketing, Podcasts

The Acquire Podcast Ep. 9: How Oxygen’s new debit loyalty program Elements is winning rebels and change makers

  • Oxygen’s SVP, head of business development and strategic partnerships Ryan Conway, and creative director Sani Gad join us on the Acquire Podcast.
  • ‘You name it, they tried it’ – including a hit summer tune with Megan Thee Stallion.
Rebecca Alma Cohen | May 17, 2022
Acquire Podcast, Modern Marketing, Podcasts

The Acquire Podcast Ep. 8: Billboards, donuts, and QR codes: Flexbase is building awareness

  • Flexbase’s CEO Zaid Rahman and head of growth Joey Randazzo join us on the Acquire Podcast.
  • From blanketing one city at a time, putting up billboards off highways, and shipping mysterious donut boxes – their awareness campaign is doing new things.
Rebecca Alma Cohen | May 10, 2022
Member Exclusive, Modern Marketing

Marketing briefing: How do you market to a business/consumer hybrid?

  • The gig economy is heating up. Meanwhile, corporate spend management tools continue to grow in popularity.
  • All this to say, the line between consumer and business is blurring. How does a brand express that blur?
Rivka Abramson | May 05, 2022
More Articles