Hanan Laghmouchi – Nederlandse Vereniging van Banken

Hanan Laghmouchi – Nederlandse Vereniging van Banken

Hanan Laghmouchi is Team Lead Communication at the Nederlandse Vereniging van Banken (Dutch Banking Association). Together with the Head of Communication, she is responsible for the communication department. Her team includes web editor, communication advisor, event organisation and film.

Main ingredients for brand growth

According to Hanan, distinctiveness is an important element of growth. “Distinguishing yourself from other dominant brands in the market you are in. Providing added value for consumers, contributing something to improve their lives. You need to be relevant and have a clear message. People need to know exactly what your brand will bring to the table. And of course, the role of creation is a driving factor. At the end of the day, you want to create an impact among your target group with the help of your creatives.”

The role of creative

“An important element to creatives is having a good, solid strategy”, Hanan continues. “The strategy determines how the campaign will be further developed. It is the starting point. With our campaign ‘aflossingsblij’ (being happy with the interest-only mortgage) which we have developed with the banks (our members), we had a solid strategic framework in place, which ensured our creatives fitted that objective. When the subject of interest-only mortgage was first brought up, we immediately asked ourselves where the problem lied. Apparently, there are a lot of households which could get into financial problems at the end of the term through that specific mortgage. So, we asked ourselves the question; why do we want to bring this to light, why are we doing it? By discussing the objectives and understanding the ‘why’ from the beginning, you can truly get to the bottom of it. Because this framework was so solid, we could develop it further in a creative way. With ‘aflossingsblij’, we tapped into emotion. You want to impact people on an emotional level, not on ratio. Which we still managed to do with such a complex and difficult theme.”

Hanan explains why catering to emotion in creatives, is so important. “Creatives have a big impact in activating people. When you have a complex subject such as financial products, whether it is pensions, insurances or mortgages, people are less open to the topic. And it is with these topics that I admire the fact we tapped into people’s emotions. As a consumer, you see an immense number of creatives every single day. Whilst the brain can only handle so much. When it comes down to it, it is our emotions that make the decisions. The great thing about ‘aflossingsblij’ is the new term we created, the music, the dance, the diverse people you see on screen, it is catchy. It affects people’s emotion to the point where people would want to look further. They watch the commercial, they go to the website. When your creative is well put together, it will increase your impact.”

Success of creatives

When it comes to the success of creatives, Hanan states that brand’s need to follow the creative process closely. “You are the one that knows your target group best. So, when you are working with creative agencies, you need to be involved. It’s the small details that can really have an impact on how a campaign is received.”

Next to that, emotion continues to be an important theme: “People don’t want to look at something negative. Although the message may be complex, people want to look at something positive. When a campaign doesn’t impact you, is negative and has an unclear message, it will not be effective, and therefore not successful. When an advertisement is positive, people will want to watch it. First and foremost, you need to be able to impact your target group, and approach them from a positive and emotional standpoint. Not making people afraid, but showing them, they can be ahead of problems. For this, we used insights from behavioural psychology.”

The role of research

When it comes to research, Hanan tells us they gather insights from conducting various studies: “For ‘aflossingsblij’, we conducted a concept test before the campaign was launched. Afterwards, we did a 1-measurement and media study. These studies were very relevant and valuable as we gained insight into how the campaign performed, and what the next steps may be. Of course, the problem still exists, it’s still a priority in media and politics. And from various banks who are in direct contact with customers, we hear that information on this topic remains desirable. So, at the beginning of 2019 we advised the banks to continue the campaign, and optimise the creatives. We also advised to add a creative, and to optimise media deployment. This is where the animations came into play. In the research report we noticed that lots of people were visiting the FAQ’s page. So, we thought of a way to make them more effective and increase impact. This is how the explain-imations were born. We tested them prior to introduction, and gained a lot of insight from customers. The explain-imations turned out to be very successful. Conducting research is an extra investment when it comes to time and money, but will definitely ensure better results in the effect of your campaign.”

Advertising in current times

Hanan tells us how she feels about advertising during the corona crisis: “When a brand is strong, they don’t have to adjust their advertising to the corona crisis. In a situation like this, the brand will remain strong, and won’t have the need to explain why the brand is still here during these times. Consistency is very important. When you suddenly add a different value to your brand or position yourselves differently, I don’t think you will necessarily stand out more.”