When we spoke to TVE about their biggest money questions, concerns and quandaries we discovered a number of key consumer challenges for the financial services industry. Today we’re looking at The Savings & Investment Challenge, and digging a little deeper into how young people think, act and feel when it comes to looking after the pennies.

Savings & Investments are perhaps a bit like coffee. Most people, when we first encounter it, aren’t its biggest fan: it’s bitter and to be honest, we’ve only just got used to tea. But as we get used to it and discover its magical properties, we quickly want to become its best friend.

But the teething period with S&I can last a lot longer than with Americanos, and we are potentially losing out on a lot more. Following our initial chats, we’ve dug deeper into peoples’ relationships with savings & investments, and uncovered some of the key attitudes towards them and what brands could be doing to help. It’s time to meet Sorry-not-Sorry Sally, Make-it-Easy Mark, Anxious Adam and Alternative Annie.

1. SORRY-NOT-SORRY SALLY

You’ll likely hear Sally say…  “Live your best life!”

Sally’s biggest challenge: Making the move from putting money aside for the next item on the wish list, to saving long-term. Only recently the lucky receiver of a comfortable salary, it’s time to enjoy your cash, not stash it away: life’s for living, and locking money away is a too big of a commitment.

What does Sally need from a brand? Show Sally the value of investing, and make it unintimidating. It’s about simple ways to save, that make that are painless, effortless and OK for commitment-phobes. It’s about taking the baby steps towards investments, that still allow the flexibility for those last-minute purchases that mean you need to dip into savings.

2. MAKE-IT-EASY MARK

You’ll likely hear Mark say… “I’d rather be drinking wine.”

Mark’s biggest financial challenge: It’s about the time and effort, not departing with the money itself. Mark gets why saving and investments are important, and he’s more than happy to reap its reward, but it’s not exactly his pass time of choice. He wants a good annual report, and not a lot of thought in between.

What does Mark need from a brand? It’s all about the effortless, instant gratification: no-action-required round-ups to keep momentum up, options to ‘add £X’ when plans have been cancelled, simple language, real-time updates, and absolutely no desktop log-in please. Make it easy, make it good.

3. ANXIOUS ADAM

You’ll likely hear Adam say… “Am I doing this right?”

Adam’s biggest financial challenge: Adam knows his stuff. He’s got a LISA, he’s opened a stocks & shares ISA, and he budgets like there’s no tomorrow (or rather, like there is a tomorrow that he absolutely must be financially secure for). But like with most things that make us feel like a Real Adult, Adam’s financial decisions have one thing in common: fear and uncertainty that he has made the right choice.

What does Adam need from a brand? Adam needs information, and he needs it in plain, simple language. He wants to learn more, and therefore make more savvy decisions. It’s not about the shiniest rates and sleek products, it’s about making Adam feel like he’s in control, and a financial wizard.

4. ALTERNATIVE ANNIE

You’ll likely hear Annie say… “Ugh, capitalism.”

Annie’s biggest financial challenge: Annie might be anti-capitalism, anti-establishment, and anti-anything-her-father-likes, but she sure would like a 1 bed flat in Hackney by the time she’s 35. As with everything Annie uses, it’s about finding brands and products that resonate with her values, but balancing this with the trust and quality she needs from a bank when it comes to investments.

What does Annie need from a brand? Transparency, honesty, and a purpose. Annie has to feel emotionally engaged with the products she buys and she needs to feel like they are having a positive impact on the world. Big brands are OK, so long as they’re having a clear and tangible positive impact, and can help her get that house!

BY ENGINEER Lucinda Toole

Lucinda.toole@thevalueengineers.com