Leadership in a Crowded Category
The number of sites offering free credit reports seems to grow every day. Most of these sites act as demand generation channels for the credit card banks, offering “free” information such as credit scores in tandem with offers for new credit cards. According to recent research by Google, most consumers don’t understand their credit scores, and find these sites to be unsatisfying.
Credit.com has taken a different approach. Rather than run their business on algorithms and bank incentives, they’ve decided that human experts can provide superior education and services in the credit space. After adding credit repair services to their stable of consumer offerings, Credit.com sought positioning and messaging guidance to receive recognition for this differentiated approach and to separate themselves from competitive offerings.
Through in-depth internal interviews, review of extensive customer research and an audit of competitive sites, we found that what consumers need is a better understanding of how to improve their credit, and services for helping them do so. We recommended that Credit.com establish a strong point of view for their messaging, based on three key themes:
The first, “Credit is power,” offers a definition of credit that is at once human, emotional, and practical.
The second: “You can define your credit, don’t let it define you,” offers confidence in improved buying power.
Finally, “We are the experts on your side,” establishes Credit.com as a human, helpful alternative to the algorithm.
Based on this simple yet powerful framework, we established a singular thought that Credit.com could own in the marketplace: “Helping people take control of their credit.” We then crafted audience takeaways for target segments with bad credit, no credit, and good credit, to demonstrate how each segment might benefit from Credit.com’s point of view, and commitment to education and service. These messaging tools were presented in a concise guidelines document for use among internal communicators, and as a foundation for external advertising and communications.
The branding positioning and messaging platform was received with great enthusiasm internally. Emboldened with these leadership tools, Credit.com embarked on dual efforts to revamp their website and invest in consumer advertising.