Our latest series of articles is focusing on really great examples of bringing brands to life in financial services.

We’ve profiled cool fintech company moneyinfo, wealth management company The Intelligent Strategic Partnership, fintech bank Plum, global heavyweight Citi, and looked at how we do things at PLOTT!

This time it’s the turn of Leith-based The Lang Cat, who combine consultancy with strategic PR and communications for the fintech market.

At the helm is technical consultant Mark Polson, who saw an opportunity to branch out from the mainstream and get corporate decision-makers to step away from the unnecessary jargon, and put their focus back where it should be – on the customer.

The financial services industry still does, far too often, everything it can to stop people understanding what they have and how much it costs. The language starves people of the information they need.

At first glance, The Lang Cat seems a far cry from the cold and formal corporate financial brands we so often see. And it is. But underneath the light-hearted cat-themed branding is a business that still has those traditional roots, and is run as cautiously as you’d expect a financial and comms consultancy to be. That doesn’t mean, however, that they don’t do things differently.

The brand story

The Lang Cat was deliberately and definitely its own entity right from the start, remaining on the outside edge of financial services but with a foot still firmly planted inside the industry. Polson chose to base the company in Leith, intentionally outside the centre of Edinburgh and away from big business. The offices are trendy and modern, not lavish and oozing expense like some traditional financial service companies. And the company’s name comes from a favourite musician of Polson’s, James Yorkston (you can read Polson’s blog post here).

They write a blog; their articles are mainly focussed on financial comms. However, there is the odd one thrown in the mix that really shows the brand personality, as well as the personality of the people who work there. For example, the last post of 2018 came from Polson, and it’s a list of his top 10 albums of the year. It’s interesting, humourous and casually written.

And of course, there are the cats.

People like cats – and certainly in the PLOTT office you’ll find more than a few fans! Polson uses cats to not only help tell the story of his brand, but also to give the it a fresher, more relatable image. It isn’t a brand that puts people off; it’s welcoming and somehow familiar. That, combined with the fresh approach on no-nonsense language, has set The Lang Cat apart from its competitors – huge market names like PwC, KPMG, Deloitte and EY.

If you know what you’re doing, if you know the subject you’re talking about, it’s okay to be light about it and be funny about it, and to have a funny cat. Because the second you need to drop into detail, and actually get the proper stuff done, you can do it. What I think is unforgivable is to have all that fluff up there and no substance underneath.

Take home messages

  • Their brand speaks volumes, and gives a lighter approach to financial consultancy
  • Using more accessible language means information is clearer and customers don’t feel like they’re missing out
  • Having a fun visual approach to tell your brand story is great, but you need to be able to back it up with the deliverables once a customer breaks the surface

Sources: we got our blog post inspiration from Money Marketing and The Scotsman – why not check them out?

To find out more about how PLOTT can help you to tell your brand story, send Anna an email at anna@plottcreative.co.uk