As we said in our last blog, managing churn and staying top-of-wallet is key to making your prepaid program successful. Customer acquisition is one of the highest costs for a program, so you can’t afford to have accounts churning quickly before you’ve recouped that cost.
So how do you make your card that ‘go-to’ financial tool that keeps getting used and reloaded? The answer is to start with the basics – doing research to uncover insights about your target customer and developing a solid consumer value proposition. Lack of a differentiated, compelling consumer value proposition (CVP) is one of the most common problems we see with prepaid programs. It is not enough to have a standard run of the mill GPR or gift card any more. Your product must offer features and services that meet the needs of your core target group or your program will get killed by churn.
Developing a Consumer Value Proposition for Your Prepaid Card
Once you are armed with the consumer insights, map your product features against them as well as the product features of competing products. You want to maximize the overlap of your features with the consumers’ needs – these are your points of difference and are what will make your product stand out in the eyes of consumers. Your competitors will have their own points of difference, so you will also want to think of how you can neutralize those.
With needs & features mapped out, next think about the benefits your product can deliver. Start with rational benefits. These would be things like saving money because of a more competitive fee structure or having the ability to create & manage a budget using the card’s budgeting features. Then think about any emotional components to your rational benefits to tap into the consumers’ feelings, goals, or aspirations. For example, if your card provides budgeting capabilities and features, then an emotional benefit could be that it makes the consumer feel more in control or makes them feel like they are being more responsible.
These exercises will help crystallize the value proposition of your card. I’ll say it again – this is a crucial area to get right and think about before launching your product.
Taking Your Message to Customers
So what good is a great CVP if you don’t communicate that value effectively? Not much good!
To help craft a persuasive message that will click with consumers, ask yourself these questions:
- What does your card product offer? This should be presented in terms that will resonate with the consumer.
- How are you relevant to the consumer? What value do you bring to them specifically?
- How are you different from the competition so that you create a preference for your program?
- Why do you matter? This should be stated in words that bring together the emotional and rational benefits that will resonate with your core audience.
For each of these four questions, think about proof points or evidence to support your messages and add those in. You now have a solid start on the ‘story’ of your card program – a key to success in today’s social and content-driven world.
Staying Relevant & Delivering on Your Promise
It is important to note that developing the CVP for your prepaid card is not a one-off exercise you go through at the beginning of the program development and use forever. Customer needs and the competitive market evolve over time so it is crucial to revisit your CVP from time to time to see if it is still relevant. How? One great way is to gather feedback from customers regularly. This is a great way to gauge if you’re still in tune with customer needs.
Another thing to consider is making sure that all of your operations, technology platforms, and vendor partners actually fulfill the promises as laid out in your CVP and messages. They have to support these values but also be set up to respond quickly to any shifts in your strategy (see my point above about evolving market needs). The last thing you want is to know that you’re becoming less effective in meeting customer needs, but be powerless to do anything about it quickly because of technical constraints. Things can shift fast, so it’s important to be ready for it.
Having done the work to craft a strong CVP and core message, you’re probably ready to start making some money. But there are a few key concepts to understand about the prepaid business model before launching. We will explore that in our next blog.