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How TSB empowers its own partners to build brand advocacy

Trust and authenticity are key themes that come up in my conversation with Pete Markey, Marketing Director at TSB. The bank that’s putting people at its heart, TSB is breaking ground in its mission to drive competition in the UK banking sector and establish itself as a challenger brand to competitors including HSBC, Barclays, and Santander



In the finance sector, where trust is all important, according to Markey more engaged employees are better equipped to create a more personalised, improved customer experience.

TSB’s work in aligning a great people experience for their partners at work with a great customer experience is a theme that comes up again and again. And the approach is proving successful - driving not just a more engaged working culture that partners want to advocate about but a stronger business with it. Strong financial results for 2017 have just been announced at time of writing, straight off the back of the launch of TSB’s new year-long marketing campaign to get the UK public to question whether their bank does enough for them, #CompetitionMatters.

Here Pete Markey shares how TSB marry their goal to challenge the banking sector with their work to continually improve employee engagement and create brand advocacy.

Building a challenger brand with people at its heart

“When TSB reformed 5 years ago it was on the basis to bring more competition to UK banking. Being a challenger brand is part of our DNA and it runs through our products and services. All our people are partners.

Switching accounts is at an all time low. But while we know that people are switching less they are also deeply dissatisfied with their bank and change is coming - customers have been voting with their feet to join TSB which is making us the UK’s fastest growing bank.

What’s coming through is that while people are not happy with the bank they are with – there’s a slight fear of breaking free. So our marketing campaign will go in other directions this year, playing on the more human side of people’s relationship with their bank, encouraging them to find what’s right for them."

How are you driving brand advocacy through your own people?

"At our heart, the culture that runs through, is the people difference. There are two main ways we do this – firstly our partners are recognised by how they serve customers.

And then secondly at a local level we have the work we do with Pride of Britain and supporting local charities.

We encourage our partners to talk about their work, on social media and offline. We know they recommend TSB, the products and services to their own networks.

It’s really important we take our partners on the journey with us. We wouldn’t be the brand we are without that level of focus on activity with partners and people.

It’s important to have our partners’ voices as part of our brand and customer experience – it’s in our DNA, our business model to focus on customer care."

Pride of Britain Awards – celebrating people

"The Pride of Britain Awards had been around for a while before TSB partnered with them. The difference between this and other types of sponsorship – say where it’s about the cricket or rugby - is that this is about stories of people, people like you and I, who do amazing things. We partner with Pride of Britain because we want to be the brand of local banking for Britain.

We celebrate people who do are doing work that otherwise wouldn’t get that type of coverage. It’s about celebrating people helping people and we share those achievements. That’s what we are about, our philosophy, and Pride of Britain shares that same ethos as TSB – it’s people helping people."

Follow Pete Markey on Twitter: @petermarkey or on Linkedin and find out more about what TSB are doing on Twitter @TSB_News

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Caroline Jory
Caroline Jory
Sales and Marketing Director at Qubist

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