Gamify & diversify finance to personalise it

Authored by Shaziya Khan, National Planning Director, Wunderman Thompson India.

A significant attitudinal shift, among consumers today, is the desire for personalization of finance. What matters to people is micro personalization of their financial matters. A standard ‘one size fits all’ approach, is no longer regarded as relevant or necessary. Our study reveals this as a well considered and practical shift among modern, curious and aware consumers.

Understanding the shift.

For several decades and for a wide variety of homes, finance was a black box. Jargon wrapped in riddles, couched in mystery, in the eyes of many. Few in the family delved deep into personal financial management, beyond the day to day accounts (‘hisab-kitab’). They bothered to looked at the financial big picture, only when they had to. Often with procrastination and reluctance. Personal financial management, was best left to the designated expert in the household who understood and managed its intricacies. This passive and comfortably complacent state of affairs, is no longer the norm. Today, there is much evidence pointing to an active, curious and compelling interest in financial matters in the modern Indian household.

The age-old perspective of finance being a black box has made way for a desire in the opposite direction – to personalize finance and understand it for oneself. For one’s specific life context and financial horizon. What is more, this attitude is regarded as relevant in the context of leading a secure life. It is not just an intellectual interest, but a practical and considered one.

This mega shift towards personalization of financial matters is among the top 3 shifts areas across the entire study. Interestingly, it was strong among both younger and older people, as well as among both men and women.

The statement for this mega shift:

To have a good quality of life these days, people need to be financially literate.

The supporting statements for this shift are the following:

There is growing concern among Indians, what financial companies do with individual personal data.

Women are becoming more financially savvy when it comes to the intricacies of financial planning.

Implications for brands

We believe that this attitudinal shift in the financial culture of our times, suggests an opportunity to gamify finance on TV, social media, technology platforms as well as diversify finance for youth, working adults, finance ‘novices’, geeks, creative professionals, home makers, students (those who typically knew little about finance earlier but want to know more now in a personalised way).

Gamify and diversify finance to help personalise it. This applies to financial brands, gaming brands, technology brands, employer brands, education brands.

Gamify Finance:

Betting on Billions a 2019 Newzoo study found gaming is the third most downloaded category of apps on mobile phones. As a consequence of society’s gamification, there is an opportunity to have a fresh modern consumer led approach to create financial literacy.

Art, storytelling, avataars and more are defining the culture of gaming. What unites gaming audiences is the ability to speak a common symbolic language. Enabling ongoing conversations, live streaming, common forums, influential consumer tribes and sub cultures. Immersing in this vast culture of gaming, could help to personalize financial management in fresh ways. Successful brands across other categories are attuning themselves with gaming culture: Gillette, Lego, Chanel, Red Bull etc.

While a majority of gamers are Millenial males, women gamers are rising in numbers, and progressive mainstream influence is making it necessary to be inclusive and diverse. (WT global reports reveal women, make up half the gaming industry, and it is predicted they will surpass the men in 2020)

Diversify Finance:

Financial literacy and personalization for new kinds of households: Kantar data points to new types of households emerging in urban areas (households of single women, couples without kids, independent seniors). Their financial needs are distinct from the ‘typical urban household’ as are their aspirations of independence and freedom. So they require basic, evolving or advanced financial literacy along with personalized, timely and savvy financial management to enjoy a good quality of life.

Financial literacy and personalization for atypical career paths: New thinking on work and work life balance is another factor impacting personal financial management needs (eg. remote working, free lance working, early retirement, mid career shift, resume working after gap years for education or parenthood). These consumer cohorts demand appropriate solutions and are often willing and able to invest time and money in personalized financial management.

Financial literacy and personalization for the value conscious generation: Data across young and middle aged adults in urban centres, suggests they want to be more careful about spending money than earlier, more willing to invest, buy good brands on a deal or discount mainly. Such audiences are poised and receptive for personalized connections and literacy enhancing connections from financial brands, early on and with consistancy. Especially at key life stages.


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