Social media and Brand Reputation in the Financial Services Sector

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by Jorge Yui 

Executive Summary

Ignoring the power of online word-of-mouth, or word-of-mouse as I like to call it, is no longer an option in today’s interconnected world.  Nor is it reflective of what professionals in the financial services industry are being asked to deliver by their C-Suites post 2008.  The ability of consumers to influence corporate behavior and impact business planning in unanticipated and, at times, unwelcome ways has grown exponentially.  One ‘entertaining’ complaint from an irate customer going viral can escalate into a full-blown crisis in less than 24 hours.  In this environment, understanding what customers feel, think and say about your company – in real time – is ever more critical.

Who’s Looking After Your Money? The Democratization of Personal Finance

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In a world where free market capitalism is under fire, bank liquidity difficulties continue, and the public has lost trust in the traditional financial services industry, the world of personal finance is undergoing a radical shift.  The democratization of personal finance is gathering pace, redefining the boundaries of personal finance and creating a landscape where the “old” banking rules no longer apply.

In this special report we explore the changing landscape of personal finance, in which many challenges and even more opportunities are being created by global trends.  Consumer demands are shifting, new technologies are opening the way for new channels and innovations.  The “great unbanked” offer significant new opportunities for companies that can provide the right products and services.  A whole range of shapers and influencers, from regulators to social networks are changing the dynamics of influence and choice. Within this landscape new players are emerging, focused on consumer needs.  The question is who will be the winners and losers going forward?

Giving It All Away: A Conversation with Dustin Byrne, CEO, Givmo

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Givmo ( is an intriguing start-up, with a business model built around the “freeconomy.” It focuses on helping you give away unwanted or unneeded items which may still have value to others.  Maybe you are moving house, or the children have gone to college and you don’t need the extra television, sofa, bookshelf, books… you name it.  With Givmo, it is easy to connect potential givers with potential receivers – no middleman, on which more below – and make the exchange person to person with no hassle.  The only cost for the receiver is a shipping fee which is generally below standard rates as Givmo has negotiated preferential rates.

Global Trends recently had the chance to speak with Dustin Byrne about the idea behind Givmo, and how this builds on global trends in terms of the changing notion of value and ownership, as well as the changing technology landscape.

The Influence Landscape: The Evolving Power of Shapers & Influencers

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Type the word “influence” into Google and it returns 142 million results.  What is going on?  The last two decades have seen major changes in the world which have reshaped the influence landscape – with power shifting away from position and traditional measures of status towards a much more fluid, fickle and democratic power structure.  Today it is about the power of “me” and “we” more than the power of “they.”  In this article we explore the emerging influence landscape and some of its potential implications.

Beyond Philanthropy and Propaganda: Making the Most of Corporate Social Responsibility

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Too often executives have viewed corporate social responsibility (CSR) as just another source of pressure or passing fad. But as customers, employees, suppliers—and indeed, society more broadly—place increasing importance on CSR, some leaders have started to look at it as a creative opportunity to fundamentally strengthen their businesses while contributing to society at the same time. They view CSR as central to their overall strategies, helping them to creatively address key business issues.

Making the Most of Corporate Social Responsibility: Continuing the Conversation

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Many thanks to those who read and considered the ideas in our article “Making the most of corporate social responsibility”—and particularly to those who shared their thoughts and experiences on smart partnering. As many rightly pointed out, there has been a groundswell of interest in CSR, as well as a growing number of powerful examples of smart partnering. This momentum reflects an improved understanding of the potential benefits to companies and the increasing maturity of social organizations. Both see the potential for mutually creating value.

In Brief: The Small Power of a Big Idea — and Vice Versa

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What would cutting your energy consumption by two-thirds mean for your way of living? Most people in the developed world would fear the worst, a return to candles and chilly houses.  Not so the Swiss. Since 1998, they have increasingly embraced this ambitious vision in the form of the 2000–Watt Society, conceived by scientists at the Federal institute of Technology (Eidgenössiche Technische Hochschule Zurick or ETHZ).

The big idea: Small power.