Every business is defined by the type of customers it is cut out to serve. With a burgeoning demographic of young people and millennials today, Guaranty Trust Bank plc has strategically positioned themselves as a brand for the next generation. Over the years, this bank has proven that being in the financial industry does not stop you from becoming a lead figure in other spheres of life. They have made banking fun and this is one thing people want. Spare me all the financial jargon; I just need a bank that gets me.
Just recently, world-leading business media platform, The Economist tagged GTBank as a financial institution that is atop a new generation of multinationals in developing markets with the competitive strength and capacity to become a major player in the global scene. Last year, the bank won the award for ‘Bank of the Year Nigeria,’ for the second year in a row.
If all these accolades are not proof enough of the premier spot they hold in the nation, then their loyal customers are. GTBank has a predominantly young customer base. This demographic of millenials which were seen as unprofitable for other banks has become a massive market for them. With products such as zero balance savings accounts and cash back on cinema tickets, they attracted these set of young people in their droves.
Their strategy was to sponsor several events at secondary schools, tertiary institutions, and even providing instant bank accounts and bank cards to customers. They leveraged on technology to introduce products that freed their banking halls and made banking seamless. With a simple dial of the *737# code, you could perform several kinds of transactions.
We cannot ignore the trendy message GTBank is passing as a brand. Their flashy orange logo with its simplistic and minimalistic look highly resonates with their young customer base. Orange is a color that sparks energy and good vibes. It is a powerful attention grabber which is good especially for a brand that seeks the attention of fast-paced young people. Orange is also fresh and contemporary. It is significant of something that will stay evergreen or a trend that will never fade out.
The core gospel of this bank is the message of fun and being cool. These are attributes that are characteristic of the present Generation Y and Z. The benefit of this is that this next generation of customers would feel as though they are dealing with a cutting-edge company. Generation Z is made up of those born between 1995 and 2010. This means that the oldest are about 24 and are just entering the workforce. By becoming a part of the working class, it means that Gen Zers as they are fondly referred to will need a financial institution that meets their every need.
What did the financial giants do? They came up with the GTCrea8 e-Savers account which gave their young customers a first towards financial independence. The account is designed for undergraduates between the ages of 16 to 25 to help them make the most of their money. What’s more, is that there is 24/7 banking services on various e-channels and also a 2.5% interest rate per annum to be paid on the customer’s account balance. This is an offer almost every young person will immediately jump on. GTBank did not just stop here; they also offer complimentary invites to GTCrea8 events and Masterclasses.
One of these rewarding events was held on Wednesday, March 8, 2018, at the University of Lagos, Akoka. The GTCrea8 Convention was a platform to equip Nigerian Undergraduates with creative skills. The one-day convention was the maiden edition and it was free for the students. The event featured Masterclasses facilitated by captains of industries who enlightened the undergraduates with practical knowledge in their areas of passion and also inspired them with first-hand experiences on how to build a successful business career out of their passions.
Segun Agbaje, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, said; “We are happy to provide young people in tertiary institutions with a platform that enables them to connect with peers and interact with role models in their areas of interest. With the lineup of activities and the wealth of experience to be shared at the event, I am confident that the GTCrea8 Convention will have a lasting impact in helping the undergraduates who attend build successful careers.”
Beyond the GTCrea8 Convention, GTBank also runs the GTCrea8 Education Support Scheme with which it offers financial support to undergraduates and the Campus Storms which brings Digital Skills Training as well as popular musicians and comedians to universities across the country. GTBank also understands that life as a student presents its own unique set of challenges. There is a need to balance academics, social life, finances, and a side hustle.
One of the ever pressuring worries that young people have is that they don’t have enough money. The GTCrea8 account may just be a solution to that as there are opportunities for undergraduates to qualify for the GTCrea8 Education Support Grant. This grant was created to support student lifestyle by easing some financial burdens. With the assistance of this grant, down payment on accommodation can be made; the cost of textbooks and academic subscriptions can be taken care of, as well as unexpected costs that result from a typical student lifestyle.
GTBank has proven that they more than a bank. They have truly won this young crop of customers. This is a bank for the young, the hip, and the trendy. Several initiatives and platforms from this bank have proven this. In May last year, they launched the Days of Dorcas Online Photography Competition. The contest was a part of the bank’s Art635 Gallery initiative aimed at promoting the arts and supporting African artists. The competition which was for African female photographers was streamlined to contestants between the ages of 18-35. We can boldly say that this was a youth-centered initiative.
Other initiatives that have positioned this bank as a bank for the next generation include the GTBank SME MarketHub, a free online platform that allows small businesses to sell to audiences near and far. The Merchant Academy is created by the bank alongside this to help businesses gain the required knowledge and skills to achieve growth and success online. In 2012, the bank launched NdaniTV, Africa’s premier online media platform for original African entertainment. The media platform has been at the cutting edge of online African content with hit shows such as Gidi Up, The Juice, Skinny Girl in Transit, The Interview with Frank Donga as well as many others.
There is also the GTBank Food & Drink Fair which is an annual food exhibition and sales event that aims to project the diverse angles of the food industry by connecting various businesses involved in the production and sale of food-related items to a cosmopolitan audience of food enthusiasts. The food exhibitions are geared at increasing brand visibility and sales, whilst showcasing the latest product, trends, and innovations in the food industry.
Finally, there’s the GTBank Fashion Weekend which brings together the most promising, talented and recognized fashion designers, brands and retail enterprises from across Nigeria and abroad to showcase the latest trends and products to a large and diverse audience of consumers, press and industry enthusiasts. The event has now become a meeting place for all stakeholders within the fashion community presenting retail exhibitions, master classes and runway shows.
All these and many more are what contribute to making GTBank the bank for the next generation. It is in transcending from being just a financial institution to making an impact in other spheres of life that they became a household name among many.