By early 2013 the home lending market was flooded with ‘cherry on the top’ incentives from all of the banks. In late 2012, ASB itself offered a Samsung tablet and then a Sony TV from March 2013. BNZ offered grocery vouchers and TSB offered Apple iPads. These were really only incremental sales sweeteners. And all the while interest rates started to rise.
Sentiment towards banks on social platforms remained relatively negative with stories about poor service experiences dominating. No one was really delivering a relevant and motivating experience, nor worked out how to monetise all the effort being put into these channels.
Perceived as an innovative bank but facing this competitive home lending environment, ASB decided to turn the market on its head with a financial services industry innovation.
ASB has a strong presence and following across social media platforms. However, questions remained over how to monetise the channel and deliver a return to the business beyond just presence. The chosen strategy was to activate their huge social media following to advocate for the bank, differentiate themselves from their competition, and drive an uptake in home lending.
Knowing that people share things socially in the belief that it might benefit others and, in turn, hopefully create social capital for themselves, something truly fresh, interesting and useful to share and get involved in was required to mobilise the bank’s 69,500 fans to spread the word.
With house prices and interest rates a common dinner party conversation all over the country and Facebook really a mainstream channel for ASB’s audience, a mechanism was designed that turned the act of liking a bank into an opportunity for real tangible reward.
ASB Like Loan became the world’s first home loan rate powered by ‘likes.’ The more ‘likes’ the rate received, the lower it went for one winner.
Over 4 weeks Like Loan gave away unprecedented home loan rates for 1, 2, 3 and 5-year fixed terms mortgages.
There were 21,486 unique entrants in just 4 days, 17,779 home lending leads, and 229 new home loans worth millions in new lending.