For a company whose advertising spend has grown from approximately £22,000 in 2009 to £16m in 2011, according to the analysts AC Nielson MMS, it shows a lot of financial involvement in creating the right perception about their brands, passing on their messages and integrating it in a way that no one can deny its existence and relevance.
In this difficult financial recession, it is quite important to make your brand visible, to encourage sales while you provide the so much needed solution, even though it’s on a high side. While the main stream commercial banks in UK makes it difficult to have access to loans, Payday loan companies seems to be thriving, covering up that gap within the economy, pushing the limit for their targeted market.
You love to hate them, some describe them as dubious, extortionist, and unjust but Wonga is investing a lot in their marketing campaigns to make people see them differently, they tell you, how transparent they are, how much you can borrow and what they expect you to replay, its straight talking money.
There is this brand attachment when you see Betty, Joyce and Earl, the pensioners on their Television advert, just like the Bulldog in Churchill adverts and Aleksandr Orlov of comparethemeerkat.com. You begin to develop an association with the Brand.
Wonga .com knows they are in a though market, you look at the ethics side of their business and its morality and you wonder how they can justify their 4214% APR interest. According to their website – An influential PWC report, UK Consumer Credit in the Eye of the Storm, said: “Annualising the interest cost of a product that is only offered as a short-term facility confuses the purpose of the loan and misrepresents the true cost.” Yet they keep staring at your face as if you should try it out.
Their adverts are well placed on London Buses, you see it on Television, hear it on Radio, that’s a lot of money going into their marketing communication and still more, and they decided to venture into football, putting their brands in the face of millions of football lovers in England. They keep exploring new ways of integrating their message, to make people know more about them and see that there is more to wonga.com than just the interest rate. According to Populus survey of 2012 with over 25,000 respondents, 98% feel well informed while using Wonga.
At the start of October, there were speculations that Wonga is targeting the Shirt sponsorship of Newcastle Football Club, the deal is about £5 million. That is a premiership club and you can imagine the exposure they will get. This is the Wonga way of brand integration. Going all length to tell those who care to listen that you are not that bad.
This is NOT an endorsement for wonga.com but to understand that there is power in aggressive brand marketing, reaching your prospective clients wherever they are with their best available medium, even if they see you as controversial, you know what you have got to deliver.
However, be mindful of how far you go, Wonga has added Wonga for business to their portfolio and even thinking of going for mortgage and money transfer. At what stage do you then appear as desperate and extorting vulnerable people, remember right brands are fair, you just have to be mindful of how your message will be portrayed while you maintain your Wonga effect.