The first phase of its marketing activity for the launch is to communicate with existing M&S Money customers through existing customer relationship channels such as direct marketing. It will follow this with a broader brand campaign in the autumn when the current accounts launch and more branches are open.
Speaking to Marketing Week in the week that it opened the first branch and unveiled its current account offering, Amanda Newman, M&S Bank marketing director, says the tone of the bank’s marketing will be “distinctively M&S but different”.
The bank will eschew celebrity ambassadors for initial marketing activity so that the so that the M&S Bank identity is established “first and foremost”. M&S uses celebrities such as Ryan Reynolds and Rosie Huntington Whiteley in its brand advertising for its retail operations.
Marketing is likely to centre on the trust in the brand, the additional retail benefits such as M&S insurance and shopping vouchers, and the transparency of its offers.
The newly formed Bank will make use of all M&S’s existing owned media channels such as social media and M&S TV, its online video platform, which it will use to communicate the benefits of its banking offer.
It will also post educational videos to help customers use its online banking and make the most of the current account features.
M&S will also develop a local marketing plan for each store. It will open 20 further stores by the end of this year and plans for 50 stores in the next two years.
M&S Bank also plans to extend its product range in coming years including adding mortgages.