The rise of buy now, pay later and sorting out the ‘messy middle’: Your Marketing Week
Russell is away so it’s my turn once again to offer a view on the week’s biggest stories. From the rise of ‘buy now, pay later’ brands to NatWest trying to sort out its “messy middle”, it’s been a busy week. Here’s my take.
Creating a category
It’s always interesting to watch how brands carve out a new category, maybe none more so at the moment than the wave of ‘buy now, pay later’ companies that have appeared in the past few years. Now ubiquitous on ecommerce sites, they appear to offer a safer form of credit and a riposte to the fuddy-duddy image of traditional financial services brands.
They’ve been praised and maligned in equal measure. Critics see them as little more than payday loans with good PR; advocates as a better way for people to budget. Certainly the big brands in the sector – think Klarna, Layby and Clearpay – believe they are tapping into demand from consumers for a simpler way to pay for their shopping, especially amid the current pandemic.
And there lies the clue to their success: listening to customers and developing tools to help them. All without the baggage some of the legacy financial sector brands and categories have. It may be a credit card by another name, but buy now, pay later is doing a good job of positioning around consumer wants and needs.