How Nutmeg are using even boring regulation to tell their story.
Launched in 2012 by former banker Nick Hungerford, Nutmeg are a UK based online wealth manager. Their mission is to open up the murky world of financial investment, usually the preserve of the old and wealthy, to everybody, regardless of the size of the investment.
Nutmeg have experienced 400% year-on-year-growth in 2015 and their mission hasn't gone unnoticed either with the FCA recently highlighting their role in bringing transparency to the industry.
Being an online only business nutmeg, carry less of the baggage of many of the established wealth managers in the category. No history to live up to, no heritage to worry about, no bricks and mortar stores to maintain and manage and no antiquated systems to follow. All of this brings the chance for a fresh approach.
That’s not to say there they don’t have constraints to navigate.
Constraints & regulation
‘I've never worked in an industry that has more regulation around it,' explains Jono Hey, Head of User Experience. ‘There are constraints in the language that you can use. You have to talk about things in a certain way.’
The normal approach in finance to this regulation is small print. Who doesn’t love small print? Long paragraphs of microscopic text using language to be deciphered rather than engaged with – the end result being they are seldom read by anyone.
But Nutmeg after all are about bringing new people into the category, and empowering people to make their own financial decisions. To do that they need their customers to understand exactly what they are doing, and jargon filled small print is the anti-thesis of that.
So Nutmeg not only use clear, simple language when explaining their services (in a font size that’s legible), but they've embraced this idea of leaning into the regulation and have taken it further, using those explanations as a platform to engage with and educate their customers.
An example of Nutmeg's interactive guide to pensions. Meets regulation and looks pretty.
Pensions for example are a notoriously difficult product to understand. Nutmeg’s guide includes interactive info graphics and elements that allow users to clearly see how much income they could draw over time depending on the timescales, contributions and risk levels set by the user. Answers to common questions are on screen and frequently refined and updated according to the user needs. And these small innovations are being appreciated by customers.
‘Throughout our product and experience, what we've ended up doing is both meeting the regulation - which is there to ensure you get good consumer outcomes,’ explains Hey. ‘But also, people get to the end of the process, and they realise they've learnt something along the way, the feedback has been incredible.’
Nutmeg's interactive guide to fees and costs.
Ideas and context
You may not think these ideas are revolutionary. Infographics, interactive sliders and good, clean design are hardly new concepts. But as with all ideas the context is key.
‘I don't see it as our job to push the Web forward by creating new ways to interact with things. That's other companies,’ explains Hey. ‘Google do a great job in keeping things simple and presenting information in a really clear way, Amazon are great for their checkout flows and getting people through a process and out the other end. My job really is about finding the best of what people already do on the web, and bring that to investing.’
If you have less media, less resource, you need to really use wisely what you have got. And borrow what they need from others. It’s how challenger brands are made, they find ways to make more from less.
As Hey explains; 'We're always trying to work with our constraints. I suppose the point is you try not to see them as a barrier but as like; 'well, we’ve got to work with this, how can we do it in a way that’s going to help us?'
Editor of The Challenger Project, marketing at eatbigfish. Fan of the underdog. West Ham supporter. All adds up really.