[Case Study] How Barclays Defined Brand Purpose and Regained Customer Trust


A quick read on how Barclays responded to a crisis through purpose-driven marketing.

In a crisis, here’s what a brand / company can do to react:

There are, of course, many tactical prescriptions for dealing with a trust-damaging crisis, but there are three courses of action brands can enact in advance as protective measures:

  1. Create a higher purpose mission, value set or culture that will enable the organization to have meaning apart from generating sales and profits.

  2. Develop a higher purpose program or set of programs that not only engenders trust, but can redirect the discussion during a crisis incident. These programs should be oriented toward social good, leverage the organization’s people and assets and be branded and visible.

  3. Distribute messages about the brand’s higher purpose using at least, in part, stories of real people.

In other words, the three key steps to recover or galvanize the organization are:

  1. Reinterpreting your purpose
  2. Implement programs that realized the purpose
  3. Doing brand and marketing communications that spotlight the purpose-driven programs by focusing on real people and real stories

In short, go back to your purpose. Create purpose-driven programs and initiatives. Lastly, communicate the what happened.

The results from Barclays’ campaign:

From the start of the campaign through early 2016, most key indicators were tracking upwards. In particular, trust was up 33%, emotional connection was up 35% (vs 5% for the category average), the NPS (net promoter score) was up 300%, consideration was up 130%, “easy to deal with” was up 50% and “reassurance that your finances are secure” was up 46%.

Here’s a great summary of the article, but do check it out .

Barclays recovered brand trust by forcing a culture change that empowered and inspired employees and yielded higher purpose programs, brought to light with stories about real people. The brand shifted consumer perception by amplifying the stories of real people who were impacted by the programs and altered the conversation by providing a more positive narrative about the brand.