Creativity in Finance: Driving Innovation and Staying Ahead of the Game

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At Geddes Capital, we believe that creativity is crucial in driving innovation and staying ahead of the curve in the financial industry.

In today's fast-paced financial landscape, staying competitive requires more than just traditional approaches. While these approaches may have worked in the past, the emergence of fintech startups and new technologies has disrupted the industry and made it necessary for financial businesses to embrace creativity to remain competitive. 

In fact, we believe that creativity is no longer a luxury but a necessity for companies looking to meet the evolving needs of customers and differentiate themselves from the competition. In this article, we will dive deeper into the reasons why creativity is critical for financial companies and provide practical tips on how they can incorporate it into their business practices to drive growth and success. 

The Benefits of Being Creative in the Finance Industry 

Injecting creativity into your business can have numerous benefits. For one, it can lead to more innovative solutions that better meet the changing needs of customers. By thinking outside the box and exploring unconventional approaches, companies can develop new products and services that set them apart from their competitors. This can lead to increased customer engagement and loyalty, ultimately driving revenue growth.

Furthermore, creativity can also help financial companies create new revenue streams. By exploring new business models and partnerships, companies can unlock new opportunities for growth and diversify their revenue streams. For example, some financial companies have started partnering with fintech startups to leverage their technology and offer new products and services to their customers.

Additionally, creativity can also help financial companies stay relevant in an industry that is rapidly evolving. By embracing new technologies and business practices, companies can adapt to changing customer demands and market trends. This can help them stay ahead of the curve and avoid being left behind by disruptive competitors.

Examples of Creativity in Financial Companies

There are many examples of financial companies that have successfully instilled creativity into their operations – whether it is simply offering employees remote working options, encouraging creative thought in the office, or building out client-facing tech-based platforms. We have selected some examples we believe have had the most significant impact below.

American Express

1. American Express

American Express has a long-standing reputation for its unique approach to fostering innovation and creativity. One of their most impactful initiatives is the "BlueWork" program, which is a flexible work initiative that allows employees to work remotely, adopt flexible work schedules, and make use of coworking spaces.

The program has been successful due to its ability to increase employee satisfaction, reduce real estate costs, and improve the company's overall environmental footprint. By offering employees more flexibility, American Express has been able to attract and retain top talent, while also reducing office space needs and lowering its carbon footprint. 

The BlueWork program has become a model for other companies looking to adopt similar flexible work arrangements whilst improving overall employee satisfaction.


2. Goldman Sachs

The Goldman Sachs Marquee platform is a web-based platform that provides clients with access to the company's proprietary risk management, analytics, and trading tools. 

The platform has been successful due to its ability to offer clients a unique, customisable experience, allowing them to access real-time data and make informed trading decisions. The Marquee platform has also helped Goldman Sachs differentiate itself from its competitors, as it offers clients a more personalised and streamlined trading experience. This has resulted in increased client engagement and loyalty, as well as new revenue streams for the company.

Capital One

3. Capital One

Capital One's Design Thinking approach is a user-centred design methodology that allows the company to develop innovative financial products and services that meet the changing needs of customers.

The approach has been successful due to its ability to foster a culture of creativity and innovation, resulting in the development of products like the Capital One Cafes, which offer customers a unique and engaging banking experience. 

Capital One's Design Thinking approach has helped the company differentiate itself from its competitors, as it offers customers a more personalised and intuitive banking experience. This has resulted in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as new revenue streams for the company.


4. PayPal

PayPal's Venmo Social Payments scheme is a mobile payment service that allows users to transfer money to friends and family through a social media-like platform.

The scheme has been successful due to its user-friendly interface, seamless integration with social media platforms, and its ability to facilitate peer-to-peer payments. Venmo has become increasingly popular among younger consumers who value its social component and convenience. 

The platform has also been successful in generating revenue streams for PayPal, as it offers users the ability to make purchases directly through the app, and PayPal charges a transaction fee for this service. Overall, Venmo's success can be attributed to its ability to offer users a fun and convenient way to make payments while leveraging social media to create a unique user experience. Such a simple concept with a huge positive impact.

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5. Innovative Disruptors

Apple, Uber, Spotify, Air BnB and Tesla. Although not strictly “financial’’ companies, it would be a miss not to mention some of these heavyweights in an article about creativity. Yes, whilst luck, intellectual acumen, hard work, and large sums of money contributed to these companies’ astronomical successes, the crucial role that creative innovation played cannot be underestimated. 

A large amount of their success can be attributed to their ability to anticipate and adapt to the changing needs of their customers, as well as their willingness to challenge traditional approaches and take risks. These companies have also been successful in their collaborations with other companies and institutions, such as Airbnb's partnership with the Louvre Museum and Uber's partnership with Spotify. 

In addition, they have all demonstrated creativity in their marketing and branding strategies, building strong brand identities through social media, user experience, and unconventional tactics such as launching a car into space. Apple, on the other hand, built a strong brand identity through its focus on design and user experience. Overall, the success of these key disruptors can be attributed to their innovative approaches, willingness to take risks, and focus on delivering personalised experiences to their customers, always striving to think outside the box.

Hopefully, these five examples have left you feeling inspired to inject some creativity into your next business decision. At Geddes Capital, creativity has become a core part of our business. Funding the future of companies that are newer, younger, and less traditional means we have to get creative too. See how we used creativity to help a farmer survive a financial (and literal) drought here

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