Taking the brand on the road: Agos and its partners
Agos is the leader in Italy’s personal finance market, and in the last two years the company has opened a new office and refreshed its brand identity to align more closely with their parent company, French group Crédit Agricole. We recently talked with Alessio Cacciatori, Head of Trade Marketing at Agos, to find out how renewing their image has impacted their B2B and particularly B2B2C communication, which Agos employs for its collaboration with well-known retail giants.
Has your new brand also meant a new approach to business?
It’s not only about changing our look, but rethinking our 360° communication, including the visibility that our brand Agos gets through our many partners in almost every sector of the consumer market.
Can you give me some examples?
For example, we have agreements – often exclusive – with 20,000 commercial brands including some of the biggest names in retail like IKEA and MondoConvenienza in home furnishings, UniEuro (Italy’s largest consumer electronics retailer), Suzuki, Honda and Piaggo, and last but not least, Apple.
With all those big name consumer brand partners, how do you make sure Agos gets recognition too?
With Moskito’s help we’ve reinforced our brand identity with these partners as well as with the final consumer. Frankly, most consumers are not especially interested in who is offering the financing – they’re just looking for the best terms and rates they can find. But whatever they purchase, from a kitchen to mobile phone to a car, we aim to make the Agos brand memorable. That’s because we want to make sure they can connect that loan to the ad they see on prime time TV, or to the credit card advertised on the internet. It’s a way of shining a light on the brand from different consumer angles.
So, in with these partnerships you have to communicate at different levels, right? With the brand and with the final consumer.
Yes, but it’s more than that, because the same ambition to strengthen brand awareness for consumers is just as true for the world of B2B, meaning toward are partners. One example is training for sales staff, who in addition to selling their brand need to understand Agos products in depts and be adept at offering them to customers.
How do you train retail sales staff to also sell Agos financial products?
I think one of our strengths is our sales network and building a relationship of trust with the individual sales people at the companies we partner. One of the reasons Agos is the leader in the B2B finance market is that we develop products with the final customer in mind, like Fastline or our newest product AgosPass.
From the beginning one of our goals has been to increase the quality of our service and our output at 360 degrees. In addition to better training more competitive products, that means better communication with both final customers and our partners. To this end we need effective presentation materials at points of sales and clear, incisive – and good-looking – presentations for our partners.
How has the pandemic changed the way you communicate with your partners?
With the lockdown and social distancing our sales force of course stopped face-to-face meetings, as everyone switched suddenly to virtual meetings. Fortunately we had already been engaged in smartworking, thanks to pre-pandemic investments we made in technological infrastructure. And to this we added the launch of a project called Agos Partner. It’s a new B2B digital communication channel focused on innovation in the world of automotive, consumer electronics and furniture, and it’s helping us rebalance the human contact that was lost as a result of the pandemic and maintain a sense of proximity with our partners.
Tell me more about Agos Partner.
Leveraging two main digital channels, the Agos Partner website and a dedicated LinkedIn page [links in Italian], we include combine, trends and market data together, some of which has been contributed by external expert contributors like Kantar and Bocconi University in Milan. At Moskito you’ve been a great help with design and social media communication for this innovative project, and as the world has been forced to transform digitally, it’s helped us stay on top of this trend.
And it’s been a big success in terms of the KPIs we set for ourselves. We’ve had loads of engagement and a huge increase in not just followers, but the high-quality followers we’re looking for.
Lastly, have you changed the way you communicate with final customers?
As I mentioned before, our approach in B2B2C communication has transformed, and it’s part of a strategic turn to improve brand awareness as well as the go-to-market of our products. With Moskito’s help we’ve started to communicate the characteristics, positioning and advantages of our products, and improve the quality of our communication.
You’ve been a big help as our partner on these projects, and knowing that we can count on you to help deliver this quality every time has really helped make them a success.
Gosh, thanks Alessio. It’s been a pleasure!
Thank you, Kyle.