Only 24 percent of today’s millennials (adults ages 15-34) are able to pass a 5-question financial literacy test. Aaron Patzer founded Mint, short for Money INTelligence, in 2006 as a go-to, all-in-one place on the web to store your financial life. Patzer made it easy to use and easy to understand, and spoke to the young professional crowd that he felt was being neglected. Now, with more than 10 million users across its app and Mint.com, the brand is continuing to grow and expand, helping more people become financially literate. See why we call Mint a Brand That Gets It.
Simplicity is key
“That was the idea behind Mint. Make it dead simple to get your finances in order and to feel in control of your life,” said Aaron Patzer, Mint’s founder and CEO. Mint allows you to connect all of your bank accounts to one free and secure Mint account. You can track your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly spending in fun, sleek infographics. Mint will also help you set budgeting goals and send you email alerts when it detects a low balance, fraud, or that you went over your weekly spending. It also offers free credit scores for all users. While having access to these analytics is great, Mint knew that users needed to know how to interpret this data first in order for it to be beneficial.
Early on Patzer created Mintlife, a unique personal finance blog that pinpointed the young professional millennials. He created easy to understand content about things people didn’t even know they didn’t know – everything from credit and goals, to saving and trends. Mintlife attracted more than 300,000 visitors each month and articles were frequently shared on Digg and Reddit. As a result, Mint was able to gain valuable insight into customer’s behavior patterns by tracking conversions and analyzing successful posts. Due to this, Mint has become more targeted, relevant and useful for its customers. Today, Mintlife continues to publish dozens of blog posts each month in the following categories: Consumer IQ, Credit, Family, Goals, Housing, How To, Investing, Planning, Saving, Style, Trends and Updates.
A Strategic Partnership
Mint was quickly successful. In 2009, three short years after it was founded, Mint was sold to Intuit for $170 million. Selling the company to a conglomerate with more resources presented a great opportunity to expand the respective user bases of Mint and Mint Bills, which had more than a combined 20 million registered accounts. The introduction of Mint Bills allowed users to pay all of his/her bills in one simple and organized place. The Annual State of the Customer Communications Market Survey revealed that only 38 percent of utilities have a mobile-optimized website, yet 73 percent expect to see growth in mobile payments in 2015.
Understanding the necessity of being where your customers are, Mint Bills lets you keep track of all your bills in one digital place—making paying your bills easier than it’s ever been before. A recent study found that 25 percent of millennials are late on at least one payment per year, but with Mint Bills, once you set it up the app goes to work on your behalf. It keeps track of your bills and monitors your bank accounts and credit cards, sending you email alerts when it’s ready. Bates Creative’s Marketing Specialist, Amanda Jennison, uses Mint to track her finances and commented on its usability, saying,
“After hearing about Mint from a friend, I decided to download the app to check it out and I’ve been hooked ever since. The sleek interface and intuitive functionality creates a simple yet effective app for users. It’s clear that Mint knows its audience and how to deliver an experience that meets their needs.”
When Mint was sold, it got a big makeover, not only to its logo and website, but also to its content management system (CMS). The redesigned Mint logo has different colored lines in the leaf symbol to represent the colorful and interpretive infographics Mint uses to analyze your spending. The website got a large makeover as well, “Acquia and our Partner Third and Grove worked closely with the Mint.com development team to implement a solution that would scale the site’s growing body of content and deliver engaging, personalized experiences to each and every user,” said Patzer.
In addition to a new logo and website, Patzer spent three months negotiating with the owner of the domain: mint.com so that he could change his site from mymint.com. “You will lose all word of mouth marketing if you don’t have a good name. Most people choose their name because the domain is available. That’s a really bad idea. I spent 3 months and $182,000 negotiating for Mint.com, and it was the best purchase I ever made,” said Patzer in an interview with CNet.com.
“It was a three-month negotiation. It was one of the most difficult negotiations of my life…that’s how important branding is to me.”
Converting Customers through Education
According to a survey by the Brookings Institute, 28 percent of students with student loan debt thought they had no debt at all. Another 25 percent of all students with student loan debt underestimate the amount of student loan debt they have. As this demographic continues to enter the workforce, Mint is working to educate and inform this generation of the ins and outs of the finance-world. Through the sleek and easy to use, simple design, Mint is effectively targeting this demographic. By generating user-friendly and interesting content, Mint is able to convert these readers into users.
Mint has successfully capitalized on a strategic partnership with Intuit to expand its business, making it the “average person’s financial planner” by solving an old problem with new technology. Not only that, but the company understands the importance of implementing consistent branding that makes a statement and provides an optimal user experience for its customers. Mint has proven to Bates Creative to be a brand that gets it, and it will be interesting to see how the brand continues to grow for its users.
Are you a fan or user of Mint? Do you agree that Mint is a Brand that Gets It?