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First Marblehead: Private Education Loan Products

Posted in: Brand Positioning & Development, Education/Cultural, Financial Services, Qualitative Exploratory

First Marblehead: Private Education Loan Products

Challenge: Plan-it worked with FMC to more effectively communicate with students and parents about its private education loan products.
Objective: To explore the decision-making process of selecting private education loan products, and profile each audience to verify optimal messaging for each.
Solution: Two phases of research were conducted, a Qualitative Exploratory and Quantitative Profile. The first phase included in-depth interviews to help FMC better understand the mindset and behavior of four key persona target audiences:

  • College-bound high school seniors
  • College Freshmen
  • Parents of college Freshmen or Sophomores
  • College Seniors or college 5th years

Result: Plan-it made recommendations for an optimal positioning direction, messaging and media opportunities and recommendations, as well as suggestions for the application process to insure simplicity and to alleviate much of the stress and anxiety that is associated with the college selection process. After the 2010 government revamp of the Federal Student Loan program that eliminated the need for private lenders, First Marblehead is one of only a few private student lenders remaining.