Case Studies

How Kurve Helped Coconut Stand Out as a Business, Connect with Customers and Position their Brand for Success

Launched in 2018, Coconut’s ultimate goal is to make self-employment easier than being employed. The first step in achieving this vision is a transformative accounting and tax app, giving self-employed people a complete record-keeping to tax filing experience and freeing up time to do what they do best – running their business.

At the start of 2021, Coconut was having trouble with its positioning. People knew them as a banking product but the company had pivoted quite significantly from a banking product to an open banking product, specifically one that facilitates accounting and tax for the self-employed.

If positioning isn’t dialled in, it causes a bunch of problems. Customers won’t know whether to purchase from you or your competitors, and that makes it difficult to communicate value and justify pricing – all of which impact the bottom line.

Coconut knew it had to embark on a journey of discovery to make sure they were talking about themselves the right way. This meant going back to basics on their marketing.


Kurve are very proud to have achieved the following results for Coconut:

In-depth knowledge of the customer and their unique challenges

Brand is seen and heard clearly by the right customers

Ability to communicate meaningfully with resonant messaging and imagery

Enhanced visibility as a specialist accounting and tax product for the self-employed


Work with Kurve to reposition the brand and ensure it occupies a distinctive place in the minds of self-employed customers.


There is one powerful factor that will warp a brand positioning out of shape unless it is jumped on quickly, and that’s making assumptions about your customers. Businesses live and die based on customer buy-in so it’s essential to know what they need.

To start out on the right foot, Coconut worked with Kurve to understand more fully what Coconut’s value is to customers and what problems they solve.

“Coconut exists in a market that has a lot of noise,” says Sam O’Connor, CEO of Coconut. “There are lots of competitor products that could solve some or all of the problems that Coconut solves. The differentiator is that Coconut serves a very specific group of customers – the self-employed.”

“Going through the process of interviewing self-employed people and listening to them talk about their challenges was a reminder that we really need to listen to customers and check in with them every quarter. We were able to pick up on tonal aspects of the way the audience speaks, the language they use, what their challenges are and how they feel. We got a good sense of where we should be positioned to connect with our audience emotionally, instead of just assuming we knew what they thought.”

Armed with these insights, the company set about understanding very deeply how Coconut could speak to their customers’ feelings, worries and concerns, and also to the excitement and the positive feelings that customers have around their self employment. From there, it was easy to build out the messaging framework to make sure that the brand can be seen and heard clearly, and customers know exactly what Coconut stands for.

“The messaging framework extends to all our value proposition pillars – benefits, tagline, how we talk to customers, the copy we use in the app, the imagery we use and so on. All these components and artefacts are essential to getting decisions made throughout the business without too much effort. They also support standardisation across the different divisions from product to marketing and give people the confidence to write that email or improve the website,” Sam says.


Sam O'Connor

The process of going through the positioning exercise required a lot of time investment upfront. But what it produces downstream is much more efficient and focused messaging, and consequently much more impact.

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