NU Online News Service, Sept. 20, 10:10 a.m. – The most tenable strategy for financial institutions seeking to build market share is one based on developing a sense of customer intimacy, says Meridien Research, Newton, Mass.

In a new report, “Competitive Strategies in the Consumer Age,” Meridien notes that financial service institutions have only a handful of business strategies that they can choose from: product leadership, market leadership, total cost leadership or customer intimacy.

“While each of these has merit, for the vast majority of institutions only customer intimacy provides the basis of a sustainable strategy,” says Richard Bell, senior analyst at Meridien. Successful customer intimacy, he explains, “requires delivery excellence, support excellence and becoming a trusted partner with your customers.”