Insurance needs to embrace brand authenticity to win the trust and loyalty of customers across all demographics. Here are three ways to activate your brand.
My wireless provider doesn't know who I am. It's not that I need the company to know that I have a dog, work for an insurance company, or love to travel. The problem is that their data is inaccurate. My spouse has been a loyal customer with this provider for over 20 years, yet and despite being his husband with a shared account for the last 10 years, this top-tier provider cannot make the connection that we are related and continues to send me random solicitations to become a new customer.
These disconnects, small as they may be, shine a light on how committed brands truly are to understanding their customer—even minor hiccups in customer experience can leave a bad brand impression.
It comes down to trust. Trust is a critical component for all brands, but the stakes are higher for insurance brands.
For the consumer, selecting the bank to safeguard your hard-earned money has a meaningful impact for many years to come—the entry in and exit out is typically a cumbersome and tedious process. In insurance, brand activation—the way in which you generate brand awareness and lasting connections with your target audience—centers on building trust through relevant storytelling that brings to life the value proposition you are committing to. It helps them feel understood and connects them with the tailored solutions that generate real and perceived value.
Here are three things to keep in mind along your branding journey:
1) Start with data. One of the best things you can do for a brand is to perform robust brand health, reputation and perception assessments. The insights you gather give a better sense of perceptions, gaps, and most importantly, opportunities.
TikTokers use the acronym IYKYK, meaning “If You Know, You Know," but for marketers, it's more like, “If you know the data, then you know your customers." Everything starts with insights, so without that window into your audiences, you are either guessing or solving for your own “marketers' view," which might not always be accurate for your customers.
Invest in data. It takes time but utilizing the best data-driven insights to activate your brand will help build long-term customer connections.
2) Uncover opportunities and solutions. With data also comes opportunities, which must translate into solutions that are relevant for your audience.
Rolling out enhanced digital services options for customers to engage with the brand and to access their policy documents can lead to double-digit increases in downloads, users and engagement across all digital channels. Digital solutions that enrich the lives of customers can form the basis for brand activation.
3) Authentic storytelling. Activation needs to connect with customers rationally and emotionally, which brings us to storytelling. The way “in" is through relevant and compelling storytelling.
It's about bringing a human element to what you do to resonate and connect with customers. The real everyday challenges and opportunities that customers experience can be addressed through stories. The more you can tap into your customers' humanity—their view of the world and what you can do to help them—the more relevant you and your brand can be. It is in that relevancy where the storytelling thrives.
More than ever, brand authenticity wins in the marketplace—financial services and insurance brands need to embrace this to win the trust and loyalty of their customers across all demographics.
Given the last 16 months of the global pandemic, consumers are acutely more aware of the ways brands interact with them and demand purpose and personalized solutions to meet their individual needs. As brand stewards, it's our duty to know our customers and activate our brands accordingly so that customers trust us to care for their most valued assets and enrich their lives. Every detail counts.
Giunero Floro is senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Selective Insurance. This article originally appeared on Selective's Unique Perspectives.