Developing a customer-centric strategy
Zurich Financial was becoming just another commoditised insurance company in a sea of undifferentiated providers. Like the rest of the industry, Zurich was too internally focused, with underwriters, risk engineers and claims adjusters calling the shots, and a brand positioning that lacked relevance in customers’ lives. Customers who told Prophet they saw insurance providers as non-responsive, slow and untrustworthy – “little more than an organised crime syndicate.”
Together, we set out to understand what customers really want from their insurance provider. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative global market research, we found that barely 10% of people said they trusted insurance providers. This meant that a traditional insurance brand positioning around “reassurance” and “peace of mind” simply wasn’t credible. Instead, what customers (and brokers) wanted was an insurer that simply delivers when it matters. They wanted a provider that was straightforward, fair, and could be relied upon to get the job done. A plan was developed to create a global, unified brand positioning that put the customer at the heart of everything. The positioning was brought to life through the Zurich HelpPoint initiative. The challenge was to get 60,000 employees across 140 countries to make HelpPoint real and meaningful in their day-to-day business.
The goal of HelpPoint is to provide guidance, solutions and service offerings that are aimed at what the customer wants. Based on our research, the following areas are those solved by HelpPoint and key differentiators for Zurich:
Help at the moments that matter most.
Help that understands your business.
Help that shortens the distance between problems and resolution.
Help that adapts and changes as your life changes.
Help that goes the extra mile.
Help that understands you and the world you live in.
Help that delivers.
This could have been seen as yet another empty promise were it not for the vision of transforming 60,000 employees into authentic evangelists of the brand, armed with the permission to identify and execute proactive, spontaneous touchpoints, unheard of in the world of insurance.
In two short years, the sheer size and ambition of the transformation has been astounding, ranging from internal engagement programs, brand ambassadors, employee awareness-raising tactics, customer satisfaction and loyalty metrics, and the launch of hundreds of new product propositions globally.
Revenue, margins and brand tracking scores are all up. In 2009, Zurich Financial was named Marketer of the Year by the Direct Marketing Association. In 2010, for the first time ever, Zurich was ranked one of the 100 Best Global Brands by Interbrand, and Fortune rated them the 2nd most admired insurance company in the world. And in 2011, Zurich Financial was awarded two Transform Awards from the U.K.’s Communicate magazine. The first was in the category of best integration of brand and business strategy, and the second was in the best global rebrand category.