In a post-truth world, a “trusted” brand is a key factor for choosing a provider and building market traction. Not a simple task however, as trust is an alchemy of rational and emotional impulses, neither one nor the other exclusively – and often both facets at once.
The results from our most recent Global Consumer Study demonstrate that customers are, by and large, seeking the same brand attributes globally. Furthermore, the subjective nature of the lexicon used – “trustworthy”, “best”, “good” – reinforces the notion that there is a fundamentally emotional aspect to the industry often overshadowed by the weight of data and science.
Decisions and cognitive bias interplay
Through behavioural economics and the work of Daniel Kahneman, we know that decisions are not always reasoned and are, more often than not, influenced by cognitive biases – both lateral and linear. Therefore whether a brand conjures up positive or negative feelings depends to a large extent on a consumer’s own experience. ‘Joining Bought By Many sends a powerful message to the insurance industry about treating people as individuals.’ BBM cleverly taps into social networks and feels tailored to the individual and their needs rather than the collective “norm”. Through the use of data, BBM identifies and focuses on well-connected consumers and ensures these customers receive high service levels during moments of truth such as claims or renewals.
From Forrester research, brands, independent of industry sector, who demonstrate breadth and depth in brand touchpoints outperformed the market and their peers. And as such, they appeal more strongly to how we as humans are wired by providing both “feel good” and fact-based information at the right points in the customer journey.
At every point of the Pathway to Purchase from client need and consideration through to underwriting and claims, there is an unprecedented opportunity to not only apply science, but deepen the emotional connection through real-time, targeted, well-executed service and offers based on deep behavioural insights. This is especially critical when a customer is discontent.
A healthy mix of technology and transparency
The industry’s most nimble and sophisticated players such as Vitality, Trov, Alibaba and others have adapted to customer expectations in an omni-channel market place by applying technology and transparency where it is most relevant. A trusted brand must have proximity, be consumer focused, and consistent. Lastly, it must flex and engage creatively according to consumer mind states and behaviour. Vitality for example, has members’ lifestyle and medical information and works with over 20 partners who provide products, services and feed additional data into the programme. The end result is a more personalised and interactive insurance product that feels and operates on quite a different platform to the competition.
Information is processed via both thinking and feeling. Rather than asking ‘ What do you think?’, perhaps the most important question an insurer must pose is, ‘How do you feel about us today?’.