Why insurance firms need branding strategy to scale market challenges

Operators in the insurance sector in Africa are grappling with myriad market challenges ranging from low public awareness, religious beliefs, doubts about claims payment by insurance firms and low disposable income amongst citizens arising from economic condition in many African nations.

Will branding and reputation management help? Many experts say that is exactly what the industry and operators need at this time to scale most of the market challenges making it difficult for the industry to achieve its full potential.

For instance, in the first quarter of 2023, a media intelligence consultancy firm in Nigeria, P + Measurement Services Limited, analysed the perception of publishers, editors, journalists and opinion leaders on the day-to-day performance and public perception of the insurance industry and insurers in Nigeria.

The survey result gave the highest positive ranking to Leadway Assurance Company Limited and the most negative ranking to AXA Mansard Insurance Plc.

A statement by P + Measurement on the modalities that drove the survey stated in part:
“Nigeria’s insurance sector has maintained excellent media interactions, marketing and awareness since the start of 2023 despite the earlier scarcity of the Naira and its effect on business.

These were further enhanced by the remarkable data it gave the media in the first quarter of the year.

The media analysis monitored more than 1.3 million online publications from blogs, news sites, broadcasts, forums, and digital media in the local and global media space, as well as about 5,115 print publications (including daily, weekly, and monthly publications), from which different metadata were extracted, including the sentiments of reporters, editors, publishers, and opinion writers from various online and print publications, spokesperson analysis, CEOs performances, and other topics.”
The Branding Advantage
Mr. Ashley Lightfoot, writing in Latana, gave a three-part strategic roadmap for insurance firms in the area of branding:
Why Insurance Brands Must Build Trust
It should go without saying that insurance is an industry that is built firmly on trust. While most will take out insurance policies hoping they never need to make a claim, for those consumers beset by misfortune, that policy could be the difference between two very different outcomes — one that allows them to overcome a life-changing event and one that leaves them devastated.

Despite playing such a crucial role, a survey in 2019 found that less than 30 percent of consumers from across the globe had a positive opinion of the insurance industry.

53 percent reported having had “a negative experience with their cover – most blaming claims settlement and product complexity for the hassle.”
Research shows that there are three key pillars to building trust — competency, benevolence, and honesty.

In the insurance sector, these three core values should run through every part of your brand identity and be considered in everything your business does.
Why Insurance Brands Need to Make an Emotional Connection.

Insurance is an extremely valuable and important industry, offering consumers a lifeline during times of need. But it’s not a topic that people get excited to talk about.
While it might be an essential consideration, consumers don’t think about insurance the way they do about sectors that are simply more inherently exciting — like technology, travel, entertainment, or even essentials like clothing and transportation.

Because of this, insurance brands can’t expect consumers to be automatically excited about their branding campaigns.
Why Heavy Competition Means Your Brand Must Work Harder.

One key challenge for any insurance brand looking to grow its profile is just how competitive the industry is.
This, combined with consumers’ general low interest in the industry, means that your brand has precious little time to connect with audiences and convert them.
Furthermore, whenever a consumer is on the market for insurance, you must overcome the pitches and campaigns of countless other brands looking to convert them.
The Emirates Example
A report in PRnomics details how Emirates, one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines made a profit of over $3 billion through deployment of five strong and innovative branding and public relations strategies:
Iconic Sponsorships and Partnerships
Emirates Airlines has established an impressive portfolio of high-profile sponsorships and partnerships that have significantly contributed to its brand visibility.

It is the official sponsor of prestigious football clubs like Arsenal FC and Real Madrid CF, allowing the brand to reach millions of fans worldwide.
Strong Visual Identity
Emirates has a distinctive and instantly recognisable brand identity, reinforced by consistent branding across all touch points.

Media Relations & Social Media Power
The airline commands the highest share of industry voice as a result of its captivating social media presence and consistent media relations programs.

Strategic Digital Marketing
Recognising the power of digital platforms, it has embraced various digital marketing initiatives to connect with its target audience effectively.

Its strong online presence allows Emirates to showcase its brand story, highlight its latest offerings, and engage with travellers in real time, further reinforcing brand loyalty.

Cool Advertising Slogans
The airline has consistently produced captivating advertising campaigns that resonate with viewers around the world. Its commercials often feature captivating storylines and emotionally engaging narratives.
Its current slogan, “Fly Better” builds on the appeal of the previous tagline, “Hello Tomorrow.”
Looking Ahead
The African insurance sector has huge business potential given the combined population of the continent, especially the youth segment.
Its glorious future is however hampered by traditional and self-inflicted challenges.
To scale those barriers and reap the fruits of the market, the players must embrace the tenets of branding and reputation management, especially media engagement.
Source: Business Journal