10 July 2019

What brands would you trust with your life?

by Kate Johnstone

Financial services brands have been copping it from all sides. The outcome of the Financial Services Royal Commission, well-publicised breaches in privacy, and the theft of customer data have meant consumers no longer have the same loyalty and goodwill towards the industry.

Life insurance brands have also suffered as a category, especially those offering their insurance through superannuation. A product that used to be a set and forget purchase is now considered of questionable benefit, barely transparent and rarely comprehended.

We exist in a time of declining trust.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. For agile insurance brands, this is an opportunity to reset the model, regain the trust, and improve the offer. Life insurance is an essential product, and the fact that it is a standard offering through our super means that these brands have an even greater responsibility to be trustworthy and transparent. From a brand perspective, this means clearly articulating the customer journey; managing expectations of each party throughout the life of the product; appreciating the fundamental benefits of the product and understanding how it must become dynamic to meet the client’s different life stages.

Brands that provide this level of clarity, simplicity and transparency will regain trust.

The financial services industry is drowning in jargon and legalese that, intentionally or otherwise, baffle the end user. Roy Morgan lists Aldi, NRMA, Bendigo Bank, Qantas and Bunnings in its survey of trusted Australian brands. There is a reason why only one financial services brand made the cut. Unlike its competitors, Bendigo Bank behaves as an extension of the local community — the friendly neighbour speaking directly to the customer and not at them or down to them from a glass tower. Bendigo Bank is a financial product that behaves like a personal product through the use of simple language, a consistent offer and transparent process. It’s all part of building a relationship founded on trust.


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