With the highest Share of Market, AG Insurance wins first place within the Insurances-category and wins the award for Best Insurances Brand.
The Belgian insurance company, providing life as well as non-life insurance, has been present on the Belgian market since 1824, though the brand “AG Insurance” only came to exist in 2009, when Fortis Insurance Belgium changed its name.
Nathalie Erdmanis, Director strategic marketing, at AG Insurances, tells us more about how the brand succeeds in remaining relevant.
You are the preferred insurance company in the Best Brands study. Is this partly because of your brokers, or could you do without them?
Our raison d’être, for almost 200 years, as Belgium’s leading insurance company, has been to provide the best possible service to our clients, thanks to proven expertise. We work closely with our brokers, and they are indispensable partners in the concept of full service, listening and advice that we want to offer our clients.
What do consumers expect today from an insurance brand sold by a broker?
Attentive listening, a good understanding and proven expert advice on the range of products and personalized services that best suits them, as well as daily and optimal follow-up in the event of a claim, because it is then that the insurer and its broker prove their raison d’être and their added value.
What does being a Best Brand mean to you?
A Best Brand is a brand that listens to its customers and partners, that works with respect for each stakeholder, be it its employees, its distribution partners, its customers, its shareholders, and the society in which we live.
It’s a brand that takes its responsible leadership role to heart, that lives for the satisfaction of its customers, thanks to almost 200 years of local expertise and know-how! A Best Brand “Insurance” also offers a complete service offering that goes beyond pure insurance: we also work actively to protect, prevent, prepare for the future, and assist people. For example: “Yongo” for the financial education of children, “Phil at Home” to provide protection and comfort at home for the elderly, “So Simply” for all the small jobs you need to do at home, “My Global Benefits” to find out what you are saving for your pension…
The Best Brands study combines emotional and rational criteria. For your brand, what are the priority criteria?
I think there has to be a good balance between the two, because they are complementary. We have always performed very well, as the Belgian leader, on rational criteria linked to our great expertise (trust, reliable, successful, serious, competent, expert, full offer of products and services, …), and since we have been communicating on the AG brand in an “emotional” way (see the above positioning campaigns “live your life to the fullest”), we have also noticed a nice evolution on more emotional criteria (brand likeability, proximity, …).
The fact of positioning AG insurance in a positive way, which allows you to live your life to the fullest, to enjoy it every day, because you are well insured at AG, has enabled the brand to better position itself as a “loved brand”.
However, in the long term, it is always necessary to insure on rational criteria, because without them, emotion will not be enough to ensure the brand’s longevity: the expertise of the profession remains essential…
What are the main issues in your sector today?
To make it easier to understand and access customers, who in the meantime are digitalized and are used to having everything in the moment. Customers are multi-channel and like to be answered as quickly as possible, via the communication channel they prefer depending on the moment (tel, email, chat, mail…). The digitisation of a process that is complex at the base, and which depends on several parties, is not done overnight. There are also a lot of opportunities “beyond” pure insurance, like all the protection, prevention, savings and assistance services that a company like AG can offer them.
How do you take into account the expectations of your consumers?
How have these expectations changed recently?
By staying connected to them as much as possible, listening to their needs and listening to the feedback of our brokers who work with them on a regular basis. By regularly questioning ourselves, and challenging the status quo… I think the main change/evolution concerns the perception of “immediacy” generated by the over-digitalisation that strikes us in our daily lives, and which sometimes provokes a certain “impatience”.
We are no longer used to waiting, because most of the processes that surround us in daily life are “instantaneous”. But sometimes we are faced with the complexity of a disaster that is unique, and that requires more attention and understanding before being treated in the best way. On the other hand, for the majority of simple cases, we have adapted our processes which have been simplified and which allow a very quick settlement of the claim, in the instant … (e.g. the video of the claim via the client’s smartphone directly to the expert who gives his agreement for direct reimbursement).
What impact will the new generations have on your brand?
I think that the younger generations will trust reliable, trusted brands, certainly in a sector such as insurance, which remains very complicated to understand and not very “involved” for young people. The fact of having a broker, a personal insurance adviser, often from a family of several generations, is also a reassuring criterion on the fact that the offer proposed is personalised and corresponds exactly to the client’s needs. And that in the event of a claim, one is certain to be well covered, without any unpleasant surprises… young people do not want to (do not take the time to) compare offers from insurers… so being offered a complete GA offer, via their broker, should suit them and make their life easier. On the other hand, digitalization and ease of process will remain essential, and therefore to be kept in mind. The fact that AG is a socially responsible company is also an important criterion for the younger generation.
What do you plan to do to maintain your position as a Best Brand?
To continue to question ourselves on a daily basis, to challenge the status quo, to remain attentive to our customers and partners, to offer the best range of services and products, based on great expertise!
About Best Brands
Serviceplan and GfK are driven by their passion to develop and coach fascinating brands. Brands that are economically successful and that evoke emotions in the minds of consumers – the ones that we like to call ‘the best brands’.
By studying the emotional and social relationships consumers develop with your brand and the competition, your brand can augment existing client KPI’s, better understand consumer behavior, increase customer acquisition/retention and model future success.
Do you want to know everything about this year’s results and why these winners are viewed as Best Brands by the consumers? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to organize a workshop later this year, at your offices or ours, and learn how to Build Best Brands.