More Than relaunches brand as it admits it lost its mojo

Insurance firm admits it lost both its ‘laser-focus’ on the customer and challenger status amid the distraction of growing the business.

More Than is relaunching its brand and kicking off a new marketing campaign that will see a return to its “irreverent tone of voice” as it looks to return to customer growth after admitting it lost its “laser-focus” on the customer.

The new campaign, created by VCCP and launching today (3 May), sees More Than attempt to emulate the success of previous campaigns that featured dog Lucky and More Than Freeman. It introduces a new brand character, More Than’s fictional founder Mordenn Surenns, that marketing director Gail Parker hopes will cut through the “corporate nonsense” in the insurance category to show the brand is still “challenging norms”.

“We wanted a character that would not stand outside and look in and comment but someone that really was the brand and could show our freshness, quirks and that we challenge the norm,” Parker tells Marketing Week.

The campaign marks the first time More Than has been on TV in two years as it looks to “really rebuild” the brand. It will be accompanied by digital, radio, outdoor and content as More Than looks to be “on and visible” through this year. More Than is also refreshing brand assets, from fonts and photography to tone of voice as it looks to create a more integrated brand and better communicate its personality and promise.

Alongside its own campaign, More Than is working with price comparison sites, as opposed to some of its rivals which actively promote the deals customers can get when they go direct. Last month, it ran a jointly branded campaign with MoneySupermarket offering £20 cashback on home insurance that Parker says “played phenomenally well”.

Returning to growth

More Than has set itself some ambitious targets that it hopes this new campaign can help it meet. In early 2015 it set out a new commercial strategy that aims to return all its products to growth, having seen customer numbers “shrink back a bit” in the preceding few years.

More Than currently has around 1.4 million customers, but is hoping to increase that to 2 million by 2020.

Parker is also looking to improve brand metrics. According to YouGov BrandIndex, More Than is just 15 on a list of 48 insurance brands in terms of its Index ranking (a measure of a range of metrics such as quality, reputation and value) behind rivals such as Direct Line, Aviva, Legal & General and Churchill.

And in a market dominated by price comparisons sites, meaning share of voice is increasingly important, More Than’s word-of-mouth exposure score of 0.8 puts it 22nd on YouGov’s list. Parker admits this key metric has “fallen behind”.

We needed to rebuild the brand from the inside out.

Gail Parker, More Than

Parker says More Than has undertaken research on how it should measure its brand health. That led it to identify three metrics – awareness, preference and likability – that Parker says are particularly important in the insurance sector.

“If your pricing is right and you’re in the top five, the crux is very much choice and that’s where knowing [a brand] is not enough, consumers have to recognise, like and feel an affinity. With the campaign we are really looking to drive that connection, its about more than awareness.”

Rebuilding from the inside out

More Than has been on a journey over the past two years to rebuild the brand after Parker admitted that while it was still “liked and remembered” it had fallen out of favour as it focused on growing the business rather than listening to customers.

Parker was brought on board 18 months ago, with her first job to “find the drum roll of the More Than brand” internally.

More Than
More Than’s marketing campaign introduces new brand character Mordenn Surenns

“We needed to rebuild the brand from the inside out,” she explains. “Last year, we put lots of energy into launching the commercial strategy and our 2 million customers by 2020 goal and getting everyone behind that clear vision and our ‘all over it’ programme – internal brand attitudes that we spent 12 months embedding culturally before relaunching externally.”

She says that has had a big impact, with internal engagement tests showing that 90% of staff are motivated to ‘do more than is required of them’. That is important, Parker believes, because of the nature of an insurance brand’s communications with customers. They only deal with the vast majority of customers once a year, at renewal. But when customers need to claim it’s an “incredibly important point of contact” that allows the brand to differentiate.

“If we have just one touchpoint a year then we need to make that touchpoint feel very different and to understand what that means in each area and sector,” she says. “Internally we tell stories of individuals that have done an ‘all over it’ thing, whether it’s one-on-one with a customer or someone that has developed a great new tool in pricing.”

The aim of all this work is to “fill that vessel a bit for the brand” so that consumers can rediscover what it stands for and it can attract new consumers, as well as reaching its target audience of families more regularly.

“We want to refresh memories, reintroduce [consumers] to the brand and show us as challengers to the traditional market and a champion of the customer,” she concludes. “And we want people to feel proud to work at More Than.

“2016 was a very successful year, our most successful for seven years. If you think of growth like a hockey stick we have turned the corner. In 2017 we are looking to see that growth.”

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Comments
  • Chris Arnold 4 May 2017 at 2:23 am

    When I worked on More Than its charm an appeal was simple – everyone loved the dog Lucky. It was more by accident, Lucky had never been part of the original brand identity.
    (I should add that we were banned from using ‘more than this or that ‘ puns and lines.)
    The insurance industry’s marketing at the time was bland, rational and had no impact. It certainly didn’t emotionally engage people.
    When Lucky died the brand died. It has never been the same since.
    Ironically VCCP created the Meerkats for compare the Market that did the same – it emotionally engaged the consumer. British consumers love animals. Cats and dogs score off the scale in research. Look at how successful the McVities’ ‘Sweet’ campaign is.
    While in marketing we too often try to over think the problem and solution, the public like it simple. And cute. Bring back Lucky I say and watch the consumer fall back in love with More Than.

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