Removing complexity to enhance simplicity and speed is essential if Aviva is to build greater affinity with mums, according to brand communications and marketing director Pete Markey.
Reacting to news that the insurance and pensions provider hadn’t made the cut in Mumsnet and Saatchi & Saatchi’s list of the top 10 highly effective brands mums love, Markey admitted that both his company – and sector – could do more.
Revealed yesterday (26 April) at Mumsnet’s annual conference Mumstock, the research analysed the seven key attributes possessed by the brands mums love. It highlighted 10 businesses that embody “mum-centric” characteristics, including Disney, EasyJet, Ella’s Kitchen, Ikea, John Lewis, Lego, Lidl, Lush, National Trust and Warburtons.
Addressing the Mumstock audience, Markey called the outcome of the research a “call to arms” for the financial services sector to become more flexible and enhance the experience for customers.
I still think our products are too difficult to understand and complex in a world where people want simplicity and speed.
Pete Markey, Aviva
“For me it’s a call to arms that says there’s more to do. There isn’t a financial services brand [in the list] and it says this sector has a lot more to do for mums and a lot more to do generally,” said Markey.
“I still think our products are too difficult to understand and complex in a world where people want simplicity and speed. We need to remove the hassle and difficulties, and bash the perceptions that it’s going to be a nightmare getting my pension sorted. Why should it not be frictionless and effortless?”
Fellow Mumstock panellist, Tesco group brand director Michelle McEttrick, admitted that while mums make up a significant proportion of the supermarket’s shoppers it does not market exclusively to mums.
“Some 72% of our shoppers are women and many of them are mothers, so we spend a lot of time thinking about how we talk to them and how we can be there for them, but we don’t target them exclusively as we do also serve 95% of the population of the country,” said McEttrick.
While agreeing that not being selected in the list was disappointing, McEttrick reiterated her belief that the supermarket is on track to make the list in 2018.
“Do I want us to be on that list? Absolutely. I think that the more you can learn and hear about the things that are important to your customers and then be able to meet those needs, the better off you are going to be. So I don’t think there’s a barrier for Tesco moving forward to exhibit those habits and we’re on that journey.”
Using partnerships to fill in the gaps
Disney, by contrast, topped several of the seven metrics listed in the Mumsnet and Saatchi & Saatchi research, which praised the brand’s ability to sprinkle magic at every consumer touchpoint.
“What’s great for us is that imagination and magic are baked into the product, whether that’s a theme park, movie or the experience in store. So our product does a lot of the marketing for us,” said Anna Hill, CMO of The Walt Disney Company UK and Ireland.
“I do believe firmly that you need to look at the products and services and see whether they have all of the qualities that you want to present to the audience. We use emotion a lot, but some of the more practical things we do are based on partnerships.”
Hill explained that while Disney is really strong at delivering the “fun and magic”, the company naturally gravitates towards partnerships with brands that are focused on utility in order to strengthen its brand proposition and fill in the gaps.