Aviva launches subscription product to rebuild trust in ‘unfair’ insurance market

Aviva is launching what is claims is an industry-first subscription product that aims to rebuild trust in an insurance industry it says has failed to reward loyalty.

Aviva is launching what it claims is an industry-first subscription product as it looks to rebuild trust in an insurance industry it says is inherently “unfair” and has failed to reward customer loyalty.

The new product, AvivaPlus, aims to offer simple, flexible insurance cover by allowing users to pay monthly at no extra charge and does away with charges for cancelling or changing a policy. It also includes a promise that renewing customers will – at a minimum – be offered the same deal as a new customer.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Aviva’s retail and brand marketing director Tom Daniell says the product was developed to “face into” customer challenges and address significant pain points in the industry. He points to the fact that insurance comes second only to estate agents as the industry that is ‘least likely to give you the best price first time’ as a sign things need to change.

“The ambition of AvivaPlus is to really start rebuilding trust and confidence within the industry of general insurance. There are practices within the industry we all experience that customers really feel have been unfair and not rewarding their loyalty to us,” he explains.

This includes renewing customers paying more than new customers and extra charges. “There’s a whole load of what might be seen as the darker side of insurance products, he adds. “AvivaPlus is our opportunity to start from the ground up and redesign a new way of selling insurance to really answer and face into a lot of those customer challenges.”

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AvivaPlus was soft launched among select customers a few months ago and Daniell says the company is already seeing benefits. For example, net promoter scores (NPS) and customer satisfaction scores are “resoundingly positive” and higher than for its classic product.

Aviva now wants to take the message about AvivaPlus to a wider audience, so is launching the first major marketing campaign for the product. A TV spot, created by adam&eveDDB, follows a similar format to recent creative by dramatising the pain point, showing a man dressed in disguise to try to fool his insurance company that he is a new customer and so qualifies for new customer deals. As he is dragged away, the ad shows the product’s benefits and signs off with the strapline ‘AvivaPlus. Insurance the way it should be’.

TV will be supported by radio, outdoor, social and display. There will also be print ads that take a new illustration-led approach to underline the difference between AvivaPlus and previous insurance products.

We have no gap between the product we are developing, the proposition wrapper we put around it, the price positioning, as well as the comms and customer experience online and into our contact centres.

Tom Daniell, Aviva

Over the short term, Aviva hopes the campaign will encourage customers to search for the product online and take it up. In the medium-to-longer term it is also about rebuilding trust in both Aviva and the insurance industry as a whole, with a key metric around whether customers believe Aviva is “innovating on their behalf”.

The AvivaPlus ad is the third in a series that has used a similar format to dramatise common pain points, following on from ‘Get a Quote not a Quiz’ and ‘Dashcam’. Daniell says these are starting to shift those longer-term metrics.

“If customers believe we are innovating on their behalf, that’s a real driver of trust. What our last two campaigns have done is really start to shift the needle in that area and that metric,” he adds.

Restructuring Aviva

Launching a product like AvivaPlus has required Aviva to overhaul its model, moving away from almost penalising loyal customers by increasing prices and adding on charges to instead offering a subscription model it hopes will make customers loyal and therefore more valuable in the long term.

“This isn’t about putting a veneer over an existing product. This is grassroots up, absolutely a new product that fundamentally behaves economically for us in a different way but also behaves in a different way for customers,” he explains.

That has only been possible, says Daniell, because Aviva made the decision around 18 months ago to restructure around ‘agile’ methodologies.

That means it now operates in scrum teams that see people from comms, data, media, proposition, product, customer experience, pricing and risk all sitting in the same teams. That means the marketing team has been involved with the product from the start, rather than being given a product to go out and talk about once it has been built.

READ MORE: Product innovation or marketing strategy – what comes first?

“We have no gap between the product we are developing, the proposition wrapper we might be putting around it, the pricing positioning, as well as the comms and customer experience online and into our contact centres,” he says.

“AvivaPlus is a shining example of what you get as an output when you do bring everyone together. I would argue one of the things, if not the main thing, that stopped anything like this coming out before has been the fact none of those functions were together. That’s been an absolute barrier to a number of these problems.”

That is also why Aviva will be looking across the business at marketing ROI but also product and customer experience metrics, as well as business outcomes, to judge its success. “If you look at comms metrics and product performance in silos, you miss the real point, which is as a collective are we shifting the dial,” he concludes.