MoneySuperMarket relaunches brand as it looks to make price comparison more engaging

MoneySupermarket is launching a new brand identity, brand positioning and marketing campaign in a bid to make price comparison more engaging and users more loyal.

MoneySupermarket is relaunching its brand: introducing a revamped brand identity as well as new brand positioning and marketing campaign as it looks to make price comparison more engaging and boost loyalty in the notoriously promiscuous market.

The relaunch is the culmination of more than 18 months of work to align the brand with MoneySuperMarket’s broader business strategy. The aim of that strategy is to reignite growth at its core price comparison business through a focus on customer experience and journey optimisation, while also launching new services and tools that can future-proof its business through a focus on personalisation and digitising areas such as mortgages.

Speaking exclusively to Marketing Week ahead of the brand relaunch on Saturday (9 March), MoneySuperMarket’s chief customer officer Darren Bentley says the work goes beyond simply redesigning its logo and shifting the marketing message. It has required a wholesale rethink of how the business works together, and with its main creative agency Engine, which came on board last year following the much-discussed decision to move on from Mother.

“We are thinking about how the MoneySuperMarket brand evolves as we start to move to a slightly different way of thinking about what a price comparison websites should do. Or not even calling it a price comparison website,” he explains. “What role should we play for our customers if historically it’s been about helping them save money and having a brand positioning specifically around feeling good about that. How does that need to evolve?”

The work started in 2017, when MoneySuperMarket conducted research with its customers about their attitudes to money and why they used price comparison sites. It found that 79% of customers agreed they like to be in control of their money and that price comparison plays an important role in that.

The game is no longer shouting because the only company that wins with that approach is the one that spends the most money on marketing.

Darren Bentley, MoneySuperMarket

However, they also felt there was too much heavy lifting involved in price comparison and not enough tailoring of results.

“Customers expect more of technology-enabled brands than just filling in a form of 20 questions and then seeing results in price order. They expect more in terms of curation, individually tailored experiences, and higher levels of convenience alongside great value. MoneySuperMarket and price comparison generally has always played on that value space and we believe we can do more on the others,” comments Bentley.

New services that underpin MoneySuperMarket’s new strategy include a credit monitoring app and a bill monitoring tool. The former enables MoneySuperMarket to offer more personalised product recommendations based on a user’s credit history, while the latter ensures it is talking about relevant products and offers more opportunities to engage.

The insight around putting customers in control of their money also informed the brand relaunch. Alongside Engine, MoneySuperMarket has honed the idea of removing people’s anxiety around making money decisions and is using messaging that aims to show the sense of calm people feel when they can make financial decisions more easily.

READ MORE: MoneySuperMarket looks beyond incentives to boost engagement in a promiscuous market

“That core insight of control is the one we’ve tightened and refined as we spent more time with customers,” says Bentley. “By control it means being able to find the best deal, doing that easily, being reassured they’ve made the right decision and that they haven’t been ripped off or made a mistake.

“The role for the brand that we will articulate with the brand relaunch, and in the comms and wider customer experience, is that piece around removing anxiety, enabling customers to take control of their finances to achieve a sense of calm with regards the financial choices they are making and to be able to do so more easily than they have been able to historically.”

The new brand positioning

The new brand concept is built around the idea of MoneySuperMarket getting people to feel less “aaaaargh” about their finances and more “aaaaaahhhhh” with a new positioning ‘Get money calm’ embodying that. That proposition will be communicated through a new marketing campaign, launching on Saturday, that will air across TV, press, outdoor, social media, and on MoneySuperMarket’s website and apps.

The messaging says “MoneySuperMarket gives users lots of new ways to save a lot by doing very little”. In that way, says Bentley, it is still focused on the cash MoneySuperMarket can save customers but also hints at the services it will now offer and how it has removed some of that heavy lifting.

The campaign has a very different feel to MoneySuperMarket’s previous positioning, ‘Save Money. Feel Epic’, which included ads with men wearing high heels and hot pants twerking, and He-Man and Skeletor dancing off over who saved the most money. That was deliberate, says Bentley, not only because the industry had moved on but because that campaign never really travelled beyond TV advertising.

moneysupermarket

“The core insight around saving money and feeling epic in 2012 was absolutely true but now just isn’t. Customers have got to the point now where they expect price comparison websites to be able to save them £250; it’s no longer a wow, so we had to move away from that,” he explains. “The broader challenge was that as an idea and a comms vehicle, that was all it was. It didn’t ever travel beyond comms and in some respects it didn’t really travel very well beyond TV.

“With all the potential for innovation within the strategy and the product roadmap, we needed an idea that could underpin the entire experience and talk not just about the brand but also about product. We wanted to create an articulation of a role for a brand, that we can genuinely live up to at every stage of the customer journey, that’s why we’ve ended up where we’ve ended up.”

READ MORE: MoneySuperMarket – We need our brand to be more famous than our ads

Bentley also hopes the campaign will make MoneySuperMarket stand out in a market that has typically been about who can shout the loudest. “The game is no longer shouting because the only company that wins with that approach is the one that spends the most money on marketing.”

Alongside the new campaign and positioning, MoneySuperMarket is getting a new brand identity. The logo has been redesigned to “make it more distinctive”; while the purple colour remains it has been softened and moved away from being a circle to a more distinctive shape because “I’m informed customers don’t remember circles”.

The website and apps have also been redesigned with the new visual identity and to look cleaner and create a “more calming visual experience”. The new services have now been put front and centre of the customer experience, alongside price comparison, to ensure it’s more personalised and tailored. That should mean that, eventually, rather than a homepage about saving money on car insurance users will see tailored updates unique to them (although they’ll obviously have to have an account and be logged in to do that).

The lines are blurring a bit in terms of what is marketing and what is product because it’s all customer experience.

Darren Bentley, MoneySuperMarket

The hope is that all the changes – from the new strategy to the marketing and visual identity – will change the nature of MoneySuperMarket’s relationship with its customers.

“The relationship customers have had with MoneySuperMarket has been very transactional. It’s been come in, save money on car insurance/energy then come back to us again in 12 or 18 months when you need to switch again,” states Bentley.

“The hope is we are now in the background, helping you with your credit score and using that to make tailored recommendations and make it easier to stay on top of your money,” he says, adding: “Then we’re in an ongoing conversation.”

Aligning marketing with the rest of the business

Getting to this point has necessitated a change not just in creative agency but in how MoneySuperMarket works as a whole. It has had to get the business strategy, brand and comms strategy, product roadmap and technical delivery lined up, as well as the agency.

“The way we’ve been able to align the brand and product roadmap and bring the experience together behind the brand relaunch, in support of a business strategy, is the first time since I’ve been with the group that they’ve been as aligned as they are now,” says Bentley. “Engine played a vital role in achieving that.

“It sounds so simple and common sense. But it’s not easy to do.”

MoneySuperMarket logo

It has also led to the lines between the business functions blurring. Bentley says he now spends as much time thinking about the products and services MoneySuperMarket is developing as he does advertising, marketing and comms. The same is true of chief product officer Rafael Orta.

“The lines are blurring a bit in terms of what is marketing and what is product because it’s all customer experience. If I go off piste and say something in comms that isn’t true in the experience, it falls down. And if Rafael goes off piste in a random direction with the experience in a way that doesn’t deliver ‘money calm’ then you start to create disconnects and start to fall down in terms of what you’re asking customers to believe about your brand,” he explains.

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

While the marketing team, which is structured by discipline, hasn’t had to change, the way it works has. Bentley says before while he had (and still has) people with deep levels of specialist execution, he lacked people who could stand back and look at the end-to-end customer journey. Now, however, he says the team has a better idea around the role the brand should play.

MoneySuperMarket is clearly staking a lot of time and investment on this brand relaunch. For Bentley, key to its success will be if customers reappraise the brand, come to expect more from MoneySuperMarket and lean on the company to more broadly manage their finances, creating a more ongoing relationship.

“I want them to hold us to account as to whether we deliver get ‘money calm’ for them,” he says.

He also has internal objectives. With the business “now facing in the same direction”, Bentley hopes to keep that going beyond the relaunch so that marketing, product, commercial and tech remain aligned. And he hopes to take MoneySuperMarket’s partners on that journey too.

“Ultimately, if you can drive that increased engagement with customers by being more personalised, more proactive, hopefully they do start to engage with the brand on an ongoing basis and start to come in more frequently,” he concludes. “The commercial problem that solves is it helps us get away from this continuous reacquisition of customers and you see increased revenue per user.

“That’s always been the amazing thing about our business model, we only do well if our customers do well. You would hope we can save our customers more money and that all ladders up to a more efficient marketing mix and business model and customer engagement model that continues to add business value as well as customer value.”

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