In a lot of ways the insurance industry has struggled with technology. Industry adoption of new technologies runs far behind other financial services sectors. Consumers have latched on to price comparison websites to drive down margins for brokers and insurers alike. Customers expect service across a whole range of contact points that didn’t so much as exist two decades ago.
Then of course there’s the need to meet the switched-on client’s needs for information across all channels; websites, print, blogs, social media, TV, radio, etc. All that promotion doesn’t come cheap and once again it drives down margins in the industry.
One of the more noticeable things about the insurance sector is how little weight brand identity carries with consumers. The industry has, in many respects, failed to capture the hearts and minds of its customers and thus price-sensitivity dominates much of the retail market for insurance products.
Does It Have to Be Like This?
We think that it doesn’t and that the industry needs to start using technology to build the brand identity of its insurers. One possible way to achieve this is to take a leaf out of the gaming industry’s book and use games to build brand loyalty.
Games? But we’re insurers!
Games were once the purview of the young and/or highly technically minded. Then Facebook opened its doors to simple games online. Farmville became an overnight sensation; people who had never played games before suddenly wanted to grow their own virtual vegetable garden and help their neighbours keep their gardens nice.
Farmville demonstrated that everyone will get involved in games if you make it easy enough to do so.
Technology companies noticed the trend and jumped on the bandwagon. If you want some free storage (over and above the basic level) with DropBox you complete a series of tasks (letting friends know about their service) and hey presto – more storage is yours.
A simple type of game which could be adapted to the insurance sector is the “pub quiz” style general knowledge test. A discount on a premium in exchange for demonstrating you know all about how to secure your car or home might work nicely.
Rewards for referring other people to your products, in the form of future discounts or even cash rebates, might help drive sales without too much effort.
The advantage of games and rewards is that they’re fun. They give people space to engage with your brand at an entertainment level. The loyalty you build with the customer is based on genuine enjoyment rather than any sense of obligation. Clients like games, they like to share high-scores and results – they like rewards too and they like to tell their friends when they get them.
The insurance industry is already adopting high-tech solutions like telematics to improve service; maybe it’s time to consider gaming as part of the future of the industry?