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The new teacher: Tata AIA gives parenting tips

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There is still a lot of speculation and confusion when it comes to purchasing life insurance products. In fact they are the last thing on a consumer’s wish list. Thus, it is important for players in this sector to create an emotional bond with consumers as the category is all about trust. Believing in this philosophy that trust is a necessity for the category, Tata AIA Life Insurance (earlier Tata AIG) is pursuing a communication and brand building initiative to strengthen its emotional connect with consumers. In its latest campaign the brand is all set teach a lesson or two to parents on bringing up their child on the right values.

Vikrant Ramachandra, Vice President and Head of Brand Marketing – TATA AIA Life Insurance

Upping the emotional quotient
Vikrant Ramachandra, Vice President and Head of Brand Marketing, Tata AIA Life Insurance, says, “Research has suggested to us that in this category, a customer first buys into a Corporate Brand, along with the agent recommending, and finally an Insurance Product. Additionally, money in India is an emotional currency. All transactions are camouflaged in an emotion. At Tata AIA Life we have continually balanced the need of building its brand equity, in conjunction with appropriate product communication.”

Thus the brand has recently launched its third series of campaign based on the same brand philosophy of values and strong foundation. The brand seriously pursues the age old adage that it takes the right values to grow into a secure future. Explaining the rationale behind the campaign, Ramachandra says, “The new campaign continues to leverage a strong belief held dear at Tata AIA Life – if the foundations are strong, the future will be protected. It emanates from an insight that if the learning of tables at the early stages in life is sound, then taking a bash at CAT exams becomes easier.”

He also adds that changing values are an area of high concern in parenting. Based on that understanding Tata AIA Life encourages parents to concentrate on the basic values of life that stand in good stead in the long term. Thus, in a marked difference from other players that use the theme of ‘fear’ of losing, Tata AIA has surely tried to create a sentimental approach to the subject of life insurance.

The campaign, created by Bates, will be supported by a multi-media, multi-touch-point communication program. One of the most important engagement programme for the company is the soon-to-be-introduced digital tablet-based sales management enabler, where a premier agent of Tata AIA Life will showcase the complete insurance cycle – from prospecting, to evaluating, recommending and policy issuance on a digital platform.

Banking on the agent
As a matter of fact insurance, as a category, needs personal intervention for need creation, product selection, purchase process and post purchase maintenance. Because the nature of the industry is so complex and incomprehensible at times for consumers, it becomes important for agencies to recruit the right kind of agents.

Ramachandra agrees, “A large part of the responsibility rests on the Agent, who is the last mile contact with the insurance agency’s customers. Tata AIA Life embarked on a large transformational program, for over six months, called Premier Agency Program. What this entails has been the creation of Tata AIA Life Premier Academy, which has been mandated to recruit right, train extensively, retain only those who can withstand the process of Premier Academy, and ensure life-long training process. We believe that a Premier Agent of Tata AIA Life will substantially add value towards the protection needs of their customers.”

Challenges and trends
The brand is confident of leveraging the trust associated with its parentage. According to Ramachandta, the same values that are dear to the constituent brands are the values that will be used to differentiate the agency in the crowded and high decibel insurance space. In addition, as far as competition is concerned, the company feels that Tata AIA Life is in the business of protection against life risks. “More than just the companies in the life insurance category, true competition is the mindset of prospects, who believe that either coverage is unnecessary or the coverage against risks is adequate,” he explains.

Thus, the challenge the company faces stems from the awareness deficiency among consumers. The spokesperson adds, “India is under-insured. More than the challenges of reaching the customer, the true challenge lies in category need creation and awareness of the protection gap that Indians have. The challenge for the industry is to highlight the inadequacy of the first insurance purchased, most likely as a tax break at the early stage of their working career.”

According to IRDA, there are currently 23 life insurance companies in India and as far as the conventional plans of Life Insurance policies are concerned, there is a growth of 11 per cent in policies and 22 per cent in premium as in February 2012, according to the Ministry of State for Finance.

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