Rebranding a faceless industry – what insurance can learn from retail

Published in Insurance Intel, September 2022

Stewart Drummond, managing director at 999 Design, discusses why insurers should be focussing on steps to build a brand people believe in.

Insurance is often deemed a faceless industry.


With a constant race to the bottom regarding who offers the best deals, there can be little time left for consumers to consider brand loyalty. This behaviour has led the way for price comparison sites to gain all the power, and direct control has quickly been taken away from insurers themselves. 


This control is no longer something insurers can afford to lose. Yet, with the lack of an obvious identity, there is little room for genuine connections between brand and consumer to develop. Younger customers are simply more loyal to price than the brand itself. Not surprising, right? Either way – insurers can’t afford to overlook anyone. 

They need to be simple, transparent and fair with what they offer consumers.

The industry should look to learn from the retail environment, redefining its offer to cater for wider audiences and offer added value where possible.


We all know that ASOS offers customers deals they can’t say no to (be that faster delivery or personalised discount codes), so why can’t insurance brands mirror this? Retailers are great at knowing who their customers are and continually upsell based on a customer’s preferences and buying behaviour. Whether it’s increased use of telematic apps or pay-as-you-go options – steps can be taken to tailor insurance products to individual needs, avoid the one-size-fits-all approach, and, in turn, create relationships that mean something and last. 

Price comparison websites are currently controlling the decision-making process for consumers when it comes to insurance.


They often contact customers before their insurer can for renewals, encouraging them to find better deals elsewhere. Insurers need to take back control and build brand loyalty by having more regular and meaningful conversations with customers, diversifying products and taking time to ensure each customer receives the right product for them.



Data is king in retail and drives customer interactions and builds loyalty.


Insurers should copy this and use customer data frequently to provide a more tailored experience to delight and excite customers by showing a greater level of understanding – for example, providing personalised offers and rewards at renewal or critical events, such as birthdays or car/house purchase dates. Insurers must stop treating customers as a collective and instead see them as individuals and develop products and services that consider their specific needs, wants and circumstances. If a customer doesn’t feel like you understand them or can’t offer them additional value, they will just continue looking for the best price.

During the pandemic, online retailers had to be more responsive to meet consumer demand, which has set the standard for what customers expect from brands in general.

Obviously, there are significant differences between these industries, and it will initially be challenging to make immediate changes for some insurance brands. However, failing to acknowledge that change is needed will hamper growth, leaving behind those who don’t innovate and react to changing customer behaviours and expectations.

By not fostering customer relationships correctly, insurance brands are missing out on repeat custom and the ability to build the business further through referrals from loyal customers.


The relationship becomes purely transactional, and therefore greater resources and budget are continually required to onboard new customers, which harms long-term brand growth and value.

There are specific steps that insurers should take to help garner meaningful consumer connections and, in turn, foster brand loyalty.


This includes: 


  • Building a clear brand value proposition
  • Conducting regular brand tracking surveys
  • Creating more meaningful communications with customers
  • Continually innovating to improve both product and customers experience 
  • Personalising the customer experience
  • Never standing still 

If insurance brands take these learnings on board, they will create more brand loyalty, can develop more product verticals to keep up with consumer demand, as well as see an improvement in the relevance of products allowing them to diversify beyond insurance.

This article was originally published in Insurance Intel in September 2022. 

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