Turning challenge into opportunity is easier said than done, to follow one cliché with another, but Great Eastern has hit its stride with its annual Women’s Run and comprehensive efforts to promote healthy lifestyles.
Colin Chan, chief marketing officer at Great Eastern Singapore, said today’s consumers are concerned about more than life insurance, they want to live longer and lead healthy lifestyles. The insurance company is using that trend to differentiate itself and build better consumer engagement. Last year it refreshed its brand purpose to be a 'Life Company,’ creating more relevance to what is already on consumers’ minds.
“Our tagline is ‘Life is Great’, and it means different things to different people,” Chan said. “We asked ourselves what the tagline means to us and what it means to our customers. We recognised the need to make it more tangible. We believe life is great when you experience the goodness of life... and you can only achieve that when you are healthy.”
The insurance company has since launched its “Great starts small” brand campaign, where it promotes the idea that small steps lead to big changes for the better, allowing people to embrace the great moments in life.
The campaign includes online wellness tools, mobile apps and portals to provide health tips, as well as workshops and events and its “Live Great” loyalty programme, to inspire consumers to live better. The aim is to reach out to consumers at the right time and give them holistic advice. The company’s Health and Wellness portal contains information and tips on topics such as heart-diseases prevention, parenting advice, healthy recipes and innovative ways to de-stress.
It also lists relevant health and wellness products and services that customers can purchase at exclusive discounted rates as members of the Live Great programme. Consumers can also use Great Eastern’s Wellness Profiling online tool to conduct a simple health-risk assessment. The company offers a mobile app that reminds users to act upon their health and wellness intentions on a daily basis. The goal is to help people track their progress, but the app also gives the brand an intimate touchpoint with its clientele.
“As a ‘Life Company’, we want to go beyond the traditional role of an insurance company, to help customers live healthier, better and longer," Chan said. "We want to nudge our customers towards living better and healthier so that they can really enjoy those 'Life is Great' moments with the ones they love. Although insurance is important, it can never replace you.”
TBWA and Mindshare head up Great Eastern’s campaign, helping the insurer communicate its purpose to its consumers. “We need to work with agencies to work things out and we meet them almost every week," Chan said. "They have their expertise on how to invoke certain emotions in line with our brand purpose.” For its digital initiatives, the company works with TBWA's Digital Arts Network to drive Facebook, YouTube and Twitter engagement.
Chan, an actuarial science graduate from Nanyang Technological University Singapore, joined the company in 1994 where he started off with technical work, before moving on to other roles in different departments, such as marketing, business and finance. He also helped set up the accident and health unit. That technical background, Chan said, set a good grounding for his current role as he tries to simplify complicated insurance terms to offer simple and relevant products to consumers.
He oversees all consumer marketing, consumer analytics and product. With the new positioning of the company, his main responsibility is to help consumers understand what Great Eastern stands for.
“We are a ‘Life Company’ from the inside out and this year, we involved all internal staff in CSR works with needy elderly for four months," he said. "We want to give back to society and we encourage all staff to do that.” Equipping its agents to ensure professionalism while giving advice to consumers is part of that drive.
Great Eastern launched a first-of-its-kind integrated employee health-incentive benefits initiative, ‘The Life Programme,’ for its employees. It encourages employees to take charge of their health and wellness, incentivising them with Life points, of which each is equivalent to $1 cash. Employees complete an annual biometric assessment and other health-related activities to earn points.
The company’s annual Women’s Run is one of its key initiatives to promote healthy living. “It will continue to be an all-woman run as women are an important segment for us,” Chan noted. “Mothers have strong influence in the family. If she inspires the family to live better, it is a good way to get people on that journey.”