Tuesday, February 05, 2008

IFFCO- Tokio : The life you desire

Corporate Brand : IFFCO -Tokio
Agency : Dentsu

Brand Analysis Count : 308

One of my close friend's brand new Santro was stolen weeks after he bought his dream machine. This happened despite all the anti-burglar stuff being loaded to the vehicle. After running from pillar to post and following it up with Police, the hope of getting the vehicle back was slowly fading. We friends began consoling him pointing out the insurance policy he had for the vehicle. Hope again came back and the entire ' process' of getting the insurance and buying a car began taking life.

Now after 5 months and 100 phone calls , only the hope remains. Today I checked my car insurance : I paid Rs 7000 for one year full cover insurance for my car and was feeling secure about the vehicle but this incident shattered my confidence. I now double check the doors and keep my gate secure with big locks because I know that it is not all that easy to get your claims.
I am not blaming the insurance companies for the delay because they play by the rules especially when they have to pay the buck. Here in my friend's case the technical issue is something known as ' Non traceability Certificate ' that has to be issued by the investigating police department that certifies that the vehicle cannot be recovered. Some times Police may give the certificate after one full year. Till then Keep Walking....

This long introduction was necessary because this post is about an insurance company which talks about hassle free claims : IFFCO - Tokio.
IFFCO-Tokio is a joint venture in general insurance between Indian Farmer's Fertiliser Cooperative limited and Tokio Marine which is a Japanese Insurance giant . IFFCO-Tokio was launched in December 2000 and during the initial years, the company was concentrating on the corporate insurance segment focusing on products like Fire Insurance theft insurance etc.
The brand had the task of creating brand awareness during the initial period since IFFCO is a fertilizer company and the consumers had to be educated about the brand's new venture into the insurance sector.
Like any other insurance company, IFFCO-Tokio began to address the issue of accidents like fire and theft jeopardizing your future plans. The brand had a series of campaigns highlighting this theme. The brand had the slogan " Which way life takes you, we will be there " .

After tasting success in the corporate segment, the company began to look at the retail general insurance market. During 2004-05 the company launched its motor vehicle insurance product.
I began noticing this brand when I saw the brand talking about quick claim settlement. At that time no insurance firms were talking about this attribute.
What I liked was the television campaign where a well dressed executive comes to the office in a horse cart . Watch the TVC here : IFFCO Horse cart
The brand was talking about the delay that happens in most insurance claims and promises to provide customers hasslefree claims.

This year too the brand has come out with a new campaign : Deaf Ear
The new campaign talks about the usual attitude of insurance firms when the clients ask for claims. They often turn deaf.
Both these campaigns contains perfect consumer insights. The brand uses the promise of ' Hassle free claims ' as the differentiator. I feel that it is a powerful differentiator provided the brand lives upto the promise.

I strongly believe that the true nature of a company will be revealed when the customer has a complaint. How the firm deals with the customer complaints often reflects the customer focus of the firm .

For an Insurance firm the claim settlement is the final moment of truth which reveals the firm's true face. Often insurance firms delay payments because of the fact that there are many rogue clients who take advantage of insurance claims . But what about genuine clients. When a customer pays a hefty sum of Rs 7000 to Rs 30000, it is the responsibility of the firm to take the responsibility rather than hide behind technicalities.

IFFCO-Tokio talks about settling 90 % claims with in seven days which if it is true , is a remarkable achievement.
Differentiation based on quick claim settlement is also risky. First the brand has to live up to the expectation otherwise the undelivered promise create catastrophic effect on brand equity. Second, the company has to make sure that its claim procedure is robust and secure so that it will not be taken for a ride by rogue clients. The company should make sure that the genuine customers are not taken for a ride. Once the customer is found genuine, the claim should be settled because it is the fulfillment of the brand's promise. A claim which is settled quickly acts as a powerful word of mouth advertisement that can generate lot of goodwill.

To the customers ... Check whether you have locked the gate .....