Brand Positioning: “Cheap insurance” vs “Proper insurance”


Brand positioning can be defined as the “act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinct place in the mind of the target market.” (Kotler and Keller).

If we consider the competitive environment of the South African insurance market we find two market leaders, OUTsurance and Santam. These two brands have successfully position themselves at opposite ends of the insurance market. These two brands approach the sector in two drastically different ways.

Over the years both brands have become household names within the minds of the South African consumers. Santam has been around since I can remember with OUTsurance stormed onto the scene in the late 90’s changing the face of the local industry. Up until that point the market was filled with your “classic” insurance companies. These companies all positioned themselves in a similar way. High price linked to a high value product. So called “proper insurance”

Many of these are still around today with Santam being the pick of the bunch. Santam understand their target market and speak a langue that resonates with a high LSM individual. Price is secondary to trust and value. We all remember the famous “twin” advertisement campaign where they point out how allot of their competitors may appear to offer the same product but that they are the only ones selling “real” insurance. They position themselves as trustworthy company.

If we look at the company website and its messaging it is clear they are part of the insurance selection set. The brand was successfully refreshed recently with the brand identity and marks getting a face lift. The new look is strong and modern without losing the brand value it has build up over time. Layouts are clean and balanced mixed with carefully curated imagery.

All of these elements works together to form a sophisticated image that attracts a likeminded individual. Cemented with their tagline. Insurance good and proper

In stark contrast the OUTsurance brand position themselves in the price driven sector of the insurance market.So called “Cheap Insurance”. It used a variety of techniques to do this. It starts with the brand name. The name is a play one words combining its core product insurance with their company mantra to give back to the customer. This aligns with the company tagline “You always get something OUT”. They are aware how price-conscious most South African’s are and the idea of getting some of your hard-earned cash back into your pocket has proved to be decisive.

The brand image is informal and for lack of a better word “cheap”. They use bright clashing colors, lime green and purple. Colours not normally associated with a financial institution. One simply need to look at a advertisement from the brand to understand the positioning.

Photography is more raw and amateur like. This is done on purpose as this style of photography feels more real to the viewer. It is a photo you can probably take with a mobile phone. They use real individuals, even stating their name and age. Viewers within their target can relate to Busi. Busi doesn’t drive a new BMW but a hatchback Hyandai. She is a normal person like me and you.

Further they have bold statements showing the price and how affordable her insurance. Through consistent messaging through across platforms that have established themselves as the insurance company that would offer you the best “deal”. Confidant in their product they guarantee you the lowest quote or they will pay you. This aligns with their OUTstrategy. Again establishing the perception that they offer the lowest prices in the sector. The quality and value of the actual product is secondary to the price.

We can see how two brands can position themselves differently within the same sector to appeal to a different target audience.