In conversation with Dr. David Stachon, Ergo Insurance

20 May 2011|Added Value

ERGO Insurance is one of the biggest insurance companies in Germany. In 2010, Ergo merged with several other well known insurance brands, including Hamburg-Mannheimer, to form the Ergo Group.

A new campaign was launched this year as part of the positioning of the group brand, featuring the compelling pay off line “Ich will versichert werden. Und nicht verunsichert.” (I would like to be insured – not unsure). “Herr Kaiser”, the ubiquitous insurance salesman character who represented the Hamburg-Mannheimer brand for over 35 years, was retired and replaced by a different, more casual front-man.

The communication has generated a significant amount of attention amongst marketing and insurance industry experts. And consumers are adding to the talk factor too, fuelled by local tabloid newspaper BILD’s extensive interest in the campaign’s main protagonist, the good-looking Sebastian Ströbel.

It’s been nearly half a year since the launch. We spoke with Dr. David Stachon, Marketing Manager of Ergo Versicherungsgruppe AG, for an inside view on the strategy behind the work.

How satisfied are you with the Ergo campaign after four months? And why?
Although the campaign’s emphasis is on substance – which is unusual and ambitious for a launch campaign – it has proven very successful. Within two months, Ergo advertising has shown the highest level of unaided recall among all insurance companies.

Within this time, the Ergo brand made it among the top five insurance companies in terms of unaided brand awareness. Never before has the insurance industry seen such a quick and high rise in spontaneous brand and advertising awareness.

Do you miss Herr Kaiser?
For about three decades Herr Kaiser was the face of Hamburg-Mannheimer and very closely related to the brand. He was the incarnation of an insurance agent. However, we can now use the new name for all sales channels. The new Ergo concept gave us the unique chance to make a fresh start with a niche positioning – one that’s unbiased. This also reflects in the external communication.

How did the Ergo staff, the group companies and marketing/sales react to the new campaign?
Before we started the campaign, we not only asked consumers about their needs and expectations regarding insurance offers. We also wanted to know from our staff what kind of insurance company they would like to work for. These findings informed the whole company structure, and in turn, the campaign. As we are all in the same boat, there has been high acceptance of the changes within the organisation.

The German Insurance Association (GDV) and Allianz favour the approach of customer testimonials in campaigns. You use actors. Which concept is more convincing?
Much more important than the actors is whether the content is realistic and relevant. If the consumer can identify with the content, will the concept will be perceived as authentic. Our research findings show that we are on the right track. Consumers believe in what we say.

How are you going to keep the promises made in your campaign regarding clarity? Will Ergo rock the market with something completely different and better?
Our claim “Versichern heißt verstehen” (“to insure is to understand”) is completely new in this business. It gives us the chance to be a better partner for our clients.

We place the client at the centre of our activity. This translates into the services, the consulting and the products we offer and can be experienced by our clients at each touchpoint of our business. In our endeavour to make our statements as clear and as comprehensible as possible for the client, we invite them to connect and engage with us. And they do. Via our web portal www.millionen-gruende.de, thousands have let us know about their expectations and experiences – all of which will, of course, be useful as we plan our next steps.

Watch one of the new Ergo ads here:

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