Environics Research Group

Position as protection for family and stress reducerThe message and the marketBody Guard seems to be a viable insurance product with a potential market of more than one million households in the Windsor, Ont.-to-Montreal corridor.We used the results of our 3SC...

Position as protection for family and stress reducer

The message and the market

Body Guard seems to be a viable insurance product with a potential market of more than one million households in the Windsor, Ont.-to-Montreal corridor.

We used the results of our 3SC needs and values survey to help our client formulate a coherent marketing plan that targets the market with the best possible media and the most appropriate messages.

Our syndicated survey measures Canadians’ beliefs, attitudes and values.

Each year, 3SC interviews 2,600 Canadians, aged 15 and older, to determine what they believe today and how their values are evolving over time.

The study probes Canadians’ attitudes toward a wide range of topics, including family, friendships, status, career, money, community, the environment, authority, and personal autonomy and control.

By cross-tabulating product and service use with responses to the questions probing individual values, clients can discover the values and motivations, not only of their own customers, but also of their competitors’ customers.

Characteristics of the target group

The values of insurance policyholders reveal they are likely to use products such as Body Guard. They are:

- Socially responsible: insurance policyholders feel a strong sense of responsibility for others, particularly their families. They care deeply about their families, and want to protect them at all costs.

However, they are also strongly committed to their community (both the local community and the ‘global village’) and to the environment.

- Stressed out: this strong sense of responsibility can weigh heavily on insurance policyholders. They feel insecure about their ability to keep up with the constant changes in and the complexity of modern life.

- Open to new ideas and approaches: the need to relieve this sense of pressure and stress has increased policyholders’ interest in trying out new ideas and approaches that will help them simplify and manage their lives.

- Rational and sensible: it should be noted, however, that insurance policyholders are selective about the ideas they are willing to try.

They consider themselves to be rational, sensible people. They need solid reasons for buying products and services, not just appeals to their emotions and insecurities.

Marketing Body Guard

The strong sense of responsibility and openness to new ideas that distinguishes insurance policyholders also makes them interested in new ways of protecting those they care about when they travel.

Body Guard is a natural product for them.

Positioning

Body Guard should be positioned as protection for the family, and as a stress reliever (and ‘vacation enhancer’) for the insurance policyholder.

The message

Insurance policyholders have always worked to protect their family and themselves when they travel.

Body Guard’s advertising must acknowledge these past efforts, while, at the same time, offering a new approach.

Body Guard should be positioned, therefore, not as a new concept, but as a more effective means of accomplishing the old objective of taking care of one’s loved ones.

By using Body Guard, insurance policyholders can have a stress-free vacation, because they know they have fulfilled all of their responsibilities easily and effectively.

They have simplified their lives, without neglecting their responsibilities.

Advertising tone

The advertising must appeal to both the emotional and the rational sides of insurance policyholders.

On the emotional side, this group is under strong pressure from their responsibilities. On the rational side, insurance policyholders want solid, clear information so that they can evaluate new product offerings.

All advertising and promotional material for Body Guard should contain extensive information about the product, as well as a clear message the insurance company understands the needs of the consumer.

Communications vehicles

The importance that insurance policyholders place on community and rational decision-making indicate certain advertising, promotions, and public relations opportunities that can heighten the effectiveness of a conventional advertising campaign.

Community newspapers offer an effective means of reaching this group in a vehicle they like to read regularly.

Community event sponsorships, such as baseball teams, Neighbourhood Watch and environmental efforts are another effective means of reaching the target group while enhancing the product’s image.

The company’s support for local organizations will not only publicize the product, it will also reinforce the congruence of the product’s values with those of its target group.

Computer networks, such as Compuserve, Prodigy and Internet, offer an environment that will appeal to the target group’s sense of belonging to the ‘global village’ and to their confidence in technology.

On the public relations front, newspaper articles and interviews about the product would be effective at increasing the product’s credibility among consumers, while supplementing regular media campaigns.

Stephanie Cooper and Stephen Popiel are senior associates at Environics Research Group in Toronto.