Sausage in service brands
I had a conversation the other day about the challenge of differentiating in service businesses, especially in terms of creating functional points of difference ("Sausage"). But the more I think about it, isn’t the opportunity for differentiation in services is much bigger than in product brands, where retailer own label continue to lead the way on many fronts?
This is on one big condition: investment in service innovation, not in communication to create an image wrapper for the brand. When companies do take this approach, they can create unique services that are hard and take a long time to copy. The big project I and my business partner are working on this year is in insurance, and the More Th>n brand has a couple of great examples of this.
The first is breaks the trend of automated call centres by putting a human face back on service, with the idea of a "Personal Customer Manager".
This person will be your point of contact throughout your time with the
brand. Sounds simple, but the organisational and system challenges of
actually doing it are huge. Time will tell if the brand can pull it
off, but they have already got a lot of support for having a go.
The second example is called "Drive Time", and is shows the power of getting insight from sources other than just focus groups. Expert studies showed that most of the accidents with young drivers happen between 11pm and 6am. With Drive Time, if young drivers stay off the road during these hours they get 40% off their car insurance premium. Shows that doing good can be good business. Lives are saved, young drivers get much cheaper insurance and More Th>n saves by paying out less claims. A nice touch is the suggestions on how to have a great night in during the hours you’re not out on the road!