I don’t really care what happens to Aviva, in fact I find it an interesting experiment on brand destruction and it’s subsequent consequences in cyberspace. I gave up caring about Aviva a long time ago when it got taken over by Norwich Union!
How did that happen eh?
Two massive GOOD performing companies General Accident and Commercial Union, bastions of British Insurance for a century, allow some little upstart with a bad reputation amongst insurance brokers – Norwich Union, to come in take them both over, totally change direction, and destroy not just the brands but the ethos and systems of two great companies.
Commercial Union was a mess when GA took it over, in need of new systems and a people cull.
GA managed to absorb what was a good book of general business and the largest Life Insurance account int the UK, into its latest systems with little pain. The merger seem to work well as CGU until the motor bike people came along during the time of large takeovers and stock market profit grabbing.
Those were the days…. I remember the day I was at my city desk when a friend from GA phoned me up from Scotland to say they’d seen CU going into the boardroom at Perth. Oh if only they had Internet day trading facilities in those days……
So recently Insurance blogger has been watching closely and has noticed the following
1 A decision to destroy another brand and move to the megalith status of AVIVA
2. Rationalisation of all distribution outlets – It’s well documented in the insurance newspapers, the souring relationships of the large conglommerates of Insurance Broking Networks, consolidators and the Internet aggregators and the withdrawal of NU from many of these product markets.
NU has also almost completely stopped it’s external Internet distribution and has discharged the duties of affiliates in favour of centralised and PPC marketing.
3.The online affiliate marketing company OMG from Norwich whose account was founded on NU products, has seen all but the LIFE INSURANCE products withdrawn. It’s now beholden to RBS products to keep it alive in the online insurance arena.
At least there are some sensible people in the Life Dept – which rules the general insurance department anyway, as the Insurance side of the business is incidental in the scheme of things.
4. Rationalisation of labour
From an online marketing point of view, Insurance blogger thinks that NU whoever you are, have totally cocked up, and only time will tell just how badly – not that they care, its not their money, they are just playing with the shareholders money in exactly the same way as those bank employees did.
Still I don’t care that they are wasting the shareholders money, they’ll just turn around anyway and put it down to the cost of ‘brand alignment’.
The sad thing is that they are heading in totally the wrong direction.
To be successful on the Internet today, you must have a strong brand.
All the search engine results are dominated by the big brands, including NorwichUnion.com.
The IT department has probably told the marketing people to say they’ve got it all under control by using what is known as a 301 redirect to the new Aviva site.
The really sad thinng though is that, they are brand destroyers, acquiring, consuming, and destroying famous british brands that they should be cherishing and maximising market coverage with.
They won’t change, they’ve been doing it a long time – after all they destroyed GA Bonus which was voted for by the readers of Insurance Times as the third most important Insurance invention ever after Lloyds and Direct Line.
Maybe it is the right time to shrink the book……..
Good job I sold my shares years ago.
Hang on they’ve still got my pension fund……..