How Leading Brands Are Changing The Face Of Insurance Through Brand Engagement With Youth
With Nigeria’s population largely dominated by young people – 60% of Nigerians are under 35 years old – the strategy for the brand’s market dominance must have relatability and vibes with trends, subcultures, and neo-language. Undoubtedly, there is a lot of messaging that would easily not resonate with youth, especially the “woke” Gen Z and Millennial generations.
These younger generations prefer a different and exciting approach to brand storytelling, rather than the usual stiff “Do’s and Don’ts” or “Pros and Con” narrative builds. They are more stimulated by lifestyle-led conversations which today define their subconscious and subcultures.
One of the brand conversations that might not immediately appeal to the youth is Insurance; this is not so for them alone but also for the entire Nigerian populace as the penetration rate for insurance is alarmingly low at less than 1 percent.
The question is how do you get the buy-in of this boisterous and happy-go-lucky, socially conscious generation? How do you make a “serious conversation” appealing and relatable yet not losing its context and importance?
As expected, insurance a non-banking, non-tangible financial solution is a difficult sell to anyone, most especially the youth. With a mind that is governed by the Y.O.L.O (you only live once) mantra, selling risk management to young people must be strategic.
Some brands and corporates have understood this assignment of engaging the youths and are thriving, either by targeting them as their primary audience or as the amplifying force to provoke talkability and engagement for the brand.
Some of such brands are Leadway Assurance, Heirs Insurance and Tangerine Africa, three of Africa’s leading insurance brands. In recent times these topmost brands have gradually positioned insurance beyond the usual narrative of “secure your future” and the stoic risk identification and risk management tool that only the wise and intelligent engage in. They have engaged the youth in selling insurance through subcultural themes, platforms, and alignment.
Lifestyle Events and Sponsorships
An apt way of describing this new generation is that they are the life of the party, as they prefer to experience a brand than decide from mere hearsay. Connecting with the brand is important if they would move from Awareness to Action (based on the AIDA Marketing approach).
What better way to lure the millennials than through lifestyle events – whether it is a product launch, a partnership, or a milestone announcement, coating these corporate actions in lifestyle appearances will always be a win-win situation for the brand and its bubbly targets.
What these events do is encourage brand association which in turn leads to loyalty and brand affinity. Leadway explored this approach with various lifestyle events in the last few months, such as the Alte Festival, Sip n Paint Event, and the just-concluded fifth edition of the Lagos Leather Fair (LLF5).
The Alte Culture Fest was done to amplify a unique and appealing genre of entertainment that the new tribes of Nigerian youth are gradually embracing while celebrating creativity across music, fashion, and food. With this Leadway portrayed itself as a future-forward and socially aware brand that is not disassociated from trends. With Sip n Paint Event, an owned event specially created and curated to commemorate the International Day of Happiness was centered around revealing and unleashing the inner Picasso, promoting happiness, and expressing their friendship amongst the Gen Zs and Millennials. Those tactics did not only create excitement. The event got leading the attention of leading lifestyle online media platforms.
They also identified and got involved in the Lagos Leather Fair, a multi-faceted engagement platform that attracts both old and young fashion enthusiasts, business owners, and creative in the Leatherworks ecosystem.
In addition, leveraging on the reality that sport is a vital way to connect with the youth, Leadway entered a sponsorship agreement with Sporting Lagos Football Club, a growing Lagos based football club to bolster youth participation in sports, delight the fans on match days and promoting grassroot sports in the state and country at large.
The Tangerine brand, on the other hand, aligned with the nuances of the Nigerian youth by providing its customers with free tickets to enjoy a musical performance by the raving, African sensation, Wizkid, at his 2021 Starboy Live Concert in Lagos. In addition, the brand recently signed the multitalented and sensational star, Falz, as their brand ambassador. Such a darling move!
The typical Nigerian youth is more prone to an auditory and visual form of relaxation, listening to music, or binging on movies. Music is the main tool that bridges the demographic or psychographic divide, connecting people and lifestyle patterns. Leadway understands how music bridges any form of a social gap and impacts the lives and aspirations of youth.
Driven by this knowledge, Leadway helps its youthful customers to curate an unbelievable array of selected hits into a regular playlist tagged “Vibe n Lead”, and, made it available on major music streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify, and Audio Mack for their listening delight. In addition, Leadway is also pushing this enjoyable alignment with music to leading, youth-inspired radio stations like the SoundCity. It would not be far-reaching to say that sponsorship of a music reality TV show will be a bold step in the right direction, as music will always appeal.
Tangerine Africa, armed with the flair for entertainment, and the tendency of Nigerian youths to align with brands that communicate with them using celebrities such as music stars, partnered with MI Abaga, a renowned Nigerian rap artist to provide relief for victims of October 2020 protests in Nigeria. By doing this, the organisation took a bold social step in the right direction to relate with their youthful target audiences who find music and lifestyle-led social impact measures particularly appealing.
Engagement with Brand Assets
With social media being the dominant platform for youth consumption of content, Leadway has engineered its brand assets with more innovative gears such as emojis and stickers recreation or refresh to ensure alignment with optics that are within the realm of youthful resonance.
According to Forbes, “over 6 billion emojis and stickers are sent in a day and nearly half of all Instagram posts include an emoji” it is safe to say young people prefer a visually driven form of communication.
Leadway is leveraging this data to create branded emojis, stickers as well as wallpapers for its young audience. It is a very creative way to say to the young targets that insurance is just as cool as fintech and it is right in their alley.
Tangerine’s images and optics are eternally youthful with vibrant colours and playful themes.
Tending to Gender Equality
Now, more than ever, Nigerian youths are interested in achieving gender balance in all spheres of society. Driven by this understanding, the Tangerine brand, in honour of the 2022 international women’s month, launched a campaign tagged ‘Protecting22Dreams’, an initiative that provided 22 young female entrepreneurs with free SME, Life, and Health insurance policies for a year, all at no cost.
This strategic social impact drive positions the brand in a truly progressive, and inclusive light, two traits, which by extension, resonate deeply with the Nigerian youthful populace.
In commemorating the 2022 International Women’s Day, Leadway also celebrated Women in Uniform who constantly keep the community safe and help make the world a better place. That was a touch of social cause tactic with gender alignment.
Still on promoting gender inclusion, Heirs Insurance also launched its women targeted motor insurance plan tagged “Her Motor Plan” which provides 24-hour road rescue and vehicle repair services, as well as access to an exclusive community of like-minded businesswomen. These brands are surely leading the way on social impact marketing!
If the future of insurance brand is to be rightly sewn into the hearts and minds of the Nigerian youth, these three leading brands have provided the pioneering lead to that imminent outcome.