Agency: Publicis & PHD Ireland
Introduction and Background
In 2013, Vhi Healthcare was a brand at a crossroads. A landscape brand in Ireland, Vhi was strongly associated with insurance market staples – dependability, reliability and trust. However, by 2013, the economic downturn had hit the private medical insurance category, hard, and Vhi's competitors were using aggressive, price-based strategies to try to commoditise the market. Vhi's market share was slipping.
Vhi Healthcare is a brand, which naturally draws loyalty from its customers; particularly those who have experienced ill health and who fully understand the importance of private medical insurance. However, in the face of the deepest recession in memory and aggressive competition, younger customers who had not yet done so, were wavering. Vhi's 'book' of customers was becoming disproportionately older and, as a result, their annual claims costs were almost 14 times higher than their competitors. In a community rated market (i.e. where everyone pays the same premium regardless of age), this imbalance was entirely unsustainable. Vhi needed a better blend of younger and older customers.