Launching the new Nationale-Nederlanden
Nationale-Nederlanden’s goal is to play a leading role in modernising the insurance sector. With a history spanning 165 years and just over five million customers at the end of April, the country’s best known insurance company presented its new, customer-centric approach.
A national media campaign shows that NN is taking the human dimension as its primary focus. “By moving in this direction, Nationale-Nederlanden wants to adopt a distinct identity in the market. We want to be seen as the most expert player in our society and in our sector. A player that takes the initiative”, says Lard Friese, Nationale-Nederlanden’s CEO.
NN is going back to the basics of insurance: offering security when it comes to service, expertise and reliability: “We need to go back to basics, to our customers and what’s important to them: their home, their family and their future income. “Consumers want security – that’s clearly why they take out an insurance policy. But in practice, insurance can also create uncertainty, raising questions such as: ‘Am I properly insured or even over insured?’ ‘Has my claim been dealt with?’ ‘Who can help me?’
As an insurance company, it’s up to us to offer security and transparency when it comes to the risks and conditions so that customers know where they stand”, according to Friese. Customers want clear, simple products. They want information and transparency and the best possible solution to their needs. They want low-threshold, transparent, low-cost and high-quality service.”
The sector is under fire and is battling a negative image. NN is also affected. This is consistent with what’s happening today: there are no guarantees and what people are looking for most is new security. Insurance companies are working hard to offer this. Nationale-Nederlanden wants to lead the way: “It’s our responsibility to use our position, scale, skills and history to bring about an improvement”, says Friese.
One of the primary targets of the new campaign is customer focus. NN is making it clear that it will be concentrating more on the customer’s need for convenience, personal advice, transparency and security. “By streamlining the organisation and creating dedicated business units for the different customer groups – retail customers, business and corporate clients - we will be able to better serve our five million plus insurance customers in the Netherlands with the products they want.
The new NN has been set up so that each customer receives targeted advice. From individuals to families and from small businesses to large companies and pension funds.”
NN uses a network of independent brokers, the bank, internet and its own advisory business to distribute its products. “We firmly believe in the broker because the importance of personal and high-quality advice will continue to be an essential ingredient in the future.” According to Friese, brokers will benefit from the investment being made by the new NN to reinforce its brand position in the Dutch market over the next few years.
The presentation of the new Nationale-Nederlanden completes the first phase of the integration of the Dutch insurance units into the one organisation. With the customer as the starting point, the company’s points of reference have been updated and its image has been revitalised with a new logo and house style. “This symbolises all the changes Nationale-Nederlanden is currently undergoing”, according to CEO Friese.
“Our logo is switching from capitals to lower case. We’re highlighting our policy: we’re open, we’re receptive and know that modesty suits us. However large we are.” The new logo reflects the individual qualities of the nation as a whole. “We’re emphasising that it’s a shared logo. NN wants to be the insurance company of the Netherlands of today”.
Last year, ING announced that the banking and insurance operations would be separated. The operational split must be finalised by the end of 2010. Ultimately at year-end 2013 the bank and the insurance company should be able to continue as stand-alone businesses. It is being investigated how this can best be achieved, and in the meantime, both business units are being prepared for an independent future.
Friese is positive about the future: “Over the past few years, NN has built up a strong market position and we want to consolidate and further expand that position. To improve our competitiveness, we also plan to reduce costs by introducing economies of scale and by improving efficiency. The revitalisation of our brand name and our new customer-focussed direction are consistent with the company’s intense preparations for a new future.”