Case Study: Standard Life

Challenge

The UK is entering a new workplace pensions market where large employers who have invested a lot of time and money in complying with automatic enrolment legislation are asking: ‘Where next?’ Standard Life saw their experience in delivering workplace pensions for some of the UK’s largest employers as providing an opportunity to shape this new market and drive thought leadership.

Having spent 2012 and 2013 focused on supporting employers through automatic enrolment, in 2014, a year after the largest employers had automatically enrolled, the brand needed to re-launch their proposition as the new ‘post automatic enrolment’ as the needs of the market developed.

Solution

Traditionally, Standard Life had taken a sales-led approach to engaging with large employers, with account managers servicing clients on a one-to-one basis. To be market-leading they needed to take a more marketing led approach to their activity, but without undermining the one-to-one relationship that exists with their clients.

Large employers are looking for a reassuring presence that can take them on a journey, a guide who offers advice, direction and the quickest route. That is why the business chose the iconic Hackney carriage taxi as a symbol of that partnership, the right vehicle to help navigate you through this complex world and get you to your destination in a safe and speedy manner.

The taxi network plays a crucial part in the travel plans for the majority of business people on a regular basis; some 56 per cent of company directors will use a taxi between one and three times during the week.

It developed a series of activities that would bring this concept to life. This included two key initiatives:

The first part of the campaign, ‘Two-way thinking’, included: webinars, an exclusive LinkedIn Group and a face-to-face event for a select group of clients and prospects. The focus of this activity was to encourage collaboration and deliver quality thought-leadership from Standard Life and other industry experts. To do this, Standard Life developed a new taxi advertising creative using the phrase: ‘Two-way thinking’ to imply working in partnership and project an impression of gravitas and strategic robustness. Finally, the company branded a London taxi with the new creative and used this to transport clients and prospects to a key industry awards ceremony.

In the second stage, ‘The knowledge’, the branded taxi played a central role in bringing Standard Life’s new creative and message alive. It conducted a series of ‘on the go’ interviews in the back of the cab as it drove around various UK cities with Standard Life’s main spokespeople and key industry experts. Plus, the company interviewed employers, to create dynamic case studies, showcasing their pension schemes. These films will be used across digital and social channels to extend the reach of the brand’s thought-leadership material as well as provide employers with ‘best-practice’ advice from other employers.

Results

The ‘Two-way thinking’ campaign launched in May this year; in the first month alone it had successfully re-engaged with over 30 per cent of Standard Life’s target audience. It has activity planned for this campaign until the remainder of 2014.

‘The Knowledge’ campaign launched at the end of June and looks at using new social channels to extend the reach of thought-leadership activity.

Vicky Hope, Head of Marketing, Workplace at Standard Life, explains: “It was important for us to engage with large employers but we also needed to ensure we were not damaging any existing relationships. Our branded London taxi enabled us to communicate a continuous message throughout the campaign and supported key events where our clients were present.

“After their door-to-door service, the main advantage of the traditional London taxi is the driver’s extensive knowledge of the city streets; the driver, (and therefore Standard Life), will know the route whenever they are hailed and this is where the taxi becomes an interesting metaphor for Standard Life post auto-enrolment. They offer security for business people to be able to travel around large and confusing cities with ease.”