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Press Release

Junction identifies affinity market shift

MD highlights market challenges, including lack of insurer investment and the role of technology

Immediate release: 06 June 2012

As Junction, the UK's leading affinity provider, celebrates its ten year anniversary, Managing Director Peter Thompson has shared his views on the market. He believes exciting times are approaching, but highlights that a lack of insurer investment has been an area of frustration for some areas of the affinity market.

"It could be argued that some insurers have not given their affinity partners the level of fundamental investment required to build a truly flourishing partnership. Where investment has been made, however, non-insurance brands have become some of the most successful in the industry – even through recent economic challenges. As a whole, insurance often experiences a lack of trust from consumers, but there is a vital level of reassurance offered when an insurance product comes from a brand which people already have experience of or trust in."

Peter believes the market has now hit a watershed, with many new growth opportunities on the horizon for both brands and insurers.

"With the appetite for scale starting to return from insurers, brands that require underwriter support need to demonstrate that they have a strong and different customer offering. Although budgets are being squeezed, now is not the time for brands and their partners to tighten purse strings. Capitalising on new opportunities will require significant investment in learning about and engaging with customers. Banking and retail brands already have many more touchpoints with their customers, and therefore more opportunity to engage their loyalty. This, together with the wealth of data brands gather on their customers, is something that the insurance industry can benefit from."

Peter went on to suggest that, with customer expectations higher than ever, technology investment will play a vital role in driving success.

"The way people interact with brands is changing. With many people already comfortable in communicating with brands via a combination of online and offline channels, insurance companies need to make sure they are just as accessible. With the rapid growth in the use of tablets and smart phones, the market needs to work harder at ensuring it fully understands the opportunities and limitations of these channels. 12 per cent of our customers already come from mobile devices and this will only increase, so we need to be prepared."