Ideas & musings about consumer behaviour

The Changing Percepetion of the Superannuation Industry

“Young people have changed, but their super hasn’t!”

Is this a generic statement or do your prospective members actually feel this way? Are you, as a super fund doing enough?

Until recently, superannuation funds have operated more as a B2B model dealing primarily with employers rather than with the employees who actually sign up with a super fund. Typically, as an industry, superannuation tends to be front-of-mind only when someone is about to retire or switch jobs.

But according to an article by Forbes “Ninety-one percent of Millennials (born between 1977-1997) expect to stay in a job for less than three years. That means they would have 15 – 20 jobs over the course of their working lives!”.

In today’s age where job hopping is the new norm, could a super fund strive to offer more than just a delayed gratification?

Global Reviews conducted a research study in Q1 2018 to better understand the online journey of super fund prospect, what they are searching for and how they end up with their final choice?

We involved 261 participants to analyse which brand messages resonate with them and which out of the 10 super fund brands included in the study compels them to choose one over another.

Our study found that when your prospects begin their search:

  • 66% have an initial brand preference in mind.
  • 77% use a search engine when looking for Super funds.
  • 56% ultimately stick with their initially preferred brand after careful evaluation.


Further to this, when searching for a super fund:

  • 21% of prospects search for brand names which further leads them to brand websites (66%) or aggregator websites (34%).
  • 34% of prospects search for comparison terms on an aggregators website.
  • 42% of prospects search for Generic terms.

 

Figure 1: Examples of each search term category:

Third party comparison websites have been found to play a crucial role, with majority of super fund prospects researching brands on aggregator websites. In fact 31% of super fund prospects research brands on Canstar, according to our research study.

 

Having said that, creating a strong brand presence doesn’t go unnoticed. As mentioned earlier since most of your prospects begin their search with an initial preference in mind, having a strong brand name helps to cash in on a larger market share.

The initial preference and recall value of a super fund brand name may or may not have an impact on the final purchase behavior of its prospects but it is a very strong indication.

Our research revealed that AustralianSuper has an extremely high brand recall. It affects the search behavior of its prospects with 21% searching directly for Australian Super on their website.

However, understanding how your prospects make their final choice and the factors leading them to make that decision is equally crucial.

  • Brand, Reputation and Trust are the top 3 reasons why people choose a fund as their final choice.
  • Fees and investment options come in a close 4
  • Fund performance falls into 5th place, contrary to popular belief that it is the number one criteria compelling prospects to make a final choice.

Having an overall view of what a prospect looks for in a super fund is just the beginning. Matching those needs and giving your customers exactly what they want (either by enunciating a solution that caters to their specific need, via your communication channel or changing the way you communicate) could help you achieve your goal of attaining a larger market share.

Alternatively, if you do have another goal in mind, we can work with you to give you targeted data to meet the exact needs of your business. Give us a call and find out how we can help your business grow.

In our next blog post we will reflect on how super funds are matching member needs and whether they are meeting those needs at all. We will also go over industry best practices and a few recommendations by experts within Global Reviews to see how you can create maximum impact as a brand.

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