Ideas & musings about consumer behaviour

The less obvious reasons why consumers may choose your Super Fund over others!

Written by Kapil Bhatia & Madhur Advani

“With an average return of xx% our super fund was the best performer in 2017.”

“We are the cheapest super fund in Australia”

These are a few examples of the headlines superannuation providers use to lure consumers, in a bid to encourage them switch from their current super provider to theirs. But is it this marketing hook that makes your consumers choose you or is it something else?

As part of our intensive study of the superannuation industry and consumer online behaviour when researching a superannuation provider, conducted in 2017, we asked users which super providers they initially preferred and why. It was clear right at the outset that the premise of all successful super funds has been and continues to be customer relationship. Like the saying goes ‘You don’t close a sale, you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise’.  There couldn’t be any more truth to this fact and when backed with the correct data, it only goes to show how important customer relationship is when building a strong brand.

The results from our research revealed that consumers initially preferred brands that they could ‘trust’ and brands that were ‘reputable’. The research study further revealed that consumers are reluctant to switch companies and prefer to stick with their current super provider.

When it comes to fulfilling the need of being ‘reputable’, consumers look at factors such as ‘Fees’ and ‘Performance’ to rank a super fund highly. As you can see from the chart below, ‘Investment Performance’ and ‘Fees’ were ranked no 4 and 7 respectively by consumers when it came to choosing their super fund at the initial preference stage.

In our previous research studies undertaken for other industries, it is often found that when it comes to consumers’ initial preference and final preference there tends to be a distinct range of change, but this did not seem to hold true for super funds.

On asking users to conduct their research online to let us know which brand they would pick as their final choice out of the available options, it was found that the top 3 factors for consumers driving them to choose their super fund, continued to remain similar.

According to our study the final preference lied with brands that consumers were more ‘familiar’ with and ones that they perceived to be ‘trustworthy’. The emphasis placed on customer relationship and reputation of a brand continued to be ranked very high by consumers when making their final choice of a super fund.

‘Fund performance’ was ranked at no 4, just above ‘fees’ which jumped 2 places when it came down to factors affecting the Final Preference of a brand.

Another interesting call-out from our study was when consumers who chose a brand, were quoted saying “I believe they would deliver the best investment result for me”. This was despite them ranking ‘Performance’ no 4 as a factor driving both their Initial and Final Preference.

Potential csonsumers are keen to know about a fund’s performance before making any decision. Further to our initial study in 2017, we conducted another study in Q1’18, where we gave consumers the task of finding the best performing fund on a super fund website.  CBUS’ super fund emerged as the leader in the task with a success rate of 75%.

The users’ journey was mapped and we can see them move from the website’s navigation bar to the ‘Super’ tab to get onto their “My Investment Options” page, which displayed all the information they needed on fund performance to make a choice.

The ‘My Investment Option’ page is generally very long, but CBUS seems to have made the users’ navigation easier by providing them with a mini drop-down menu to move onto selected sections of the page.

Was that the secret to CBUS trumping other super funds? Not really as only 25% of the users ever interacted with it.

So, what worked for CBUS? And how can you make it easier for your consumers to find the information they need? Stay tuned for my next post in which I will highlight ways to map journeys in respect to super websites and more.

By conducting research like these, we seek to drill information right down to where it makes sense for brands and provide insights that nobody else could possibly identify.

To summarise this post and the findings from our research, here is where your focus should lie:

  • Initially, potential consumers are keen to engage with a brand based on trust, reputation and existing relationship.
    • Tip – work on building the brand of your super fund
  • When it comes to selecting a super fund, potential consumers look for investment performance and fees
    • Tip – make it easy for the website visitors to find this information easily.

Want more out of this? Speak to one our experts now to find out the ‘Why’ behind the online experience you are providing and what this can mean for your business. We are known to deliver results by taking our cutting edge data to provide insights and recommendations across various industries.


Darren Watson – Senior Commercial Director
T:         +61 3 9013 0531
M:        + 61 413 017 959

Tony Carveth- Senior Commercial Director

T:         +61 3 9013 0531
M:        +61 438 081 496



Leave a Reply

Latest Buzz

Office Numbers

+61 3 9982 3400

United Kingdom
+44 (0) 203 725 8260

+353 (0) 21 601 9274

Request a call back