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BY PORTIA NKANI
The Botswana Insurance Company (BIC) has embarked on a brand identity transformation adopting its group symbol of a bull.
The brand refresh saw the BIC recently revealing its new logo which celebrates the company’s history, values and vision.
After a comprehensive scientific research gathering opinions on top of mind association, loyalty behaviour brand iconography amongst others, it was clear from the diverse stakeholders that the BIC name has strong recall as is bears the name of the republic, however the iconography that drives its brand identity did not fair positively.
During the night of the new brand launch recently, Minister of Investment Trade and Industry Bogolo Kenewendo challenged BIC leadership that, as the company modernizes the brand, services should be modernized as well.
Kenewendo told the company leadership that, “modernization isn’t about a good looking brand, rather about alignment with modern principles of inclusivity. In the last finscope survey, it was reported that there is only 26 percent uptake of insurance services in Botswana. Only 35 percent, 27 percent and 17percent are served in urban, semi-urban and rural respectively are served. This means there are still many opportunities of growth to advance inclusive insurance products.”
Some of the issues she highlighted that must be considered for inclusivity are affordability– 61 percent of the population cite cost as the main barrier to accessing insurance. Access - Inability to transact online where there is still lack of infrastructure in rural areas. Understanding of insurance- there is need to push for more financial education and give assurances for the need of insurance against risk.
One last challenge, other than individuals, there should be a focus on the productive sectors especially Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The government thrives to pay a specific focus on SME development and with partners like BIC and other key stakeholders; they can protect, empower and grow the productive sector in Botswana. The government through the Trade Ministry is busy implementing the doing business reforms, opening up new markets for both goods and services- the latest being an agreement with the East African Community (EAC) as part of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA). The aim is to create an enabling environment for all to compete and growth from home brand to international players.
Kenewendo added, “the opportunities are endless, you are the leaders in short term insurance with about 20-25 percent market, but there is more to conquer in Botswana and the rest of the region. I see partners that can change our generation of wealth creation and open floodgates of unending opportunities for many generations.
For his part, BIC Chief Executive Officer Newton Jazire said, “we usher in a new brand created from the very core of our purpose – Making life better. We bow to our founding predecessors, architects of this beast that has led the market for decades, changed lives and inspired generations of men and women who followed the path to insurance before anyone knew what insurance is. We were the ones who defined it and taught it to the market and industry alike. ”
The BIC CEO went on to state: “This very night will go down as a critical path of celebrating our heritage whilst we forge a new brand icon, representing a refreshing brand expression whilst building on an enduring brand equity which our customers celebrate, our brokers stand for and our competitors dread. And yes our name will be remembered. They shall remember our name and mark this day as a day a heritage brand that respected and enhanced its foundations and ushered its brand into the waters of modernity”.
On the same night BIC launched a chatbot (a customer massaging platform) titled Nkamo which is a first of its kind in the country. Nkamo is primarily aimed at driving business on the digital platforms as well as closing the gap between insurance end users and the BIC.