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Liberty makes bold declaration in new brand refresh

14 September 2020 Liberty

With a pay-off line 'In it with you' the insurer says the time to rely only on just its innovative heritage is gone. It’s time to evolve, to show up better, to connect more and truly be a life partner – especially in times when it feels like the world has turned upside down

The conversation shouldn’t just be about money, investment and risk. The conversation should put the client at the centre. For Chief Marketing Officer at Liberty, Thabang Ramogase, the need for Liberty to reinvent itself as a more customer-focused brand has been a long time coming. “Liberty used to be famous for its innovation, its market-firsts,” says Ramogase.

“But clients are constantly evolving, and so is the world. And we should constantly be evolving too. People need more than just new products, advice and expertise. If they’re trusting a financial services provider (FSP) with their money – their livelihood – they need to know that the people in charge of such important investments care about them."

While the iconic flame logo still represents Liberty’s desire to give clients the freedom to grow their wealth and leave a proud legacy for their families, there has been work in the background to shift towards more transparency, more time for clients, and more giving back to communities. In other words, 'be really in it' with the people of South Africa and clients holistically, says Ramogase.
“While times might have changed, our purpose remains steadfast and that is, to improve people’s lives by making their financial freedom possible. Liberty Founder, Sir Donald Gordon came to this narrative on the back of three behavioural principles:
1) I will remember that I am here to help people leave a legacy for their families;
2) I will remember that Liberty is not just our name, but what we do
3) I will remember to bring humanity to what I do every day.

We’ve therefore had to go back to go forward. Ours is a business founded on humanity and it is in the truth of our humanity that our business finds its purpose, its north star.”

The Plan of Action
A bank of audio-visual content, including a television advert to signal this intent to the market launched on the 5th of September, and it will run across various media platforms for a few weeks. It's a “humanifesto” to focus more on connecting with its clients and their communities.
"Being ‘in it with you’, means leaning into human conversation, and expressing interest. We want clients to know there’s a holistic interest, not just about your finances. The Liberty Financial Adviser is the centre of this conversation, being the human manifestation of Liberty, to learn what you’re like as a human being and all of your idiosyncrasies - and this is evident in the execution of the advert."

The evolution of the Liberty call centre into a contact centre is one of the first major changes that the organisation made; training its staff to ensure that being “in it with you” is not just a mantra, but a way of showing up. As the first point of entry for existing clients and customers, the contact centre wants to efficiently connect with each caller with the required service without delay, considering the personal circumstances of each person. “Liberty is synonymous with accessible Financial Advisers, but work is happening in that arena to lift our game, to deliver a truly human experience.

“This will allow us to be better aligned with our clients’ planning for the future and help them set their goals. That way we can let them know if there are any products or services, we can provide to help them. We can co-author their financial freedom together and hold their hopes and dreams in our hands as if they were our own,” says Ramogase.

Liberty is also planning to re-examine its policies and demystify the language it uses in its agreements to be more accessible to people across the market. “Trading on an inequality of information shouldn’t be the norm for the insurance industry. We want to cross that chasm, help people get the knowledge they need to make informed decisions without the difficult language,” he says.

The Tech to Support Change
While the human touch is the primary focus for Liberty, Ramogase said the FSP recognises the importance of technology in how it can effect change for the business and its operations. The reality of Covid-19 has accelerated these efforts and as an organisation, we have met our client needs digitally, including enabling our financial advisers with relevant tools to connect, in real time, with clients and potential clients.

Liberty is working with Salesforce, an American software company that specialises in customer relationship management, and will be using a new programme suite in future to help streamline digital processes to help its employees focus more on the human side of dealing with clients.
Further partnerships with other tech giants have already been established to help the company make its data more cloud-based, meaning higher security and better data analysis in general.
A new initiative will also see the FSP use information from its client's social media – with their permission, of course – to determine if any major life events mentioned would warrant a change in investment or policies for each individual client.

Caring goes beyond business
The brand refresh doesn’t mean that Liberty is forgetting about its previous promises. “We are renewing our commitment to supporting initiatives that improve literacy at a primary and secondary school level. Liberty has always been passionate about improving literacy, from reading and writing to financial literacy,” says Ramogase.

Charity efforts that are about human connection, he explained, particularly the #DriveHope campaign - is a way that we demonstrate our humanity. What started off as an effort to help our own people internally has made a difference across the country through small random acts of kindness. We would nominate people at our offices who needed help or ask that they nominate people in their communities who were suffering and had basic needs that just weren’t being met.

But the initial internal project continued to grow as nominations came from both inside and outside the company, not from a classically supported campaign, just through word-of-mouth. What began as a few posts on social media and a few emails to Liberty’s dedicated email address began to turn into dozens, then hundreds of requests nominating others who needed help. The desire to drive hope was swelling, particularly during the lockdown, where the number of acts of kindness and the related funding tripled. Food vouchers, food parcels, school shoes, baby essentials and funds raised for vital community organisations, were all making their way across the country to people in need. This is over and above our CSI efforts that have been empowering disadvantaged schools with water tanks and PPE material.

Change isn’t just about the future
As Liberty continues to implement its new processes and philosophy, changes have already begun. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time financially and emotionally for everyone, but it's also presented opportunities for businesses to make a difference.
Liberty has offered premium relief across many of its products and continues to proactively provide advice to its clients in dealing with their finances as reduced work hours, limited salaries and retrenchments become the norm for many people across the world.
“We always remind our clients that they are not navigating these unchartered territories alone and we are here for them at the best of times and at what seems to be the worst of times. Let us continue to serve and financially protect the families out there, because what we do is and will always, matter,” says Ramogase.

Liberty Group Ltd is a Licensed Insurer and an Authorised Services Provider (no. 2409). Terms and Conditions apply.

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