Creating relevance for the oldest
health insurer in the market

2013: The Vhi brand is at a crossroads. The economic downturn has hit hard and the battle for market share is intense. Vhi’s ‘book’ has a disproportionate number of older customers with a high cost of claims (Vhi pay three quarters of the claims in the market at this time).

New entrants to the market are able to price aggressively to win share from younger, cash-strapped customers. Vhi also has challenges with brand image where it is seen as somewhat old-fashioned and traditional. 

The Challenge 

Rebalance the book

Appeal to younger customers, regain share and appeal to younger customers, thereby reducing the high cost of claims. Our goal is to reposition the brand from a health insurer to a healthcare partner by demonstrating differentiation through products, services and service provision. 

Our Approach 

We doubled-down on brand building
and demonstrated a distinctive and
differentiated offering

We resisted the temptation to change our creative platform (emotive testimonials, which drove trust and reliability) and instead, nurtured it. Over a period of five years we evolved the communications strategy in line with the business strategy, focusing on key differentiators in clinical provision and unique benefits. Testimonials highlighted key differentiated services from Vhi (SwiftCare and HomeCare) and cemented Vhi’s leadership in Private Medical Insurance. We focused on relevant stories that would resonate with a younger target.

We developed campaigns for new, disruptive propositions including Fertility Benefits, Genetic Testing and a new Paediatric Clinic exclusive to Vhi Healthcare members. We focused on moving the associations from sickness to health through key sponsorship properties such as Women’s Mini Marathon and Park Run. We worked closely with the Vhi team to develop brand guidelines that would bring a renewed visual consistency to all customer interactions. At the same time, we supported the brand proposition with offer-led campaigns to help drive value for money perceptions.


Brand Results: Scores across all key brand metrics are up significantly. NPS has grown by over 250%. Vhi are the fastest mover of all 170 brands in the CXi survey, growing 90 places in the period.
Commercial Results: Sales are up, attrition is down, and customer numbers are at a 5-year high. Younger cohorts have increased consistently over the period and for the first time since deregulation in 1997 Vhi actually achieved an increase in market share.