China's Ping An has overtaken Germany's Allianz to become the world's most valuable insurance brand with a brand value calculated at US$16.3 billion, according to Brand Finance, an international valuation and strategy consultancy.
Ping An reported net profit of $9 billion in 2016, its largest since 2003. A number of factors underpin this success. Despite a slowdown, its core market of China is far more dynamic than the US and Western Europe, where the other leading brands are based, says Brand Finance.
However, Ping An is more than a passive beneficiary of macro-economics. It has been extremely successful at cross-selling based on excellent core products. The firm offers a limited number of free products and services to potential customers via its online platform. This has generated goodwill and significantly expanded Ping An’s user base, creating a platform for cross-selling.
Ping An is just as focused on its brand as its revenues. It is the first Chinese financial firm to deploy a Net Promoter Score (NPS) model to track customer feedback and brand loyalty. This commitment to tracking and tweaking the brand is paying off, with very high customer equity scores on Brand Finance’s Brand Strength Index.
Brand Finance’s CEO David Haigh said: “Ping An has lofty ambitions, aiming to become the world’s leading provider of personal finance. Based on this evidence, in the long term it may not be an unrealistic goal.”
The 100 most valuable insurance brands are featured in the Brand Finance Insurance 100.
US-headquartered Chubb is the fastest growing brand on the list with a brand value growth of 180% to $5.6 billion which sees its rank jump from 36th to 11th. Chubb is performing strongly, however its rapid brand value growth this year is primarily the result of the rebrand of Ace under the Chubb name after the mega-merger of the two firms, creating one of the biggest publicly traded property and casualty insurance business in the world. Even with elevated natural catastrophe losses and soft P&C market conditions globally, the combination of improving profitability and the much broader application of the Chubb brand sees brand value soar.
Allianz has dropped to 2nd place after its brand value fell 7% to US$15 billion. Revenues were hit by higher damage claims resulting from from a series of floods and storms in Europe. Meanwhile a loss on the sale of its South Korean business and a weaker investment performance hit profits. The most significant factor behind the decline was historically low interest rates limiting the German brand’s capacity to earn higher returns. Despite this gloomy picture, Allianz reported strong full year results due, in part, to increased demand for its retirement products. Europe’s ageing population may well have long-term benefits for the well-established brand.