By Gamuchirai Sibanda
The story of an exceptional brand reinvigoration process is not complete without a tale of how Zimnat dared to do it and succeeded. This is a remarkable story of how an organisation that had been perceived as a preserve for the elderly and wealthy managed to turn around its perception in the market into a more adept, and youthful brand that has the ability to offer a holistic financial services package for the millennial and Gen Z customer as well.
In 2015 Sanlam Emerging Markets acquired 40% stake in the Zimnat companies namely Life Assurance, General Insurance and Asset Management from Masawara Insurance in a move that saw the business embarking on a rebranding journey in 2017. The rebranding journey saw all the associated companies adopting the Zimnat brand name, colours, logo as well as a new and commonly shared purpose of making life better. The rebranding efforts to reiterate the new mission for the group have seen the organisation making headlines on a number of corporate social responsibility initiatives which include the Charity Marathon for Cebisani Ndlovu’s surgery, Chizungu Ablution block donation just to mention a few.
In addition to changing the look and feel as well as the purpose, the organisation also embarked on an intensive internal rebranding exercise. Realising the importance of an internal cultural shift in any rebranding exercise Zimnat has been engaging in a number of culture transformation initiatives which included the Pay it forward campaign which was aimed at reinforcing the new company purpose.
This rebranding journey is still an ongoing process which has already started to bear remarkable results as was witnessed at the 2019 Exceptional Marketing Awards for Excellence where Zimnat dominated the awards ceremony winning 8 awards out of the 15 categories it was nominated for. The recent successes can be attributed to the ongoing efforts by the organisation to promote and reinforce its commitment of making life better through some outstanding creative advertising which includes the famous award-winning car crash billboard. The 2019 success comes after the organisation also made a huge impression in 2018 as well managing to scoop 5 awards at the same event, this was a huge improvement for an organisation that did not receive an award of marketing excellence in the year 2017. A clear testament of the awakening of the great financial services giant that Zimnat is meant to be.
This remarkable turnaround success can be attributed to the outstanding commitment from the staff that were willing to embrace the new business ideals and were great ambassadors for the organisation.
Zimnat, a diversified financial services group made up of four business units, namely Zimnat General Insurance, Zimnat Life Assurance, Zimnat Financial Services and Zimnat Asset Management. It is associated with Sanlam, which is the largest non-banking financial services group on the continent
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