7 years of marketing mayhem

By: King Price

Back in June 2012, a new insurance company launched with a bold vision of turning the local insurance industry on its head. Most people said they wouldn’t last 3 months. 7 years later, King Price is 1 of the most recognisable brands in South Africa.

From an upstart with an unusual business model – your premiums decrease every month, in line with the value of your car – King Price has grown into a 900-person, R3.3bn company with over 165,000 happy clients (and more joining every day). And, they’re not done yet: The insurer expects to continue its astonishing year-on-year growth of 40% for the next 7 years. 

Much of the company’s success and brand recognition is due to a marketing strategy that’s built around a 1-word mandate from King Price’s maverick CEO, Gideon Galloway: Disrupt.

“From the very start, our vision was always to disrupt the marketplace with as little spend as possible. Today, we spend around 3% of what the big insurance companies spend, yet we generate just over half their sales,” says King Price marketing queen Natalie Bisset. 

“In my previous company, billboards weren’t a direct lead generator. We’ve taken that gap, and today we pretty much own outdoor in South Africa, with 100+ boards. Along with our online marketing efforts, this is our biggest lead generator.”

It’s all part of a single-minded marketing mission to get the King Price brand out there in as short a space of time as possible. Much of their brand recognition has been built in unconventional ways, like embedding their brand into local TV programmes, creating ‘moving billboards’ through truck wraps, and strategic sponsorships like the Paarl Interschools tournament. 

And, of course, there are THOSE TV ads… The farmer wanting to ‘do something sexy to a tractor’, the young man paying lobola with ‘kettle’, the motorist and the traffic cop having a conversation around ‘braai day’, the woman rebuffing her amorous partner because she’s ‘on her cycle’. 

“We took a deliberate decision to create quirky ads that use humour to make the point that in today’s world, a lot of things just don’t make sense. This talks directly to our view that it just doesn’t make sense to pay the same every month to insure something that’s worth less every month. In almost 7 years, we’ve saved South Africans over R150 million in decreasing premiums, and that makes sense in any language,” says Natalie. 

 “We’re so privileged to have a brand that you can do ‘stuff’ with, and we’ve had so much fun with the brand. At the same time, we’ve got to be so careful to make sure that our clients know that while we don’t take ourselves too seriously, we take what we do very seriously indeed,” she says.

Ultimately, though, it’s not the decreasing premiums or memorable ads that make King Price a force to be reckoned with. It’s the fact that the marketing, and the brand, reflect a deep-seated, customer-centric culture of innovation, fun and fairness.

“It sounds cheesy, but we really are the little guys going out to make a difference, and supporting the other little guys in the process. We’re all about our people. We’re the only insurer that offers insurance that makes sense. People recognise our authenticity and respond to it. That’s why we’re here to stay,” says Natalie.