Reunion's strategy for a super fund needing to win over young members

By Ruby Derrick | 19 April 2024

When superannuation fund Rest started thinking about its latest long-term ‘Super. Simple’ strategy with creative agency Reunion, the first question the team asked was who was it designing for?

“Around half of our members are under age thirty and decades from retirement,” Rest chief member officer Deborah Potts told AdNews.

"A large portion work part time, casually or in shift work. Many have lower than average balances. Around 85% told us they knew little or nothing about super."

This isn’t a problem unique to young people. Many Australians don’t understand super, says Potts.

“We’ve heard that it feels too hard, and we know that this can hold members back from taking action on their super.”

Rest (Retail Employee Superannuation Trust) worked with Reunion to develop the ‘Super. Simple’ brand campaign, aiming to make the super experience simple and easy for its members. The two teams had the platform in the pipeline since November last year. 

“We chose to work with the Reunion team after a competitive RFP process in July last year. The brief was centred on our business strategy. Above all our focus was on our members and their needs,” says Potts.

Rest was looking to partner with a team that could help it deliver its vision and see things through its members eyes. For Potts and the Rest team, the key phase to highlight was its member testing phase.

“After the creation of a number of potential concepts we brought our ideas to some of our members. The idea of simplifying super resonated strongly and they really connected with the concept of using relatable life moments to tell the Super.Simple story. It’s our members that selected the early version of the platform we see today and their views and feedback are what make it truly special,” she says.

Reunion CEO Justin Hind says a lot of Rest’s members start their careers or their relationship with super working in retail, from the ages of 15-65.

“With two million members and the average age of a member being 29 years, there is a big focus on owned channels,” says Hind.

He says the teams believed that it should not only be seen in productive channels, like social and digital, but it had to appear in the real world. It’s got a considerable investment as well in out of home and digital out of home, he says.

“Lots of members are of the Gen Z or Millennial generation, where a lot of the traditional channels don't apply. But we built the campaign around some broadcast, with a big investment in social across Meta and TikTok in multiple different forms.”

Small actions today can make a big difference to a member’s retirement outcome, says Potts. When developing the strategy, Rest decided to focus on the big opportunity within these insights. 

“We want to help all our members, regardless of age, background or balance, take control of their financial futures,” says Potts

Hind agrees; super is one of those things that is very misunderstood, he says, with many people not knowing how it really works. A lot of people, particularly in their first jobs, don't even know who their super provider is - it’s just something that they fill out on a form so they can get paid, he says.

The inception of the new platform came about when Rest made a decision that its whole business strategy would centre around what it calls ‘uniquely simple’.

“We were challenged with simplifying their business strategy, the investment choices process and the understanding of it, as well as simplifying the business model and translating that into a brand platform,” said Hind. 

Hind says the complexity was working with something people often perceive as being complex.

“Our challenge was making the perceived complex really simple. Simple to the point that where people could lean into it and understand fees, they could understand plain language investment choices and what they meant,” he says.

“If you had a look at all of the different platform options and executions that we had in here before we landed on the complex, simple mechanics. it was making it really simple and approachable to a younger cohort. That was the challenge.”

As a profit-to-member super fund, Rest has lean, passionate teams and modest budgets, says Potts.

“We have an important responsibility to our members to keep costs low and the fund thriving and delivering the products, services and performance that deliver,” says Potts.

“We’ve had to do more with less and get creative to reach and resonate with our audiences."

The brand platform was a collaborative effort between Rest’s brand and member experience team and the team at Reunion. The business strategy was supported by Rest CEO Vicki Doyle and Potts, alongside GM of brand and experience Andrew Ford, head of brand and content Chris Pocock and senior brand manager Georgina Ashley. 

The 'Super.Simple' platform is a long-term strategy, in which Reunion is currently focused on the member experience, working across all of those channels, looking at the role of the app and member comms for the next phase, says Hind.

“We're starting to get ready for the next round of creative. It's a repeatable platform. We needed to come up with a platform where we've got straight messaging upfront and entertainment down back,” he says.

“The whole focus was on building repeatable layers that help build memory structures in audiences minds. Because then they look forward to it, they understand the mechanics. We're starting to think about what the next phase of the creative rollout will be and how we'll push it even further.”

Potts says as the fund's business strategy is a long term commitment, it’ll continue to evolve with its members and their needs.

“From a brand perspective, we’re in the process of a phase two. You can expect to see a second iteration of this campaign later this year,” she says.

In terms of key targets around the brand platform, Hind says a lot of the KPIs that the agency is focused on include awareness, recognition, unprompted recall, and then the simplicity of message takeout.

“With some of the other digital formats, it's things like member engagement, whether that's in social or whether that's in some of the owned channels, that we're looking at,” says Hind.

“Then we're looking all the way through to member engagement and comms that we're pushing out. The advertising is only one half of what we’re focused on. We're doing the the creative alongside a big focus on member experience with their member experience team.”

Member action will be the true measure of success, says Potts.

This campaign is about connecting with Rest members and taking away the barriers for them so they can build a positive life-long relationship with super. 

“We want to see more members downloading our easy-to-use app. We want to be talking to more Australians about their super. We want to achieve an uplift in members using our advice service,” she says.

Rest also wants more members consciously working with it to choose the best investment option for their age, ambitions and needs.

The fund is setting goals and tracking this across all its channels, customer voice and NPS feedback program and service scores to make sure Rest is on the right track, says Potts.

“We’ve already seen a powerful response from members particularly from young Australians on social media. In the first week since going live on TikTok our following has grown by +38 per cent,” she says.

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