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Cross-industry tie-up presents branding issues (2)

By Mike Bastin (Global Times)

10:19, September 05, 2012

Clearly, Tencent and Alibaba provide an excellent opportunity for Ping An to tap into a new audience, but how should Ping An then present its insurance products within this context? Should they keep the same name and simply offer "Ping An" insurance via Tencent and Alibaba or should they seek a new name or even combination of names as well as a more emotional brand image?

The key ingredient in brand success for financial service providers will always be "trust" that is often a derivative of "industry experience". It is, therefore, wise for Ping An to retain some or all of its current corporate brand name and image. Tencent and Alibaba have also realized that they alone could not succeed in the insurance business or any part of the financial services industry due to their lack of "industry experience" combined with their existing "fun" image.

So, how can Ping An retain its core brand values of "trust" and "experience" yet also attach some of the "fresh" image of Tencent and Alibaba? Any new name, especially one that does not resemble Ping An at all, will cause confusion and, therefore, positive association will fail to bind in the consumer's mind. However, simply inserting the Ping An brand name to Tencent and Alibaba's websites may also fail to achieve sufficient association, leaving the audience to presume that this is just the same old, boring insurance brand.

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