Aviva’s strategy: “compete and cannibalize”

Mark Wilson, the insurance CEO with a moderate affection to insurance natives (on average they are of no use to him), spoke in a Marketing Society conference on his turnaround strategy. The 50-year-old New Zealander, which joined Aviva at the start of 2013, believes in (1) focusing on the customer, not the distributor and (2) doesn’t believe in fluffy branding. Sounds like he attributes most of the successful turnaround of Aviva, which saw its stock rise by 38% since Wilson came along, to the creation of an external innovation hub called Aviva Digital Garage that operates out of London and Singapore. Keyword: external. To quote Wilson “We created a separate business and in the first six months of this year it made £111 million profit and has four million customers. I’ve given them a very simple strategy. The strategy is ‘compete and cannibalize”. You heard the man. Bottom Line: great news for shareholders, not so great for Welsh actor, writer and comedian Paul Whitehouse, who appeared in Aviva adverts (watch below) and got axed because it made the brand appear too fluffy.