Established in 1971 and owned by Medibank since 2009, ahm Health Insurance is a relatively small insurance provider in Australia with over 370,000 members. Its approach is to offer simple packages that cover basic to more costly needs (like pregnancy) at affordable prices. Recently ahm introduced a new identity designed by Interbrand Australia.
Starting with the insight that many consumers do not see the value in the ‘value’ end of the market, we sought to redefine ahm as a brand of choice for those who believe low cost policies are “not worth the paper they’re written on”. A brand for people who believe that value is about getting more for less, and minimising waste. At the heart of our strategy was the idea, ‘All the things you need, and nothing that you don’t’.
A complete (and yet, frugal) redesign of the brand identity was subsequently undertaken. The result is a new look and feel that ensures ahm clearly stands out from the pack. The brand looks bold and single minded, but also pared back and efficient. Every element has a purpose — there is nothing superfluous and no wasted effort.
So, from a colour palette of black and white that saves on printing costs to a perforation line device that helps highlight and house important information, the new look and feel is the perfect expression of ahm’s new brand idea. The logo is now framed within a coupon device, with a Medibank endorsement line that provides additional credibility for the brand in its new low cost battleground. The way the brand speaks has also been sharply defined, with a tone of voice that is courageous and upbeat, and always up-front.
The old logo was quite bad with its poor typography, a body-less human sprite, and a weird holding shape and overlay. It looked like cheap insurance. The new logo also looks like cheap insurance. The difference is that now it’s on purpose with ahm owning its market distinction and using its low prices to their advantage. The idea to use the visual device of a coupon as a logo (and identity) verges on the border of brilliant and stupid. Done wrong, it could cheapen and sink any company but, here, the simple execution of the logo and the very important endorsement of Medibank convey that this is a legitimate service with money to be saved.
Using only black, white, Proxima Nova, and the cutout coupon device, the identity applications come alive through direct copywriting with a hint of humor and a no nonsense approach. Looking at the ads it does make me wonder how many years this approach can last without it starting to get tired — in some instances the little scissors start looking more like a temporary, fun campaign than a long-haul identity system. Nonetheless as it currently stands, the new identity is a welcome change from the anemic and impenetrable world of health insurance.