Key (previously Key Retirement)

Key is on a mission to be the UK’s leading retirement finance expert. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, Key has helped over-55s release more than £5 billion worth of equity.

Key promotes the highest standards of advice and compliance across the later-life market, providing specialist advice on equity release (ER), later-life mortgages, annuities and estate planning. Key also manages tied ER advice services for organisations such as Santander, Legal & General and Aviva as well as operating Key Partnerships – an ER referral services for advisers.

In order to drive business to Key and grow the market, we chose to take a hard look at the categories approach to marketing and undertook extensive consumer research which confirmed our fears. As a sector, ER hasn’t evolved the way it talks to customers for 20 years. Daytime TV and press ads with old couples on the beach abound and it’s hard to differentiate between one company’s transactional advert and another.

But retirement is changing – it is no longer an event but a journey. Baby boomers want more and have high expectations about what retirement might bring but many face a funding gap. We know equity release is a hugely liberating product in terms of what it enables and there is a need for a brand to boldly seize this more emotional space and show the benefits of equity release.

Choosing to stand for something and therefore stand out, Key unveiled the “Good Advice is Key” brand proposition via a multi-channel brand and advertising approach in July 2018. This:

  • highlighted the companies USP but chose to remove the previous stereotypes and positioned Key as a big financial service brand;
  • was unveiled via a coordinated creative campaign across TV (inc. ITV Emmerdale slots), Radio (an ER First) brand press (inc. Mirror and Express), large and small format display, email, direct mail and all of the customer facing materials like guides and support comms;
  • saw a significantly upweight in spending as Key pushed several million to drive the market with a major focus on peak TV and front of paper press advertising. This change in media buying to supported the message of ER being a smart choice rather than the point of last resort;
  • renewed Key’s social presence with a big focus on using relevant channels to push content including Youtube videos and testimonials online. This was supported by pay per click.

Which has resulted in:

  • huge impact on volumes. 25% increase in enquiry traffic YoY during the launch;
  • new never seen before people into the category being driven to contact Key as we reach them with messages that resonate;
  • a massive spike in Equity release search volumes across the category;
  • Youtube survey demonstrated a 126% increase in brand consideration;
  • Feedback from competitors which suggest that this spending had a halo effect in the market.

But this is only just the beginning – watch this space as we continue to build on the ‘Good Advice’ proposition and transform perceptions around equity release