Interior design is usually associated with stylish homes and hotels. But Daman, a UAE health insurance provider, recently employed a branding company for an extensive revamp including its logo and the interiors of its branch offices. Sven Rohte, the company's chief commercial officer, explains how he hopes the efforts will help with plans for expansion into new markets.
Why did you decide to rebrand?
We found that the appearance of Daman after the success of five years could be a little bit more strong and confident. What [our efforts] also ensured is that this is a brand which we can take outside of the UAE. That was one consideration. The "National Health Insurance Company," [the slogan used in the Emirates] is something we can't deploy if we go to Jordan or somewhere else.
So you have plans to expand abroad?
Definitely, we're looking at all the different countries here in the Middle East and North Africa. We have founded a joint venture with Munich Health, which looks for international expansion … They have globally different health insurance companies they fully own, and they put them all under Munich Health. So we take a lot of benefits in bringing in best practice [and] also in sharing best practice from Daman with these companies.
Which markets in particular show the most promise?
I think the GCC countries around us offer us good opportunities: markets like Saudi and Qatar. They're the most attractive places.
What changes did Landor, the branding agency, make to your logo?
In the old logo, you had four different blue tones [and] a graphical element, which the non-Arabic reader [never] realised was the Arabic letter "noon", the N … So we simplified the graphical elements [and] made the colours stronger to give us a little bit more self-confidence.
You also chose different colour schemes for new office branches. What colour did you choose for premium branches, and why?
The boysenberry is for the enhanced suite, where you pay a higher premium. It's much more upscale. That's a very warm colour and very innovative colour. At the end of the day, we looked for something that stands out and differentiates us from the competition. If you do a benchmark of the different players, you find that they are very clinical. Health insurance is a product that is often associated with hospitals, so other companies have a very clinical approach to it. We looked for something brighter, warmer and also innovative to emphasise our leading approach in the market.
And what about the basic branches?
[They] will have very bright, colourful things: blues and yellows … We thought, let's give them good treatment in the branch and something bright and light, so it's an appreciation of this segment which is very often overlooked. They always have to queue outside in the sun. They always have to do the hard job and we thought this is a very valuable segment for us.
* Gillian Duncan