Saga invests in expanded customer insight

Saga invests in expanded customer insight

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Saga has made a significant investment in its market research capabilities to bolster its ongoing brand revitalisation strategy, as the business aims to return to growth. The financial and travel services company has acquired specialist research business The Big Window, which focuses on understanding the ageing process. The Big Window joins Saga as its new in-house knowledge agency, becoming one of its biggest business units.

Saga kicked off a new data, digital and brand strategy last year, with the aim of better aligning the brand with the modern mindset of its target market – people aged over 50. According to the business, the acquisition of The Big Window will help Saga create tailored products and services for its customers, as well as unique points of difference across its travel, insurance and personal finance offerings. Its insight will also be used to improve the Saga Magazine and online content.

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Already research by The Big Window shows most people over 50 (71%) feel their representation in the media is unfairly focused on age. Our customers tell us they think of themselves as experienced, not old, says Saga CEO Euan Sutherland. We want to create experiences that mirror the reality of life for people over 50 in Britain and not just the stereotypes – driving better representation of what it means to be ‘experienced’ in business, advertising and the media.

Becoming a ‘superbrand’, Saga announced the acquisition as it reported its preliminary results for the 12 months to January 31. The results showed narrowing losses for the group, which had struggled in its tour and cruise businesses during the pandemic. Saga reported pre-tax losses of £23.5m over the year, compared to £61.2m in 2020. Net debt reduced by £31.2m over the year to £729m. However, on an underlying basis the business reported a loss of £6.7m compared to a profit of £17.1m the year prior. Saga says this is partly down to increased investment into its marketing strategy. In October 2021 the business relaunched its brand under the new platform ‘Experience is Everything’, marking an investment of £8.5m. The launch reflected a shift in focus away from short-term sales-based programmatic and towards long-term brand building and consideration. At the time, chief customer officer Stuart Beamish told Marketing Week the brand had sustained and built high brand awareness over the years, but this hadn’t translated into consideration or sales.
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