Coöperative VGZ stands for Sensible Care. What does the company purpose mean to you and how did it originate?
Evelyn Borgsteijn: We introduced ‘Sensible Care’ about two years ago. An extensive internal process preceded this. Together with our employees, we really wanted to know what makes our hearts beat faster every day. It clearly emerged that our purpose is to work together for a healthier Netherlands. We also look towards the future – how sustainable is healthcare in the Netherlands and how can we also guarantee good healthcare for future generations to come?
I strongly believe that a good company purpose connects employees. This must come from what our employees consider important and give a clear direction to who we are, what we do and for whom we do it. That is why we have set up a large internal campaign, ‘Together we are making sense’. The measurements and evaluations show that this campaign contributes significantly to the involvement and sense of ‘pride’ of employees. That also helps us to create a strong ‘employee brand’, which is very important to us. Our employees are the most important ambassadors of our brand. We have won three awards for our internal campaigns, they are proof that our purpose fits.
How important is VGZ’s purpose in relation to your position in the insurance sector?
EB: It is difficult to measure what our purpose does exactly for our position in relation to competitors. Of course, various factors play a part in the consideration that people make when choosing health insurance. Image, conditions and user-friendliness play a role, but price is still the most important factor for many people. For example, we had a fantastic competitive premium this year and you can see that immediately reflected in the growth of new customers.
In recent years, the financial aspect of healthcare has been under a magnifying glass, we believe that health insurers must play a social role in this issue. That is why we increasingly try to look, together with patients and caregivers, for solutions and initiatives to make good care more affordable. The starting point of the ‘Sensible Care’ strategy is that we focus on the needs of our customers and continue to investigate what we can help them with. We do this, for example, by means of ‘In debate at VGZ’ events and customer panels where members of our board of directors engage with customers. This results in various initiatives, like, thinking of smart technological innovations that can make it possible for patients to physically visit a doctor less often.
You are responsible for the VGZ corporate brand. For many people, VGZ is only known for the product brand. Can you explain what the brand landscape of VGZ looks like?
EB: In 2016 we celebrated the 275th anniversary of Coöperatie VGZ. Our cooperative ideas are reflected in our mission – to ensure together a healthier Netherlands. The cooperative has various independent brands, including of course VGZ as a product brand, but also Univé, Zekur, Zorgzaam, IZA, IZZ, UMC Zorgverzekering, Bewuzt and SZVKK. From the VGZ cooperative, we purchase care for all those labels for more than four million insured customers. You could therefore say that we are a ‘house of brands’ with regard to brand architecture. The different products and labels have their own visual identity and are aimed at different target groups; from young people who think convenience and affordability are important, to people who work in a specific sector. In this way, we can optimally match demand and needs in the market.