The leading mutual insurance group in France, MMA is one of 496 brands to have obtained a custom Internet domain during the first ICANN opening round in 2012. Officially deployed in 2015 and now encompassing almost 1,700 domain names, .mma plays a key role in the online presence of this group whose business model is increasingly based on online services. One inspiring example, and the focus of this article, is imaginons.mma; a participatory and consultation platform newly launch in June 2022. Its goal is to enable the MMA community to exchange on a selection of subjects and projects put forward by the brand, with a view to designing and structuring the insurance offers and services of tomorrow.
Let’s look at how this choice of strategic domain name leverages this large-scale collaborative project as a whole, while making proximity and quality in customer relations benchmark values for MMA.
A collaborative and interactive space, a symbol of the humanisation of the customer relationship and a means of building loyalty
Rolled out on a dedicated website, imaginons.mma is positioned as a unique communication and discussion channel between the mutual insurance group and its community. What makes it so original is its participatory model that gives a voice to its members through five previously determined consultation subjects published online every year. The context, the angle and the main phases of each project are first introduced by MMA and are followed by a questionnaire, a survey, then a contribution space where respondents are invited to share their comments, opinions and experiences in order to add to and steer proposals. These reflection processes are published on each project page and thus encourage the involvement of increasing numbers of contributors.
For MMA, the deployment of this type of online service is the sign of a strategy of attentive listening and collection and consideration of needs, opinions and feedback from its members. This approach to building loyalty over the long term increasingly draws on a logic of gamification; member respondents are rewarded for their involvement through gifts and are placed in the spotlight on certain pages on the website. A way for the group to directly and publicly thank its contributors, who are boosted in their feeling of belonging.
MMA has opted for relevance and audio and visual impact for the naming of this new e-service in the form of a .brand domain name, composed of just two words: imaginons.mma. Let’s not forget that this project is backed by a promise built on strong messages; “ensemble, construisons l’assurance de demain” [building the insurance of the future, together], “ici on aime vos idées” [we welcome your ideas]. These terms instantly echo this concise, positive and inclusive domain name thanks to its use of the French verb “imaginer” [to imagine/invent/dream up] in its imperative form – imaginons. Synonymous with onboarding and cooperation, it consistently translates the fundamentals of this approach which places people at its centre.
The manifestation of a desire to innovate in its practices and business sector
The involvement of its community in the shaping of its future actions allows MMA to unlock innovations to optimise its performance and gain competitive advantage. By taking into account the preferences and needs of its members, the group collects vital information that allows it to adjust its offer of products and services, its communication, its processes and, more broadly, its strategy. The diversity of consultation subjects demonstrates this desire to look and go further. The first project entitled “Comment vous rendre l’assurance toujours plus simple demain” [How to make insurance simpler for you in the future] enabled MMA to collect some 200 ideas for how to demystify and popularise the world of insurance, with the goal of facilitating everyday procedures for its customers. Another, more specific subject, “Construisons ensemble votre newsletter idéale” [Building your ideal newsletter together] will help the group develop a newsletter that is perfectly aligned with the preferences of its audiences.
Better understanding its audience to innovate in its market – that is the central theme to MMA’s approach, cementing the brand’s position as a pioneer in its sector and confirming its brand mission statement: “Faciliter l’assurance pour faciliter la vie” [Making insurance and life easier]. A tremendous advantage for the group; these notions of optimisation, openness and future are all conveyed within the URL itself, “www.imaginons.mma”, which is identical to the name of this new online service. The domain name alone does not, of course, guarantee the success of this new platform, but it does contribute to an optimal product-brand identity, which consequently boosts the profile of any related advertising campaign and makes it possible to reach a wider audience. Lastly, it places the emphasis on MMA through this custom TLD which acts as a calling card and promotes the brand as a whole.
“The platform imaginons.mma has a threefold benefit for the MMA brand: it allows the marketing teams to easily and cost effectively capture customer insights, it is a means of recognising and building the loyalty of our ambassador customers who want to be more involved in the MMA brand, and lastly, it enhances the brand’s attractiveness, proving that it takes its customers’ and members’ expectations seriously. And the icing on the cake - the platform name imaginons.mma is very clever, it is simple, effective and meaningful."
.mma, an umbrella for a local and benchmark digital territory
MMA’s online presence is an example of the gradual appropriation of a .brand TLD, orchestrated within a rationale of innovation and tests.
.mma is primarily used to reference the 1,600 or so agencies established within mainland France, each of which has its own landing page with a URL in the format “agencyname.mma”. A particularly relevant use for a model based on affiliation. The status as sole owner of its .brand also guarantees it complete discretion in creating .mma domain names, an ideal situation to support and serve its development ambitions without ever having to address the usual question of availability.
The appropriation of its custom TLD can be seen in the gradual development of numerous other .mma services. This is notably the case of zerotracas.mma; an interface providing information and best practices related to road safety, the deployment of which under a dot brand demonstrates a genuine desire to tackle this major issue in order to raise awareness. Another example is fondation-entrepreneurs.mma; a space dedicated to the ‘Fondation d’entreprise MMA des Entrepreneurs du Futur’ corporate foundation which supports and fosters entrepreneurial actions across the country. The .mma TLD is a means of promoting and legitimising this commitment to supporting French entrepreneurship on a large scale.
Both a cross-cutting and innovative Customer Relationship Management initiative, imaginons.mma is evidence of a clear intention to continue to incorporate the .brand within MMA’s digital strategy. It also shows that the use of a dot brand acts as a considerable spring board in the roll-out of a new online service by making it more official and more compelling.