As competition continues between industry and retail funds, new research released by CoreData suggests the industry fund sector has nudged in front when it comes to brand perception.
CoreData's ‘Super Fund Brand Research Q4 2014' showed industry funds beat out their retail counterparts on all brand aspects, especially on perception of value.
More than 2000 respondents were asked to rate the largest 23 super funds by members on key brand issues. They were asked to rate their own super fund (internal raters) and funds with which they are familiar (external raters).
The value of a super fund was top priority for respondents, with the study revealing super funds that scored well across value attributes like competitive performance, fees, and value for money also had high consideration scores.
This measures a member's intention to use a fund and current members' intention to stay with their fund.
The study found that because of these considerations industry funds had the edge on attracting new members and hanging on to current members compared to retail funds.
Head of financial services Kristen Turnbull stressed the only way for funds to differentiate themselves from each other is through communication.
"The fact that funds tend to perform relatively weakly on the emotive aspects of their brand suggests they are viewed in a more utilitarian fashion, merely as a place to keep their retirement savings, rather than on a deeper emotional or ‘life partner' level," she said.
But as CoreData recently found, television advertisements are not an effective communication mode, which brings Industry Super Australia's ‘Compare the Pair' campaign into question.
The study also found smaller funds beat their bigger competitors on key indicators, including value for money, competitive returns, and trustworthiness.