Manulife fitness program going global

Insurance giant reveals plans for Canadian fitness program after launching initiative in China

Manulife’s new strategy rewarding its clients for leading healthy lives has taken root in Asia after the launch of the MOVE program yesterday.

Manulife-Sinochem is a collaboration between the insurance giant and one of China’s largest conglomerates that dates back to 1996. Both firms’ status internationally was reflected by the attendance of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the event in Shanghai to mark the introduction of the MOVE program yesterday.

The initiative is part of a global campaign by Manulife to assist its customers to prioritize fitness and live longer lives through offering discounts on its products. In Canada, Manulife Vitality will come into effect this fall, having already tasted success in the United States with the program.

Blake Hill, head of Manulife Vitality explains the genesis of this movement.  

“We have a partnership with the Vitality Group with our John Hancock subsidiary in the US,” he says.  “It’s an international program and our peers in the US have been very happy with the program in terms of changing the image that insurance often has.”

That image was one where insurance provider and client had minimal contact with each other after the policy is signed. With Manulife Vitality, however, the idea is for the institution to become much more involved.

Graeme Harris is VP of Public Relations with the firm and outlines this strategic shift. “Basically there wasn’t much interaction with clients in what is a very long relationship,” he says. “Vitality creates an opportunity to reward our clients for living healthy lives and we can become a lot more involved than a life insurer traditionally would.”

As part of the Vitality program, Manulife has already signed a number of partnerships with firms where fitness is their business. The most recent was with GoodlIfe Fitness last week, following on from a tie-in with Garmin in July. According to Hill, there will be several more partners coming on board soon, but GoodlIfe and Garmin certainly make for a solid base already.

“We wanted a gym partner where we could reward clients for living healthily, so Goodlife was a natural choice,” he says.  “Rewarding people for leading a healthy life is not earth-shatteringly new, but through technology and a using a company like Garmin it makes the process seamless.”

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