As an insurance marketer, your brand is your business. It’s how your customers—and the world in general—perceive you. To build a strong brand, you need to follow certain guidelines to achieve success. Here’s why (and how) a strong brand serves as the key to your insurance marketing strategy.
Your Insurance Brand’s Core Values Lead to Consumer Trust
Strengthening your brand begins with your values as a business. After all, they’re the very reason your company exists, and they define your brand identity. Every business should start by asking themselves why they’re doing what they’re doing. As an example, State Farm’s mission statement, in a nutshell, is to: “…help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams.”
Think about your insurance company’s values. You likely have them written in a mission statement, too. It’s why you do what you do. But you have to ask yourself an important question. Can a consumer identify your ideals by looking at your marketing messages rather than just reading a statement on your website? Are your values obvious every time you put your brand “out there” for the world to see?
You control your brand image. Your brand should speak to your target audience and to consumers in general as the voice of your company. You need to tell them who your brand is and why they would want to associate with you. In other words, why should they come to you for their insurance needs? If you can do this, your audience will understand your messaging and your brand, and you’ll have greater success marketing to them. Once they understand your values and mission, they’re far more likely to trust you. And that trust is what creates a customer for life.
Insurance ads in general attempt to persuade. That’s the basic idea of advertising. The top 10 insurance brands spend roughly $3.6-billion a year on advertising, but are they effective at proclaiming a brand’s values? Let’s look at some industry examples.
Geico Makes a Concrete Promise
Geico is by far the biggest spender among insurance advertisers. One of the ways they demonstrate their values and gain trust with consumers is by offering a guarantee on their brand promise.
Their widely-popular insurance marketing strategy features the slogan: “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.” That tells it like it is. If you can spare 15 minutes of your time, they’ll make sure you save 15% or more on your car insurance. That seems like a solid deal to most, but what’s even more important than the percentage discount is the straightforward approach. Geico positions their brand by offering realistic savings—and proof that they’ll deliver on their promise. It’s in the numbers. This helps people embrace the message and trust the company. Plus they have a particularly appealing talking gecko as their mascot.
Insurance Companies Create Memorable Characters to Build Brand Recognition
Brands like Geico and Aflac used a reptile and a duck respectively to generate brand awareness for their insurance companies. And it worked. Consumers embraced their loveable personalities to the point of becoming customers. This concept of creating memorable characters to build insurance brand recognition and trust has since evolved into athlete and celebrity endorsements, too.
- Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield reps Progressive.
- Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has become the face of State Farm.
- PGA golfer Rickie Fowler is a spokesman for Farmers.
- Former NFL QB Peyton Manning (along with country music star Brad Paisley) still represents Nationwide.
In each case, these brands use “ad characters” as part of their insurance marketing strategy to make a connection with their target audience. And again, it worked. Progressive, in particular, has created an entire network of these characters (like Flo) to represent different insurance offerings via TV, social media, and other marketing channels. The result has been impressive: double-digit growth in sales and prospects over the past six years and a 30% increase in share value in 2019. Their roster of brand ambassadors builds interest in and trust among consumers. Plus, they help you find the best rate for your needs, even if it’s not with them.
A Strong Brand is Compliant and Consistent
The customer retention rate for insurance brands is around 80%. If that average rings true for your agency, you can expect that 20% of your customers will be looking for a different insurance provider this year. Don’t despair, though. There are insurance marketing solutions to prevent this.
As a brand manager, your wish list, regardless of industry, should feature compliance and consistency across all your locations and marketing channels. Are you wondering why brand consistency matters? If you present your brand consistently throughout your entire network, you can make 25% more money as a result. Plus, studies show that consistent brands have a 20% higher value than those that aren’t. That should be incentive enough to make sure your insurance marketing strategy features strict, enforceable compliance and consistency standards.
Here’s an example. If your insurance agency has multiple locations, it pays (literally) to present your brand consistently at each location. That’s easier said than done, though. Consistent branding requires that all stakeholders are on the same page and willing to stick to brand standards 24/7.
One way to ensure that your brand’s marketing messages stay consistent throughout all your locations is to use the best brand management software platform. This solution provides you with the marketing assistance you need, plus it gives your local marketers the freedom to run their own business. BlueSky ETO’s brand management software exists in “the cloud,” so it’s always available and easily updated. When it’s time to introduce a new marketing campaign or announce fresh collateral, it’s as easy as uploading the materials to your Brand Marketing Center. Local marketers receive an alert about the update. Then they can instantly make the necessary additions or changes to their marketing materials. This keeps your entire brand consistent and compliant.
A Strong Brand Finds Ways to Be More Productive
Every marketing executive knows that productivity is one of the keys to success for any business. It’s no different in the insurance industry, but you need to involve every member of your team to build a strong brand. Let’s look at your local marketers. Imagine if they could create their own marketing collateral using customizable, pre-approved templates—without the need for advanced graphic design skills. That would undoubtedly save a ton of time, right?
We’re happy to tell you it’s not a pipedream. Rather, it’s the reality for an agency that utilizes brand management software’s many benefits. Your in-house designers can use their time more effectively to build your brand and your distributed team feels more empowered. That’s a huge win for your brand.
Consider the hassle of handling requests from your distributed team one at a time. Before you know it, you’ve used the better part of your day supporting their individual needs when you could spend your time on other activities. You’ll strengthen your brand and be far more productive by allowing brand management software to organize your insurance brand’s assets.
Let’s say you’re rolling out a new campaign for the summer that features in-agency, web-to-print marketing materials, and local advertising templates. The POP displays are uniform across each location, but the ad templates allow space for local customization. This strengthens your brand and empowers your local marketers. That’s brand productivity in action.
Insurance Marketing Strategy: Empower Your Local Marketers to Succeed
We’ve touched on the relationship between brand management software and the success of your local marketers, but it’s worth its own section as a continuing point of emphasis. Your distributed marketing managers have a better handle on their local market than anyone else. Empowering them is a win-win for your brand. They can quickly respond to their local marketing needs without contacting you for help. This saves time and money. For example, when you issue customizable templates via your Brand Marketing Center, local marketers can personalize the collateral with location-specific details or special offers quickly and easily. As a result, the brand as a whole looks like a unified business with the local attention it needs to be successful.
A Strong Brand Produces Less Marketing Waste
A strong brand has many admirable qualities, but one that is often overlooked is marketing waste, or in this case, the lack of marketing waste. We’re not discussing poor data and lost ad dollars, though. Rather, we’re talking about allowing your marketing materials to go unused. You can control marketing waste.
When you send marketing materials to your stakeholders—which includes each distributed marketer in your network—don’t assume they’ll be used in the same manner across the board. That’s not necessarily the case. In fact, oftentimes these materials go to waste for one reason or another. You spent the time creating, printing, and mailing an abundance of marketing materials to your local team, only to discover they weren’t a good fit for some of your locations. The reality is that each location requires a personal touch, something you can accomplish with a print-on-demand software via a cloud-based Brand Marketing Center. Print-on-demand software allows you to deliver what you want when you want it. No more guessing, no more estimating.
There are other forms of waste to consider, too. What about the time lost in the development and production of your marketing materials? A Brand Marketing Center reduces development times and streamlines your production to get rid of errors and reduce waste. The result in this instance is more available time to work on other projects and ultimately, a healthier bottom line.
A Strong Brand Leads to Improved Marketing ROI
Finally, we’ve come to the most important piece of the puzzle. At the end of the day, if you improve your return on investment, your insurance agency has the best chance to be or remain successful. Everything that we’ve discussed to this point leads to improved marketing ROI. To recap:
- Let consumers know what your brand is all about. Tell them about your core values and why they should choose your insurance company. This is where improved ROI begins.
- Stay consistent with your brand’s marketing efforts throughout all your locations. This can lead to a 25% increase in sales.
- When you spend less time taking requests from local marketers, your brand is more productive. As a result, a more productive brand has a greater ROI.
- When distributed marketers have the materials they need to produce relevant local collateral, response rates increase. Increased response rates lead to (you guessed it) improved marketing ROI.
- Streamlined production, reduced development time, and print-on-demand technology all prevent waste. In turn, you’ll see a greater return on your investment.
It isn’t difficult to see how these steps lead to a more robust bottom line. To give your insurance business the best chance for success—and an advantage over your competitors—consider brand management software. But not just any software. BlueSky ETO’s brand management solution is “Engineered to Order” for your business.
A Strong Brand is the Key to Your Insurance Marketing Strategy
Insurance is a commodity. What customers can get from one company, they can pretty much get from another. You’re in a very competitive industry. That’s why branding is so important. In fact, it’s not unrealistic to say that your brand is more important than the product you’re selling. If you can embrace this idea with creative marketing actions and the help of a brand management software solution, you’ll have an advantage over your competitors. You don’t necessarily need a talking animal as a mascot, but you would be well advised to consider brand management software as a trusted ambassador.
Contact a BlueSky ETO representative today to talk about your insurance marketing strategy and how you can strengthen your brand with your very own customized software solution.
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