Allstate Brand Value - A Review of Allstate Insurance Company's Branding
This article will focus on Allstate Brand Value; Allstate Insurance Company’s brand equity. It is especially difficult for an insurance company, which sells something its customers cannot see and can only use in a time of hardship, to develop brand equity. After all, an insurance company does not sell a unique product – it sells a brand and a promise. But an insurance company can still build brand equity over time through consistent marketing effort. Consider State Farm and Allstate, the two largest personal insurance lines today.
Building brand value, or equity, is possibly the most important aspect of marketing. Name recognition is a very powerful thing, and positive recognition of a brand’s identity can add value to the product or service, elevating it from mere “commodity” status. It is an intangible which can compel a customer to buy more of or pay more for a product than he or she might for a similar lower-priced good or service. This is something enjoyed by such companies as Pepsi, Porsche and Calvin Klein jeans.
There are some companies that would like for consumers to believe that products or services within a category are all the same, regardless of how or where you shop. Those companies argue that everything boils down to cost, and there is some merit to that argument, especially in today’s economy. Some consumers may agree that there is no reason to pay any more than the cheapest price, but most do not.
In order to creative positive brand name recognition or brand value, it seems that four critical elements are necessary: quality, consistency, good community relations, and protectiveness. Allstate Insurance Company has all four.
Brand image or brand value is the reliability and quality of a product or service perceived by consumers based on brand familiarity or reputation. Building brand identity is more than just familiarizing the public with your logo and slogan. It is reinforcing those messages with positive professional experience each time the company interfaces with the customer and the public. A reputation must be protected. With a quality reputation, a logo or a slogan is a badge for the company and its employees, but without such a reputation, they merely become targets.
It is no accident that Allstate’s slogan is so well known. Brand equity is built over time through message repetition and consistency. Brand identity is reinforced with every single contact with the consumer, both existing and future ones. These messages can be as bold as the signs on the company doors, or as subtle as greeting with professional wording on voice mail. Everything from brochures and bills to the shirts on the backs of the company’s Catastrophe Team members must be consistent.
In the late 1990’s, Allstate Insurance Company conducted research to see how the public viewed its logo and the Good Hands symbol. The company also drew input from hundreds of employees. It was determined that the old hands were perceived as dated, Frankenstein-like and suggested that the company only sold home and auto insurance products. New hands were designed with subtle angles and curves intended to convey a more personal commitment by the company to its customers. Even the slogan presentation was reviewed. The slanted ‘A’ in Allstate was retained because of the high recognition company executives felt it had, but the letters were spread out and shortened slightly with the intent of a warmer and more readable presentation. The changes were intended to be subtle enough as to not alienate any customers.
Allstate home office made it mandatory for all offices to become 100% compliant in the usage of the new slogan and logo by the end of 2001. The changes had a large financial impact on the company, considering the costs of changing building signs across the country and redesigning everything from letterhead paper to Thank You cards and tee-shirts. However, it appeared that the resulting increase in Allstate's brand value was well worth the cost. The changeover began in 2000; coincidentally, Allstate Insurance Company revenues increased 8.1% from the prior year, and closing market value per share almost doubled. (Allstate.com/investor)
The Allstate logo, Good Hands symbol and slogan are considered very valuable company assets. Like any other company’s, Allstate’s logo, symbol and slogan enable customers and prospects distinguish Allstate from its competitors. Allstate Insurance Company is very careful about allowing vendors or outside groups to use or borrow the Allstate name, brand, or logo depiction. Allstate requires its vendors to have the ethical standards that Allstate wishes to portray itself. They strive for a consistent brand experience at every level. Allstate brand value is no accident.
This article is written for informational purposes and is not intended to take the place of competent local legal counsel. The writer is not associated with the Allstate Insurance Company or any of its affiliates.
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The Value of an Umbrella (or PUP) Policy.
Understanding Uninsured Motorist and Under-insured Motorist Coverages
First Party Insurance Coverages vs. Third Party Insurance Coverages
Insurance Fraud Indicators
What is an Insurance Lien Holder?
The Insurance Company's Preferred Body Shop Program
What to do When You are in an Accident
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