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Do we need a mascot to woo our customers?

April 10, 2009
Cindy Donaldson, Marketing Director - Founders Insurance Group

Cindy Donaldson, Marketing Director - Founders Insurance Group

I’m an advertising person – I love a good hook. In my previous life, before insurance, I owned an advertising company and I too had a mascot: Raisin the Cow. Long story as to why I had the cow, but suffice it to say people knew it was me when they saw the cow. It worked and the ad campaigns around the cow also worked.

So here I am in the insurance world. I don’t have a cow and I’m competing against a pretty popular reptile with millions of dollars in advertising money behind him. Historically, independent insurance agents have been service based not sales based. A good solid reputation, a strong referral base and a few guys beating the pavement worked. It’s not working as well any more – because the public isn’t bombarded with images of your neighborhood independent insurance agency saving you a pile of money in 15 minutes.

So how do we compete without finding a specimen from the animal kingdom to woo our prospects and keep our current clients? We regroup and think like a buyer. As my boss would say, “Insurance isn’t fun – you have to have it and it can be expensive depending on your situation.” We need to convey to our clients the value of insurance, the value of having an independent insurance risk manager looking out for them and ultimately we need to convey to them that it’s not all about the mascot. On top of all that we need to brand those images in their buying minds.

Tough job? You bet! I’m up for the challenge. No, the cow isn’t coming out of retirement – I’m heading in a new direction, a new strategy. You see, we don’t need to compete – we ultimately don’t want to play in that arena. It’s not who we are.

Curious? You should be!

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