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Value Proposition – What’s in it for me?

April 13, 2009

Chris Garlasco, Owner & Managing Partner

Chris Garlasco, Owner & Managing Partner - Founders Insurance Group

Can you catch the catch phrase? 

The insurance industry has, like many industries, the catch phrase of the moment. A virtual waterfall of acronyms and various catch phrases flow from our industry like the mighty Mississippi during the spring thaw. There are marketing catch phrases designed to connect your mind to a particular insurance company. There are catch phrases that take it a step further by adding an annoying little jingle that dooms you repeat it in your mind every time you see that company’s logo.

I am happy to tell you that I won’t be discussing any of those with you, that is, unless you are so bored that you really feel the need to have a dialog about a particular jingle. I want to talk to you, the consumer, about a catch phrase that is not only important to the insurance world, but to the entire marketing world in general.

So…are you ready? Here it is, “Value Proposition.” It may not seem very stunning or sexy, but it is at the root of every product that we buy. Consciously or sub consciously every customer making a buying decision asks the question, “What’s in it for me?” Think about it for a moment. You decide to buy a pack of gum. The counter in front of the cash register is filled with lots of brands. Some promise fresh breath, some promise whiter teeth, some promise a great taste, some promise to make you a very cool person, and some promise a lower price. In the course of a few seconds, whether you realize it or not, the moment before you grab that pack of gum and hand it to the cashier, you have asked the question, “What’s in it for me?” Your brain answers the question and you pick your brand of choice.

Simply put, Value Proposition is the attempt by a company trying to sell you
something, to provide you with the very best answer to your question, “What’s in it for me?” Let’s look back at our chewing gum example for a moment. The last time I bought a pack of gum it was shortly after a wonderful Italian meal with lots of garlic. I thought that my breath smelled like roses, my wife thought otherwise, so I stopped at a gas station for some gum. About half of the gum at the counter promised fresh breath, so I was half way home. I still needed a bit more detail before making that buying decision. I chose the brand that not only offered fresh breath, but offered my favorite flavor claiming that it lasted longer and the gum company tossed in two extra sticks at the same price for good measure. I am sure that many of you are thinking that I made this far more complicated than it needed to be, but what I am describing took a matter of a couple of seconds and I was not thinking about the transaction in such complicated terms. The chewing gum’s Value Proposition was great long lasting flavor, a fair price and extra value for the money.

So, what’s your insurance company’s Value Proposition? If you have an actual agent or risk manager, what’s their Value Proposition? If it’s just price alone, maybe it’s time to take a closer examination of what is in it for you. Lately, a lot of insurance carriers have made their sole value proposition a cheaper policy. Sadly, a lot of insurance buyers are listening.

As always, thanks for taking a moment of your busy day with me. I look forward to your comments and since this discussion has brought you to the very edge of your seat, tune in soon for the rest of the story.

Chris Garlasco

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