Insuring a Great Brand
Continues to Thrive
Keeping the brand rolling
Originally the name of a line of tires sold by Sears Roebuck & Co., the "Allstate" brand first expanded to represent insurance products in 1931. "Allstate Insurance" went public in 1991, and is the largest, publicly owned personal lines insurer in the U.S. today.
As the personal insurance market grew increasingly competitive, the Allstate brand needed some insurance of its own—that it could credibly live the famous "You're in good hands" brand promise, not just say it; that it could continue to differentiate Allstate from its competitors; and that it could support the growth of its recently launched financial advisory business.
Getting our hands around the brand
Although Allstate had reams of research supporting its approach to the market, the brand had become a little flat; its focus had become a little fuzzy. We sifted through all business and market dynamics to clarify Allstate's brand promise around helping customers "feel better protected today and better prepared for tomorrow." Then, in one of Siegel+Gale's most comprehensive communications programs ever, we analyzed each of Allstate's touchpoints and mapped all customer experiences.
We re-engineered Allstate's communications architecture to enhance those experiences and drive business improvements. Our creative teams updated the iconic "hands" to keep the visual identity fresh, developed detailed writing guidelines, and established "Brand Central," an asset management tool, to facilitate brand alignment across the organization. After enlisting an architectural engineering firm to help with a scalable retail redesign, we created an agent communications strategy and rolled out the new look to Allstate’s 13,000 agent offices.
Finally, we crafted a communications program for the fledgling retirement-focused financial advisory business, which would be sold in the agent offices as well. We streamlined 87 types of existing form letters into 14 content modules, and simplified all other customer-facing functional communications—invoices, policy statements, forms and correspondence—using the plain language concepts that have been Siegel+Gale's hallmark since we pioneered them in 1969.
Assured of great numbers
The new brand promise drove the development of the "Your Choice Auto," a new policy that, within 24 months, accounted for 75% of all auto policies. The fact that this policy commanded a 12% price premium over competitive products made the rapid acquisition of market share all the more remarkable. At the same time, pre-qualified leads for Allstate's financial advisory business increased 26%, well above their original goal of 8.5%.
And all of this went straight to the bottom line. The new positioning and communications program we created helped boost Allstate's operating income by $1.6 billion and increased revenue by 1.2%. And the new simplified customer communications program directly saved $8 million annually by reducing production and mailing costs for renewals and other letters.
Overall, customer satisfaction and loyalty increased as well. Customer defections declined by 14% over two years, while the "most likely to consider Allstate" measurement jumped to 17% above its norm—the highest it had been in seven years. With all of that positive reinforcement, it's not surprising that the "You're in Good Hands" tagline achieved the number one unaided awareness ranking in the U.S.Download PDF
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