Enterprising Developments

Branding is Passe, Here's What's More Important

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, June 4, 2010

Doc Searles, a well-regarded sage of the digital realm, recently posted an interesting analysis of the death of “branding” as we know it; lessons that could help the insurance industry as it moves headlong into the digital age.

Branding, of course, has been a bedrock strategy for the industry for decades, from Prudential's Rock of Gibraltar to GEICO's chirpy little gecko. Would you have thought a little lizard with a British accent (or is it Australian?) could be employed so well to convince people to buy car insurance? But I digress.

Searles says branding—at least as we've come to know it—is a dinosaur (much larger than a gecko, incidentally). “Brands are boring, brands are bull,” he says.

So, then, what is more relevant than branding to reach markets with a message? A well-earned reputation, Searles says. And a good reputation will prevail over bad branding than the reverse, he points out. Consider Toyota's pedal travails—they're staying in the game thanks to their still-stellar reputation for good cars, despite their lousy branding over the years.

With the rise of the Internet and social networking, the consumer is calling the shots, and a company needs to show that it is responsive and socially responsible. Searles points out that the Internet favors reality over bull, and branding needs to take a back seat.

To advance in the 20-teens, insurance companies need to get out and engage with customers through these new channels. They can no longer afford to sit back and rely on the power of their branding.

Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Joe using the “Add Your Comments” box below. He can also be reached at joe@mckendrickresearch.com.

This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

Comments (0)

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

Add Your Comments...

Already Registered?

If you have already registered to Insurance Networking News, please use the form below to login. When completed you will immeditely be directed to post a comment.

Forgot your password?

Not Registered?

You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.

Blog Archive

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Of Enterprise BI

When IT can't deliver, business users build their own applications focusing on agility, flexibility and reaction times.

The IT-Savvy 10%

IBM survey reveals best practices of IT leaders.

The Software-Defined Health Insurer: Radical But Realistic?

Can a tech startup digitally assemble the pieces of a comprehensive, employer-provided health plan?

Data Governance in Insurance Carriers

As the insurance industry moves into a more data-centric world, data governance becomes more critical for ensuring the data is consistent, reliable and usable for analysis.

Fear This

Just days before this Issue, which contains our security cover story, went to press, we got some interesting news: 1.2 billion unique usernames and passwords and 542 million email addresses were reportedly stolen from 420,000 websites, according to The New York Times. The websites ranged from Fortune 500 companies down to small online retailers.

Should You Back Up Enterprise Data to the Cloud?

Six questions that need to be asked before signing on with an outside service.