Finding the Right Angle
AS THE PUNCHLINE of more than its fair share of boring-job jokes, selling insurance has gotten a bad rap for years. Yet it’s no easy undertaking. Doing so successfully requires the salesperson not only to bring up the stuff of people’s worst nightmares—natural disasters, fire, death—but to place each in the context of certain reality. They’re the universal bearers of bad news. And by default, the sector’s promotional products have about as much symbolism as the hooded cape and scythe.
Thankfully, however, this downer of an image has started to fade away in favor of more useful, lighthearted product offerings. Mark Yokoyama, director of marketing and merchandising at
ePromos Promotional Products, New York, and Keene, New Hampshire-based Ready4 Kits’ marketing manager Paul Dubois discussed two new themes to consider when handling insurance promotions.
A little levity goes a long way to help branding, said Yokoyama. “Serious is a must as far as being trustworthy and professional, but being human and having some personality is also crucial from a marketing standpoint.” And while conveying “seriousness” often has meant turning to umbrellas, pens and the like to support branding efforts, he added, giving a company a more personal, human side has been working for traditionally stuffed-shirt sectors, such as insurance or financial. “At the end of the day, insurance is an intangible product and if you’re a faceless company you’ll have trouble creating brand loyalty,” Yokoyama affirmed.
Items worth giving a shot: He mentioned
mascot-centric items, such as the stuffed Aflac duck or Geico’s gecko bobblehead; health-related products, like water bottles and pedometers; and fashion pieces, including scarves and caps, as a few choices that convey both support and coverage. “Insurance companies are expected to be an active part of the communities they serve and I think that’s an important part of their branding and marketing,” Yokoyama maintained.