According to the The Bureau of Labor and Statistics there are over 287,000 insurance agencies and brokerages in operation in the U.S. The idea behind creating a brand for your agency is to set yourself apart from this incredibly steep competition. Think of a brand as your identity because that’s exactly what it is. It is also one which should communicate what you can do for a client that other insurance agents can’t. Consistency in messaging your target demographic will eventually yield growth in sales.
Brand creation is a tall task but it’s everything. In fact, it is the key to gaining new clients. Therefore, it’s advisable to create your brand first, before you create any advertising and before sharing any content with the world on LinkedIn and Facebook/Instagram. Remember that the average person is exposed to an average of 7,000 brand messages a day so it’s important for you to have a clear and convincing message to share with the world.
Insurance Agent Reviews
In creating your brand, you’ll want it to inspire trust and confidence in you as a financial professional. Know that what others say about you has more impact than anything you have to say about yourself. This is why reviews and testimonials by your clients are the most important materials you can use to leverage your public image. Obviously, you’ll want to get as few negative reviews as possible. While this is entirely unavoidable, one way to prevent this from happening is to stay in communication with your unhappy clients and try to resolve your differences before they take to social media to vent. Once the reviews are up there, the only thing left to do is show others reading them that you are trying to resolve the problem (always reply to negative reviews).
Creating a Brand Identity
Many insurance agents wrongly assume that building a brand means creating a logo and that as soon as have a good image, the hard work is done. While a logo is an important tool, it’s not the be all and end all to your job as an insurance marketer. The brand name and the colors you use on your website and in your logo matter. The tone you set, both verbally and visually signify your agency’s personality. So do the fonts you choose and the topics you delve into, if you have a blog to drive traffic to your website. Your visuals need to be consistent and consumers will begin to form an emotional response to the elements you use. The identity you assign to your logo should match the identity you’d like to portray as a company. You’ll want the visuals to be engaging but also recognizable and memorable too. The more consumers see your brand, the more likely they will be to work with you in the future.
Beating the Competition
Okay, so every insurance agent and their mom will be vying for top dog as honest, affordable and kind. Everyone wants to be the guy who’s got their client’s back and prevents a financial bind. You need to be that and more! What is it about you that’s different? Do you work weekends? Are you always one call away? Do you do financial advising? Are you closed Mondays but open weekends for the convenience of working families? Do you give to the local school or contribute to a charity? As irrelevant as these things may sound, people like to know their dollars go to a good place. One way or another they have to buy insurance. Why not have it go to the guy who coaches little league?
Figure out what that little edge is and bring it to the forefront and magnify it with your brand message. Let the sun shine on the best parts of you. That’s how you’ll win people over.
Other Elements of a Brand
Using the same image(s), using all the same colors, design and messaging is also important in getting customers to begin recognizing your brand. Customers will research you online to find out as much as they can before doing business with you, so remain consistent. Creating as much positive and uplifting content on the Internet and in print helps. Even radio spots, which lack the visual component of branding, need to reflect that essential brand message. You’ll just have to take some time to make sure you’re hitting the same emotional high notes relying only on hearing alone.
What Do I Do Once I Have My Brand?
The whole point of having a brand is to convince people to work with you. To do that, you need to create a brand journey. A brand journey is anything that lends itself to a “customer experience,” whether it’s watching a video or what they read in a blog.
Don’t let videos intimidate you. If you do actually coach little league, why not make a video of your time on the field and somehow relate it to insurance? Make that video travel by sharing it on Facebook and asking your buddies to share it on their pages too. Or maybe you’re a soccer mom. Don’t you think all those soccer moms out there will identify even more with you if you record your insurance message while driving a minivan full of sweaty little boys? But really, why can’t you be your own brand ambassador or neighborhood influencer?
If you’d rather stay in the background and prefer to have a local celebrity or superstar help you out, here’s more info on influencer marketing.
Understand Customer Loyalty
No, a client has no need to be loyal to their agent and more likely will not be unless there is an emotional connection to the values that agent holds. If you’re saving puppies from abusive homes and puppy mills, you’ll tug on some heart strings and it needs to be a part of your brand message (maybe something along these lines: “Not only do I protect dogs from puppy mills, but I can protect your family against financial disaster.”)
On the surface, saving puppies may seem to have very little to do with insurance (unless you sell pet insurance) but it’s not. Saving puppies can be a part of selling auto insurance, even business insurance. Once it does, it becomes a valuable part of your brand, especially if you have a cute puppy in your brand logo. People will see you’re being genuine. Very rarely does it work to put forward an image that has nothing to do with who you are. Be sincere or else it won’t be very credible.
Your Brand, Your Power
A powerful brand is one that starts with something close to your heart. Emotions are the most powerful driving force, especially with millennials. All the ideas discussed in this article apply to the success of the branding Lemonade Insurance has developed for itself. The idea of letting customers pick a charity of their choosing to donate a portion of their premiums is genius. Lemonade takes the company’s image as a benevolent company to the greatest heights. Now, people who would otherwise curse their fate for having to pay for insurance premiums feel a little bit better about where their money goes! Don’t kid yourselves, though: Lemonade is far from being a non-profit organization.
You can be successful and generous at the same time, too. We wish you all the luck in the world in achieving that perfect balance and winning more clients than ever with some thoughtful and earnest brand messaging! We’re also here to help serve you with the best leads in the insurance industry: 877.323.7750