property and casualty brands

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I offer a fun brand exploratory to client prospects of a certain size called “Brand Strategy Tarot Cards,” in which I turn over 5 pieces of company/product content and do a reading. One such piece is the boilerplate – the copy on the About section of the website.

Here is a sample from a successful insurance software company, with the name changed to protect the innocent:

At Insurance Plus, we specialize in Property & Casualty software and services. It’s our focus and our passion. We’ve been doing it for over 25 years and we do it really well.

Over the years, we have used our deep insurance industry experience and sophisticated technology expertise to envision, develop, and deliver the most comprehensive core systems and data solutions devoted exclusively to commercial, personal and specialty lines of business.

We continually bring new thinking and new functionality to the market. We’ve forged deep relationships with our customers and keep them ahead of the technology curve with innovative solutions and a content library that has no equal. Over the past years, we’ve acquired companies to add to the list of solutions to better serve the market and our customers.

The lede of this About section boilerplate can be found in quote marks in the post headline. (The Really is mine.)

Beyond the fact that they are in the property and casualty software business, the only real information here is they are 25 years old and have bought other companies.  That’s it. The rest is marko-babble.

Branding is about pouring value into a product or service vessel. And doing so in a way that consumers can play back.

Many companies are starved for brand strategy. It’s tragic.

Peace.

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fear

Sometimes the toughest brand planning assignments are the ones that offer levels of complexity that initially stagger you.  Understanding the Medicare playbook, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a financial prospectus come to mind.  It’s okay to be scared.  Lack of order is not how the brain works.  What planners try to do is understand and map category learning, so that they can make decisions about what is important. Only then can they begin to manipulate those “important” insights and findings into brand design. Into a brand plan.

As a tyro in the business, before I understood, I’d often posit.  For instance I might ask a healthcare insurance company a property and casualty insurance company question. They were an insurance company, after all.  McFail! I wasn’t afraid enough to listen.

When learning about a business as a brand planner, you need to learn…not teach. This is true whether you are talking to the CEO or a consumer.  Only after a suitable amount of learning time from your teacher (CEO or consumer) will they allow you out of learning mode. Only then will they allow you to ask important questions.  At this stage the questions still must be of the “grasshopper” (Mr. Miyagi) variety. This is how rapport builds. Be afraid. You are coaxing here. CEOs and consumer won’t open up unless they are allowed to teach. Thanks for listening.  Peace!

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