A good necessary evil
October 17, 2006 3 Comments
I can’t think of anyone that enjoys paying for insurance. It’s intangible (hopefully!). You’re trading x hundreds of dollars for….nothing you can hold in your hand.
But when you need it, you’re glad you paid. And when you deal with a company like Amica, you almost (almost!) don’t feel too bad writing the check.
Perhaps you’ve never heard of Amica. If Northwestern Mutual is the quiet company, Amica seems almost mute. But I can think of few – if any – companies that have engendered such a high degree of my brand loyalty.
Back a lifetime or so ago (25 years), you could only get a policy with Amica by recommendation of a current policyholder (I “married into” an Amica-covered family!). There was little or no advertising – marketing was word-of-mouth. This led to an exceptionally high quality pool of policyholders. And the key to retention was unbelievably responsive customer service, which remains a signature feature of Amica to this day. This little-known company always ranks at or near the very top when customers are surveyed for satisfaction regarding their insurance providers.
Nowadays, they do some advertising, though you won’t find too many Amica ads running during the Super Bowl, or occupying full-page spreads in the Wall Street Journal. Not too many years back, they did some re-branding – alas, the logo they chose is pretty stodgy, but attachment to this company goes way beyond the skin-deep appearance of its brand image. Their current tagline is, “It’s not just how you’re covered. It’s how you’re treated.” Not the snappiest set of words I’ve ever seen, but the message is a dead-on accurate summary of their core distinctive.
The highest goal for an organization is to create brand evangelists. Amica not only has policyholders – they have organic word-of-mouth marketers. When you have superb service, you don’t need to throw millions out the window making 30 seconds of noise at the Super Bowl.
Follow-up: Amica decided to highlight this posting on their website…I suspect most companies rarely get a positive, unsolicited review!
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