Trusted Choice® is a national, consumer tested, branding initiative created exclusively for Big I members to help communicate the value independent agents bring to insurance buying – choice, customization and advocacy.
All IIA of Oklahoma members (if not already Trusted Choice agencies) will become Trusted Choice agencies at the July 2011 membership renewal (Trusted Choice membership fees will be included on your upcoming dues renewal. These fees are not retained by IIAO but passed along to Trusted Choice to help in promotion of the brand).
What is a brand?
A brand is an identity or a trademark. Think the Nike Swish, the AFLAC duck and yes, the GEICO lizard. A brand is the reputation a company or a product has earned based on consumer experiences.
What is the Trusted Choice® brand message?
The Trusted Choice brand focuses on three of the benefits most important to consumers – choice of companies, customization of policies and advocacy on behalf of our insureds – to brand the value of independent agencies as the smart way to buy insurance.
The brand’s message is that Trusted Choice® agencies provide coverage at competitive prices while offering a choice of companies, customization of policies and advocacy support.
The goal of Trusted Choice® is to help members improve their own agency reputations while also tying them into a nationally promoted brand identity.
Why care about branding?
First, independent agents are already being branded – negatively – by the competition as the unnecessary middle man.
Second, independent agents have lost significant market share in the last 30 years – around $60 billion worth.
Finally, in Oklahoma, competition is here as more direct writers have entered the marketplace.
Why Trusted Choice®?
Trusted Choice® is consumer tested. It is the outgrowth of independent consumer research conducted jointly by IIABA and leading insurance companies that distribute their products through the independent agent channel. This research found that many consumers didn’t know what coverage they need, where to find insurance providers or how to evaluate them.
When consumers were presented with a list of attributes, they rated competitive prices, advocacy on claims, and customized policies as three of the most important considerations when buying insurance. While independent agencies and brokerage firms provide these benefits, most consumers are unaware they offer these services.
My Agency Has its Own Logo
Great! Trusted Choice® is not designed to take the place of your own agency branding efforts or advertising but should work in conjunction with it.
What about the Big I Logo?
The Big I logo continues to enjoy recognition WITHIN the industry – with insurance company representatives, among fellow agents, and among legislators on Capitol Hill. However, it lacks recognition among consumers. That is where the Trusted Choice® logo comes in.
Be sure to put the Trusted Choice® logo on any and all communications with customers – letterhead, signage, business cards, web site, advertisements, etc. Logos are available for download on the IIABA website at www.iiaba.com, click on Member Resources then choose Logos. Your agency can be reimbursed for a portion of these costs through the Marketing Reimbursement Program (www.TrustedChoice.com/MRP).
Tools/Resources to Assist you in Using the Trusted Choice® Brand
Logos for Download
Articles and tips on branding
Professionally produced tag-able radio, TV, print advertisements and direct marketing materials for your use
Consumer information, press release templates and public relations articles for your use
Live the Brand Guide – a blueprint for branding excellence – available from Trusted Choice
Zoom in on Branding Workbook – available from Trusted Choice
Zoom in on Branding CE Seminar – available on the IIABA Virtual University
Some of the Advertising that Has Taken Place
In Oklahoma, Trusted Choice and IIAO are proud sponsors of the FFA convention. This includes radio advertising and a Trusted Choice ad in the FFA calendar which is distributed statewide. Trusted Choice is also represented at the FFA state convention with over 10,000 attendees.
Trusted Choice is a sponsor of the Mike McCarville political blog and will have an ad on this widely popular blog for the entire year of 2011.
Trusted Choice is a sponsor of Thunder basketball with an ad in their annual yearbook.
On the national level: Nationwide, Trusted Choice® television ads continue on the following networks: Fox News, CNN, USA, TNT and The Weather Channel. This national campaign has been running yearly since 2007. The advertisements prompt consumers to think about how they select their insurance agents and urges them to switch to a Trusted Choice agency. For detailed ad schedules, visit the Trusted Choice® web site at www.trustedchoice.com/agents.
Professionally produced “tagable” (customize with your agency name and contact information) Trusted Choice® print, radio and TV ads are available for agents to use in their own advertising efforts. The ads can be obtained on the Trusted Choice web site at www.trustedchoice.com/agents.
Trusted Choice® independent agents are advisors, offering personal and business insurance from a variety of insurance companies. This diversity enables flexibility, customization, competitive pricing and advocacy for our customers.
· Keep your agency profile on the Trusted Choice® website at www.TrustedChoice.com up-to-date.
· Attach a Trusted Choice logo decal to front door or window of your agency (each agency will receive 2 window decals upon first signing up for Trusted Choice).
· Incorporate the Trusted Choice® logo on all collateral material including:
___ Business Cards ___ Agency Signage
___ Agency Letterhead ___ Marketing Materials
___ Apparel with Agency Name ___ Checks
___ Stationary/Envelopes ___ Fax Cover Sheets
___ Web site
· Add the Trusted Choice® logo to your automatic e-mail signature as well as to your staff members automatic email signatures.
· Review the Pledge of Performance with employees (www.TrustedChoice.com/agents)
· Order a Pledge of Performance plaque to hang in office reception area (vendor information online at www.TrustedChoice.com/agents).
· Place Pledge of Performance tent cards in high consumer traffic areas of your office, i.e. reception area, on CSR desks (e-mail TrustedChoice@iiaba.net for copies).
· Ad the Trusted Choice® logo, brief descriptive and the Pledge of Performance to your sales proposals, direct-mail marketing campaigns, and new policy mailers as well as to your web site (www.TrustedChoice.com/logo).
· Log into www.TrustedChoice.com/agents to find customizable TV, radio, print and billboard advertisements for your agency’s use and helpful info on buying broadcast & print media.
· Answer your phone in your office with your agency name as usual but add “your Trusted Choice” to it. For instance “Good Morning ABC Insurance Agency your Trusted Choice - how may I help you?” Consider how many phone calls you answer per day. Now multiply it by the number of agencies in OK times 200 days a year (not counting answering services and service centers). This will create a tremendous message!
· Please discuss Trusted Choice® and branding with your staff so everyone is on board.
Contact IIAO with your great ideas for branding independent agents with consumers.