While the lives of Allstate customers are full of uncertainty, the marketing message of the insurance company has been a sure bet for decades. "You're in good hands with Allstate"... ring a bell? Allstate has been in Americans' trust with this tagline for more than 50 years - and, believe it or not, it continues to resonate.
But how has Allstate stayed relevant, yet consistent, with its enduring brand message? Allstate CMO and Officers Award winner at The CMO Awards Sanjay Gupta explains why Allstate has held firm to its perennial campaign and how the company has been able to innovate while remaining anchored to its tried-and-true foundation.
If it ain't broke...
Maybe it's got something to do with the insurance industry and the value of reliability and trust in establishing long-term customer relationships, or maybe it's just a best practice when your campaign sticks. Either way, Allstate's commitment to "You're in Good Hands" eschews the marketing world's tendency to jettison the old in search of the next big idea. Gupta offers his take on it: "If you have a campaign that continues to prove successful, and becomes even more successful with time, then changing for change's sake is not what's best for the brand and the business." In other words, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
But this doesn't mean that Gupta can put his department in cruise control. "Of course, we measure and constantly watch for wear-out and diminishing effectiveness," he says. "But part of the reason 'You're in Good Hands' has remained one of the most recognized taglines in America is because we haven't changed it in 50 years." If widespread, long-term recognition is your goal, his words are food for thought.
Build from the foundation
Rather than treat the venerable campaign as parameters that limit innovation, Allstate uses the message as "equity" from which it can launch the rest of its storytelling. "Even though we've had some real duration with the look and feel and of our campaigns over the last several years, we're constantly introducing new features and different ways in which we tell our story," Gupta says.
In addition to fan-favorite commercials with Dennis Haysbert and Mayhem, the company had also integrated well-known home experts and TV personalities who provide helpful maintenance and do-it-yourself tips in ads - "delivering the message that Allstate homeowners insurance offers more". At the time we spoke, Gupta says that Allstate had also just launched a New Households campaign "that highlights a lot of great new services and features from Allstate, but it still looks and feels familiar."
Create a happy home
So, when your brand's established message or campaign stands the test of time, don't be so quick to pivot. Rather, integrate your new initiatives with what customers already know well - an approach that's been successful for Allstate. "The best marketing story you can tell is when your customer experience, innovation and marketing - as well as your product features - are all working well together in a cohesive fashion," Gupta says. "I've been fortunate to do that time and time again in my career, but certainly we're doing that now at Allstate with the compelling way we're bringing all of these things together."
In partnership with The CMO Club, The CMO of the Week series profiles CMOs who are shaping, changing and challenging the world of modern marketing. For Drew Neisser's complete interview with CMO Award Winner Sanjay Gupta, click here.