Too clever, too simple, and just right?

You’ve likely heard the story of Goldilocks and the Three Little Bears. Just in case you haven’t, it’s about a little girl who enters the home of three bears. Upon entering she finds three bowls of porridge. The first is too hot, the second is too cold, and the third is just right. She then sits in three chairs that are too big, too small, and just right. Finally, she tries three beds that are too hard, too soft and just right.

I can’t help but think of this story when looking back on our marketing creative over the past 2 years. Though, the tag line for our creative would probably be “too clever, too simple, and just right?” You’ll notice there’s a question mark after just right…more on this in a bit.

For the first iteration of our marketing creative, we hired an advertising agency to come up with a concept. After preparing a creative brief and talking with the agency’s team in detail, they presented us with three concepts to choose from. Ultimately, here’s the creative we selected:

Retro brochure

Obviously, we liked this creative; otherwise, we wouldn’t have selected it. We thought the retro theme was cool. More importantly, we thought this creative got the message across that things have changed, but your home insurance hasn’t, which is why you should deal with a modern company like us.

Unfortunately, the creative didn’t resonate with customers. In fact, many customers told us that they didn’t get what the ads were trying to say. When we explained it to them, the overwhelming response was that the ad was too “clever”. People told us that they don’t want to have to think that hard when looking at an ad. We took the feedback to heart and decided to change the creative.

For our next iteration of our marketing creative, we decided to be more direct. So, we came up with the following creative:

Fire brochure

The message is pretty clear, “Accidents happen. Home insurance protects you.” While customers understood the message, we realized that it was just too “simple”. This creative doesn’t highlight what makes us different from our competitors – and we are very different. It really is the kind of ad you’d expect to see for a traditional insurance company, which we are not. So…back to the drawing board.

To come up with our most recent iteration, we listened to how our team members explained our policy to customers. The most effective and compelling explanations seemed to focus on the fact that you get to choose what to insure so you only pay for what you need. We all seemed to use an example to demonstrate that you’re paying for coverage you don’t need with traditional policies. It’s probably not surprising that we’re now using the following creative:

Fur coat brochure

Overall, response from customers has been positive. The message isn’t too clever, nor is it too simple. In fact, we’ve been told that people like how it educates them on a problem and identifies a solution. So, we’ve reached our “just right”, right? Almost. We’re still struggling with some of the language we use to describe our unique policy.

We’re currently stating that we offer the only “à-la-carte home insurance policy” in Canada. If you’re familiar with the term “à-la-carte” you understand what this means almost immediately. For those of you not familiar with the phrase, it’s French for “according to the menu”. The phrase has been adopted to mean that you can select individual components for purchase rather than being required to purchase predefined packages.

We don’t want to alienate or confuse customers, so we’re deciding whether we should replace “à-la-carte” with something else, like “customizable”. We’ll make a decision over the next few weeks. In the meantime, feel free to let us know what you think…”à-la-carte home insurance” or “customizable home insurance”. Or if you have another suggestion, please do let us know. We really would appreciate your feedback.

Cheers,

Daniel

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