Insurance companies spend billions of dollars a year to capture the attention of Americans with witty jingles, animated mascots and slogans that stick in our brains, whether we like it or not.
The big insurers – GEICO, Progressive, Allstate, Liberty Mutual and Aflac, to name a few – won’t admit it, but branding has become more important than the actual products they sell. It drives market share to keep a company’s name top of mind.
Then there’s the NJM Insurance Group, the iconic 108-year-old insurance company whose branding seems frozen in time. No mascot. No catchy slogans. No smart phone application. Very little television advertising. Its low-profile approach bets that promoting customer service builds brand recognition.
Still, the national advertising onslaught and flood of competitors lining up to sell policies in New Jersey has pressured NJM and other once dominant regional insurers around the country to dip a toe in the mass marketing waters. For NJM, that meant launching its first coordinated campaign and altering key elements of its business strategy to promote growth, profitability and customer retention.
The timing was closely aligned with its expansion into three other states and ditching its century old name, New Jersey Manufacturers.
“The competition has been intense. We have held our own,” said Michael J. Van Wagner, NJM’s vice president of public affairs, pointing to the company’s high customer satisfaction ratings and low consumer…