Chapter 3

Branding

Introduction:

Position Your Business in the Hearts and Minds of Your Target Audience

The way B2B buyers make purchase decisions is very different from the traditional B2C buying journey. Business-to-business transactions often take more consideration, with over 80% of B2B sales occurring after the fifth contact.

B2B buyers are more concerned with profits, cash-flow and revenue and value is a key driver of business decisions. With a longer buying cycle, B2B purchase decisions are based on the trust between one business and another, which has significant implications for B2B branding.

As a B2B business, it’s imperative that your insurance marketing strategy helps build a strong, relevant relationship with your prospect or customer.

Tip 13: Define Your Customer & USP

DEFINING YOUR CUSTOMER

Your customers should be the driver behind every marketing decision in your business. By defining your ideal customer, you will be more able to meet their needs by understanding their buying patterns and more importantly, their motivations for buying.

In order to define your customer, you should consider the following:

  • What are the specific demographics of your ideal customer? For example, their age, gender, social status and level of education.
  • How do your customers behave? What are their likes and dislikes?
  • What are their lifestyles, activities, values, needs, interests or opinions?
  • Where are your customers located? What type of environment do they live in?
  • What are the key things that they would use to describe their problems that your product or service will remedy?

Doing market research will help you refine your ideal customer persona, which in turn will help you define your USP (Unique Selling Proposition).

Defining Your USP

Once you have identified your ideal customer, you can think about your Unique Selling Proposition. This is often referred to as your elevator pitch: if you had
30 seconds to persuade someone to use your services, what would you say?

Your USP defines your company’s unique position in the marketplace and is the easiest way to separate your business from competitors. With a clear USP, you can actively focus your energy on creating marketing messages and business practices that cater to your ideal group of customers.

To have a USP, you can’t attempt to be known for everything. You have to make a stand for something. In order to do this, you should:

  • Understand why the customer uses your particular product or service. What benefits do you offer them?
  • Understand how you compare to competitors’ products or services. What are your strengths and weaknesses? How is your offering perceived?
  • Look for gaps in what your competitors offer to see where you can really differentiate.

Once you have defined your USP, you can decide what marketing messages and methods to use to communicate your USP to your ideal customer.

Tip 14: How to Write Your USP

Your USP is a statement that succinctly outlines how your business, product or service is different from that of your competition. It identifies what makes your business the better choice, and why your target clients should choose you over the competition.

The USP is an important part of your branding that makes your business memorable, so it’s important that you get it right. Here are our four steps to help you write the perfect USP for your insurance business.

Step 1: Go Back to Basics

The first step of writing a USP is to take a step back and review some of the basics included in your mission statement, business plan and overall goals of your business.

Start by thinking about what your business is selling, whom you’re selling it to and why you’re selling it. Consider the following questions:

  • What products or services are you selling?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What does your business do well?
  • What is your most important customer-focused business goal?

Step 2: Solve a Problem

The next step is to clearly identify your target audience’s problem and explain how your product or service solves that problem. As an insurance broker, there are several problems that you solve for your customer. You save them the hassle of having to learn about insurance products and navigate the insurance market. You also ensure that their business is fully protected in the event of a disaster.

Step 3: Identify the Differentiators

This step focuses on identifying what it is about your solution to your customer’s problem that is different, or better than, the solution your competition offers. The value you identify here will be one of the primary reasons why your customers will choose you instead of a competitor. Potential differentiators from an AR can be expertise in one area, local knowledge or superior service.

Step 4: Write Your USP

Combine the most important elements of the previous steps into a concise statement that embodies the value your company has to offer. Keep in mind that your USP essentially implies a promise or a pledge that you are making to your customers.

Tip 15: Update Your Branding to Improve Sales

Branding matters to businesses of all sizes. It is the key to building trust and recognition amongst your existing and potential customers.

Reasons to Invest In Branding

Here are five reasons why branding should be a priority for any insurance business.

  • Branding Develops Trust: By presenting your company professionally, you are able to establish social proof regarding the quality of your products and services. Quality branding that reflects your own high standards is the best way to convince potential clients to choose your business.
  • Brand Recognition Is Good For Business: Branding has become a necessary expense for companies in the insurance industry. With so much competition, it is difficult to stand out from the crowd. The quality of your branding will help you stand out amongst your competitors.
  • Branding Improves Your Marketing Outcomes: The stronger your branding, the more effective your marketing activities will be. In this sense, a branding strategy is cost-effective in the long-term. Your marketing dollars will go further and your outcomes will be more evident.
  • Boost Employee Motivation: Strong branding can attract high- quality personnel to your business who are inspired to push your vision and mission forward. The more pride they have in the brand, the more it will affect employee morale and productivity.
  • Branding Will Generate New Revenue: Your branding may be the key to unlocking clients you never thought possible. Finding the right branding that best reflects your products and services, may potentially lead to new opportunities and revenue streams.
Tip 16: Be Consistent With Marketing Materials

In the insurance industry, there are certain marketing materials that are beneficial in supporting your business, including:

  • Business Cards
  • Brochures
  • Letterheads
  • Website

These marketing materials are the key communication tool for sharing information about your business services with prospective clients and are significant in shaping how prospects and customers perceive your business. As such, they
should be well designed, professional, and consistent with your business image.

All of your materials should have a consistent look. They don’t have to look identical and small changes are necessary for different formats and mediums, but they should all use your business’ fonts, colour schemes, logo, and tagline.

Bonus

Get Creative With Your Business Cards

Investing in well-made business cards is one of the most effective ways to get your business and your name out there. Set your brand apart by choosing a unique design that reflects your brand values and creativity. Always ensure that everyone in your company has their own to give away because you never know when they’ll need to share your business details with a prospective client.

Quick tips to make your business cards stand out

  • Use coloured cardboard instead of the usual white
  • Change the orientation from landscape to portrait
Tip 17: Develop Your Personal Brand

The way you are perceived is very important, especially in such a network driven industry. This is commonly also known as your ‘personal brand’.

What is a Personal Brand?

Your personal brand is what people associate with you when they think of your name. For example, are you perceived as an expert in a certain subject? Or do people associate certain qualities with your personality?

Your personal brand incorporates everything, from your appearance to how you interact with people, your interests, your position in the industry, and your online presence. Here are a few simple ways that you can enhance your personal brand:

  • Use Professional Photos: Casual photos often don’t look professional enough to impress people so it’s worth the investment to have a professional photographer. Setup a quick shoot and take a few headshots (such as for your LinkedIn profile). Make sure you are wearing appropriate business attire for these photos.
  • Create a Website: In today’s digital age, a website is a necessity for pretty much every business owner. Your website says a lot about you so make sure it looks professional and includes your business branding and logos. If you want to be recognised as a brand you have to do all the branding for yourself including professional design.
  • Perfect Your Email Signature: There are certain essentials that should be applied to all email signatures to ensure they are properly branded. Your email signature should include: name, title, company, phone number, email address, website address and icons linking to social profiles. For an added personal touch, you might also want to consider including your professional photograph in your email signature.

Building a personal brand is important for insurance marketing. In the insurance industry buying decisions are often based on relationships, and ultimately people buy from other people. In most cases, they will choose to buy from someone they connect with.