I love watching the insurance industry. It's such a great example where the core functional benefits offered by all the key players are essentially the same, so the brands are left to more clever ways to differentiate themselves. And that tends to be on the emotional level, which to me is the richest part about marketing.
So of course I love the new Roadside Assistance Program offered by Allstate. The brand is basically offering roadside hazard protection to anyone who wants it ... whether you are a customer or not. Because they feel like no one should feel like they are stranded. Brilliant. Huge emotional benefit. Even if you are not a customer! For a lifetime.
Good Hands Roadside Assistance. They even branded it with the brand's signature tagline.
Well ... when you read the fine lines, you quickly realize that you pay as you use the service. So sure, you can sign up and it's free regardless if you are a customer of not. But if you need an emergency tow, you'll pay for it then.
Sure, it's still a great service and it still fulfills on the emotional benefit. And it certainly portrays Allstate as a good Samaritan for car drivers. All good things. And I don't know that anyone would really expect it to be totally free anyway, so that's ok.
It's just plain ole' good marketing ... using a "program" to offer an emotional benefit to differentiate from the other brands. Love it.
What's your experience? Jim.
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect