Friday, October 07, 2005

Getting Bearish

The more you look, the more you learn. I raised the topic of Allstate’s brand image; there have been some comments. So I explored further. I didn’t have to Google very long before finding

This site’s intention is to [1] Be a forum for victims of Allstate Insurance; [2] Put victims and professionals together; and [3] Try to change insurance regulations to better protect consumers. It doesn’t make good reading for brand fans – especially when you consider how fast Web sites, e-mailing, and blogging can get the word out these days.

Pam Lagano, principal of Florida-based Lagano & Associates, highlighted Allstate in an article she wrote for the Jacksonville Business Journal on 12 October, 2001. She wrote:

“The slogan ‘You're in good hands with Allstate,’ for example, provides a common theme for all of Allstate's advertising that establishes a contract – a promise the company holds out to its customers. Not only does the ‘good hands’ promise rally all the employees to a common purpose, it brands Allstate as a company whose employees have a mission.

“Driven by a common set of business objectives and business strategies, all of Allstate's advertising serves to further dimensionalize this promise, graphically and evocatively establishing the corporation itself as a meaningful brand.”

Well, that has been my thinking, as you can see from these posts. The challenge posed by Allstate’s (possibly poor or even unethical) interactions with its policy-holders is not, in the end, a matter of who’s right and who’s wrong.

A brand is a perception – invented by advertising agencies. But the brand values have to be maintained and supported by “right actions.” How is the Allstate Corporation of Northbrook, Illinois, doing brand-wise? According to Web sites and bloggers, not very well.

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