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Colin Lange

I was in a long-term relationship but had to break it off.

Geico was my first car insurance carrier. In fact, it was an arranged partnership. My folks hooked us up when I started driving. I remained faithful for two decades—paying my bill and staying accident- and ticket-free.

Even as Geico kept reminding me with cavemen, a talking gecko and silly ditty ads that I was saving 15 percent or more, I started growing suspicious. Every six months, I saw my bill increasing. I couldn’t help but wonder if I really was saving as much as I could be.

I’m a loyal guy but I have to say my eyes started to wander, especially when a mailing from a competitor arrived. Insurance companies have upped their marketing ante in recent years. I felt like there were more fish in the sea.

But how could I find an insurance company that would be compatible with me?

I knew Allstate had Mayhem and Dennis Haysbert’s voiceovers.  Farmer’s also appealed to my sense of humor.  State Farm enlisted William Shatner for some amusing and serious messages.

But all that was mere window dressing. If I was going to spend another 20 years with a company, I needed to make sure they would be for keeps. But I wasn’t looking forward finding my perfect match.

I have a love-hate relationship with insurance. I think of it as the ultimate “necessary evil.” It’s the only product that makes you take a bet on yourself, “Honey, I got life insurance today. I bet them I’d live until 90. They think I’m wrong. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Insurance products are built and sold on our universal fear of the unknown. Since we can’t predict the future, we insure against it. At least then, if we don’t guess right (and whatever happens doesn’t fall into one of a million exclusions), we stand to make some money to offset our loss.

So what is there to love about a brand we have to have, hate to buy, and will probably never get back what we put in? Not much.

My online shopping usually consists of 10 browser tabs each with different stores, review sites and any other information I can find that would inform my buying decision. Shopping for car insurance was no exception. I lined up the competition, matched coverage and compared prices. Think: Insurance speed dating.

But something surprised me—I found myself not really caring about the cost. I was more interested in the experience.

The company that won me over didn’t offer anything special. They didn’t promise me an unsustainably low rate (that I know they’d only raise in six months). And they didn’t get me to the final step in the buying process and force me to talk to a sales person. They did something far simpler and far more attractive: they acknowledged the pain and dislike of buying insurance, and worked hard to focus on me and my experience with them.

My new heartthrob: Liberty Mutual.

They made shopping for insurance beautifully simple, clear and easy. It made me happy—a feeling I had never experienced before around insurance.

They’ve figured out how to accept what is fact (most people don’t like insurance) and embrace what they can control (the story around it and how it is experienced). That was something I could love.

I work every day with clients to make their brands actionable; to connect their brands authentically and emotionally with their consumers. So I appreciate brands that move beyond commoditized marketing to become relevant and meaningful.

Liberty Mutual, keep a keen focus on your customer experience and you’ll continue to elevate yourself out of the price-based commodity war. As long as you keep doing that, we’ll be inseparable.

Your safe driver,

Colin