NAMIC's Mutual Brand Program is doing a very good job of helping us promote Maple Valley Mutual. We are using this advertising on our website, on banners promoting our 125th anniversary, on the front of our new Farm owners Brochure, and for an ad in WAMIC's Exhibitor Directory for their upcoming convention. The selection of photos that are available is also very good.
Many thanks to NAMIC for helping us promote our mutual.
Al Schuettpelz, CIC
President & CEO
Maple Valley Mutual Insurance
What specifically does the Mutual Brand Program offer for my company?
Professionally designed, written, and produced marketing and advertising resources that are ready to use – a package estimated at $50,000. These resources include print ads, radio commercials, television commercials, web ads, direct mail postcards, and billboard ads. The process is incredibly simple to use and does not take much time or effort on your part. Along with access to these resources, participants gain access to assistance and support from NAMIC staff as well as their peers.
Is there a limit to how often or how many of the resources my company can use at one time?
No. The resources offered through the Mutual Brand Program are unlimited in regards to both quantity and frequency. As a licensee of the Mutual Brand program, you have complete access to all of the resources (print ads, radio commercials, television commercials, web ads, direct mail postcards, and billboard ads) as many times as you would like for as long as you participate in the program.
What if I need help in deciding which resources would be better for my company?
We can help you make cost-effective choices based on your objective, local market opportunities, and budget. You can request assistance from either the NAMIC staff. Call or email Audra Carrel to get advice or questions answered.
How do I get my company started in the mutual brand program?
You will be asked to read and sign a Mutual Brand Participation and Licensing Agreement. This document spells out the terms and conditions for using mutual brand resources, which are trademarked and copyright protected by the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies. Refer to the full Mutual Brand Program Participation and Licensing Agreement for complete details.
You will be invoiced for the applicable fee, and upon receipt of the payment you will have access to all the program resources for 12 months. Participation renewal will be automatically invoiced on an annual basis.
How much would my company pay?
Annual fees are very affordable and are based on the company’s prior year direct written premium. They range from only $300 a year for DWPs under $1 million to $5,000 for DWPs of more than $5 million. Refer to the Mutual Brand Program Licensing Fee Schedule for details.
What is meant by the word “brand”?
Simply put, a brand is to a company, product, or service what a reputation is to a person. While others decide what our reputation or brand is, we can do things to help shape those perceptions.
I have worked with 'The Mutual Brand Program' and I have worked with other marketing material vendors and I have found there is a difference. The difference is in the experience. 'The Mutual Brand Program' have products designed for mutual insurance companies, they share our purpose and our values. That's what I like about 'The Mutual Brand Program'.
Alamance Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company
How does a company determine what its brand is?
For a brand to be credible, what is devised and communicated must be perceived and accepted by the target audience as true. In developing the new mutual brand, we began the process by conducting extensive research to assess the awareness, knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes our target audiences have of the property/casualty insurance industry in general, and any different attributes of mutual insurance companies in particular. We surveyed members, and commissioned separate national surveys of consumers and independent agents. Focus groups with each of these stakeholder groups were also held.
What did the results of this research show?
The research showed that there are tremendous opportunities for mutual insurers, regardless of size, to improve their reputation and better position themselves in the marketplace. That’s because a vast majority of consumers are especially responsive to what we call our brand essence: “we serve policyholders, not shareholders.” It is this one phrase that captures the single distinct quality of the mutual segment of the industry (and therefore all mutual insurance companies). The research also found that this brand essence is credible and has a positive, emotional impact with consumers.
What makes the mutual brand essence have an emotional impact?
Today’s consumers instinctively understand that in a non-mutual company, there is an inherent tension in attempting to simultaneously satisfy the demands of shareholders and meet the needs of policyholders. They also understand that, in the insurance context, when you take the shareholder out of that equation it automatically puts the policyholder first in everything the mutual insurance company does. As a result, insurance is no longer just a commodity or another transaction; it is about relationships and the quality of the relationships. Because relationships are about people who share a common bond and connect with one another in supportive ways, they are largely driven by emotion – and what people feel instead of what they think is a powerful motivation force.
How can that better position my company with consumers?
While some consumers are driven to purchase the lowest priced commodities, market research consistently tells us that more place a higher value on the quality of a product or the service they receive. That value is enhanced by the quality of the customer experience with the company that offers the product or service – and the reputation of that company is a critical part of that experience. In other works, it’s all about relationships.
Because our business structure places the policyholder interests’ front and center, mutual insurers are better positioned to offer a superior relationship experience that goes beyond the typical policyholder interaction with their insurance company at the point of purchase or adjustment of a claim. In today’s marketplace, consumers are especially looking for the right products, better service, and trusted relationships with businesses that show genuine care and concern for their customers. Mutual insurers who live up to that expectation can be better positioned to take advantage of market environment.