Top Insurance stories from the Purple Goldfish Project


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Rainy Day Extras

The Purple Goldfish Project was an effort to crowd source 1,001 examples of marketing lagniappe. Brands that give little unexpected extras (g.l.u.e) in order to drive differentiation, improve retention and promote word of mouth. This post is the seventh in a 12 part series looking at the top 200 examples from the Project by industry. Here’s a half dozen examples that provide a little extra coverage:


USAA (submitted by Liz DiLullo Brown) “USAA offers a program called Movers Advantage. The program recommends a realtor to use and the opportunity to earn rewards for going through the program. Our first key moment of lagniappe with USAA was when they offered to move UP our closing date. It took us a total of 3.5 weeks to close. In a time of mortgage crisis, they made it painless. Then after closing, we received a call from USAA. It was the representative for the Mover’s Advantage program. Because we had participated in the program and received our financing through USAA, they were sending us a check (equivelant to cash!) for $1,350. Yes, $1,350.”

goodhands roadsideAllstate Insurance #674 Good Hands? Roadside Assistance is the first free-to-join, pay-per-use, roadside assistance service that is available to all drivers, not just Allstate customers.
Allstate created Good Hands Roadside to offer protection to the 35 million American households that don’t have roadside assistance services. The company also wants to provide an alternative for the 52 million households with roadside assistance that pay annual fees. Studies show the average driver uses their service only once every three years.

“With the launch of Good Hands Roadside, Allstate continues to broaden the definition of protection with new products and services consumers want in the ways they want them,” said Chuck Paul, group vice president, Emerging Businesses, for Allstate. “This is just another option individuals can use to protect what matters most.”

Allstate suggests taking two minutes to pre-register before road “Mayhem” strikes at to improve response time.

always careAlways Care #857. Submitted by e-mail from Rene Milligan: In Rene’s words:

Thanks for the Tweet mention today. I was doing some research for our company’s current ad campaign, and stumbled across your Purple Goldfish blog. I am shocked I didn’t see it sooner.

Please see our current ad, attached, for some of the “lagniappe” we offer our customers. And please follow the link to our Lagniappe landing page:

Our lagniappe is not exactly “little” things (a FREE Health Advocacy Program that helps insurance clients steer through medical claims, referrals, coordination of benefits, etc. is pretty significant), but compared to the actual product purchased (critical illness insurance policy), you can see that our lagniappe really is an add-on, the relative equivalent of a thirteenth donut.

Anyway, we offer lagniappe with each of our products:

Dental and Vision insurance customers get FREE personalized ID cards with a list of the participating network providers closest to their home.

Life and Disability insurance customers get a FREE employee assistance program with face-to-face counseling sessions (financial, legal, or just social), to help deal with loss of a loved one or ability.

Critical Illness and Accident insurance customers get the health advocacy program mentioned above FREE.

And EVERY customer gets FREE access to our Hearing Savings Plan, which offers significant discounts on hearing equipment, hearing aid batteries, and phone counseling with hearing professionals.

We also do an “initial bill review” (trial bill) for each of our group customers when they set up a new product with us. It helps catch errors in insurance plan enrollment, eligibility, dependent status, and beneficiary BEFORE a group’s first bill is sent. Saves so many headaches for benefit plan administrators! Seems simple, but none of our competitors, that we know of, do this.

Sort of like Zappo’s free two-way shipping or Doubletree’s chocolate chip cookies, these features are add-ons that add satisfaction to our clients’ benefit experience, and help keep them as our clients (sticky!).

plymouth rock assurancePlymouth Rock Assurance #916 Get Home Safe Plymouth Rock Assurance wants to help prevent accidents, not just respond after they happen. That’s why we offer Get Home Safe as a free benefit to our personal auto insurance customers. This unique service provides a free cab ride if you feel you can’t operate your car safely.
Whether you’re too tired to drive, had a little too much wine at dinner, or just don’t feel safe driving for any reason, you don’t have to get behind the wheel. Your cab fare is on us!
Get Home Safe. More than just insurance. Plymouth Rock Assurance.

state farm lagniappeState Farm #977. From a post by inbound marketing specialist Ellie Becker at ER Becker Company: Some years ago I went to get into my car in my parking garage to find it had been hit. A Good Samaritan had left a note on a scrap of paper on the windshield saying they’d witnessed the hit and run. They gave me the make, model, color and license plate number of the car.
I duly made a police report and informed my insurance company of many years, State Farm. The representative I spoke with obtained the police report and ok’d my claim less my $500 deductible, which I paid.
Several months later I received a call from State Farm’s investigations department asking if I had any documentation about the incident other than the police report. I had kept the original windshield note in my accident file and faxed a copy.
Six months after that, I received a check for $500 from State Farm. There was no explanation, so I called before depositing it to be sure there was no mistake. Here’s what I was told:
“When you gave the investigations department a copy of the witness’ note, they saw that the police officer had gotten one number of the license plate incorrect on his report. We were then able to track down the person who hit your car and go after his insurance company for reimbursement of your claim and deductible, which we refunded to you.”
WOW!! If that’s not a Purple Goldfish, I don’t know what is! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told this story over the years.
The positive word of mouth has, I’m sure, gotten State Farm far more than the $500 that I never would have known about, were it not for their proactive, honest customer relationship building – not to mention their persistence.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – A look at the Allstate Good Hands Roadside Assist from Mr. Mayhem:

Your experience is now your marketing. How do you stand out in the sea of sameness? How do you win repeat customers and influence word of mouth? Is your CX sticky? Are you Giving Little Unexpected Extras?

What’s Your GLUE? What’s Your Purple Goldfish?

Buy the book here for $9.95 using this special discount code: GL546Y5S

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stan Phelps
Stan Phelps is the Chief Measurement Officer at 9 INCH marketing. 9 INCH helps organizations develop custom solutions around both customer and employee experience. Stan believes the 'longest and hardest nine inches' in marketing is the distance between the brain and the heart of your customer. He is the author of Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish and Golden Goldfish.


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