Let it Flo – Branding Hits a Bulls-Eye With Direct Marketing

Branding a company is not always a straightforward process.

Most businesses at inception concentrate on offering up the products or services they provide while staying profitable. Starting out small they will use a few direct marketing ideas such as direct mail, telemarketing, or website design. Over time with profit stability and company growth it is the point to take the next step and “brand” what the company is known for.

When it comes to direct marketing, having a brand identifier makes the process almost effortless.

A majority of businesses develop a company logo from the beginning. It identifies who the public is dealing with. Using a logo as a brand identifier is a common and winning direct marketing tactic. Who does not know what a three prong star within a circle or an apple with a bite out of it represents? Mercedes Benz and Apple Corp have used their trademarked logos worldwide allowing the public to recognize the products being sold.

At times branding a color works as strongly when using direct marketing. IBM blue, Coke red and UPS brown are all well known company associated colors. The logo can be redesigned an infinite number of times as long as the color being used remains the same. Thanks to brand marketing the public correlates the company with the color.

One of the best and usually unbeatable ways to brand a company is characterization.  Using an animated or real life spokes-character allows direct marketers to put a “face” with a company.

“Speedy” touted the benefits of Alka-Seltzer for decades. “Snap, Crackle and Pop” showed us the fun we can have with Rice Crispy cereal. “Josephine the Plumber” gave a generation of us the benefits of using Comet to clean our kitchens and bathrooms.  ”Flo” helps peddle the services of Progressive Insurance.

Ah yes, Flo. Her face is being used by the Progressive Corporation and their insurance agents everywhere. She has been a coup for the company’s direct marketing and brand recognition. Using characterization branding has taken a relatively small insurance provider into a nationally known and recognized entity.

Progressive Insurance was in business for seventy years when Flo was introduced.

The company offered the American public automobile insurance at reasonable rates: as did the competition. In order to stand out among the competition Progressive began to offer price comparisons to other companies offering the same kinds of coverage.

Offering something competitors do not is a skillful way to market any organization. Unfortunately for Progressive while the idea was unique, it did not gain the cache it had hoped for.

Thanks to the direct marketing geniuses at Arnold Worldwide, Flo was born two and one half years ago.

Flo took the same direct marketing message Progressive had been using for years and made the public stand up and take notice. With her retro makeup and hair styles and quirky way of talking, she promotes the company services incredibly well. So well in fact, that her character is now considered an icon by many in the consumer and marketing worlds.

With over 10,000,000 policies now in effect, Progressive hit a bulls-eye by using characterization branding.

No matter which manner your company decides to use, it is important at some stage to develop a company brand. Use one of the above mentioned suggestions or a combination of them. Play around and see which fits your company philosophy and marketing strategy best.

You might follow Nike’s lead and put a slogan with your logo: Just Do It!

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