When Esurance began selling its insurance products on the Internet, the company quickly developed a niche in the under-30 market, a group attracted to the low-cost and convenience of buying online. As more insurance companies moved online, the company struggled to build the kind of brand recognition that stacked up to entrenched competitors such as Geico, Allstate, State Farm and Progressive, which spend hundreds of millions in advertising dollars each year.

“You’ve got the auto insurance industry spending $5 billion a year on ads,” Tolman says. “You turn the TV on and you’re going to see the [Geico] Gecko or [Progressive’s] Flo or Mayhem from Allstate.”

Tolman knew that rather than try to copy the models of companies with far more money and resources, Esurance needed to be repositioned to better reach customers the company could acquire and retain. That meant “aging up”its marketing to reach older, more mature and multicar drivers with higher lifetime value.


Discussion Questions:

  1. What is your image of Esurance?
  2. Who is the target market for Esurance?
  3. What are your thoughts about the Super Bowl ad and contest that Esurance did? Was this a good approach? Why or why not?
  4. Does it help having Esurance tied with Allstate? Why or why not?
  5. Can Esurance reach older, more mature, multicar drivers? Why or why not?
  6. Examine the Esurance website. Does it fit the image Esurance wants to convey? Why or why not?

About Dr. Donald Baack

Co-author of textbook.

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