This is a prime example where the "nay sayers" in a focus group can drown out some very powerful and emotional stories. If we had simply listened to the groups as a whole, we would have never obtained the in depth insights that drove the successful campaign.
Our client had built significant negative equity with consumers by attempting to convert from a not-for-profit to a for-profit status, paying their CEO more than $2 million, having high rates and rate increases and keeping 12 months worth of reserves versus an industry average of three to six months.
We conducted focus groups with current and past customers and a number of in-depth one-on-one interviews with customers who had been in exceptional circumstances and for whom the insurance company had “come to the rescue.”
We learned that our client was seen as being “expensive and worth it” as was described as being “Nordstrom and not Wal-Mart.” We also learned that from those people for whom our client had “come to the rescue” they had very powerful stories to share.
We developed an integrated TV, print, OOH and online campaign that told the stories of how our client had made a dramatic positive impact on people, and families, with significant medical needs and situations.
In the first eight weeks of the campaign, positive perceptions of our client increased almost 20% while negative perceptions decreased nearly 40%. Overall awareness of the brand went up as did top-of-mind awareness and leads.
Respondents were so enthralled with the stories of the individuals featured they were able to play them back in focus groups months after the commercials stopped running. Ultimately the client embraced being seen as Nordstrom's rather than Wal-Mart.
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