“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Albert Einstein expressed this wise concept years ago, but it’s relevant to modern-day businesses. We can’t keep up with the times without adopting new techniques.

This is especially apparent when you consider the evolution of the auto insurance industry.

A businesswoman driving a car

This industry has completely overhauled how it conducts business in a way that many other industries can learn from. In keeping up with the times, companies have found a way to cater to consumers’ natural migration to mobile technology, desire to save time and money, and overall need for easy, user-friendly models.

These changes aren’t industry-specific. Here are the main universal takeaways:

People have short attention spans

These days, people feel more rushed than ever. We rarely feel like we have ample time to sit down and focus. As a result, it’s never been more difficult for companies to grab consumers’ attention.

To address this issue, the auto insurance industry ramped up its creative efforts and created humorous, creative, engaging ad campaigns that sucked people in and became the talk of the town. Catchy slogans and quirky characters dominate auto insurance marketing and have fought their way into popular culture.

Consumers want quick and easy

Consumers are never afraid to tell you (and all their friends) when they don’t like a certain product or service. Their opinions are always, always valid. You need to constantly strive to be a company that people actually want to do business with.

With that in mind, auto insurance companies identified the universal need for “quick and easy” and reacted by emphasizing that they’re easy to work with. So easy, in fact, that “even a caveman can do it.”

People are frugal

In this economy, consumers definitely want to find the best product for the least amount of money — it’s just common sense. And it’s easier than ever for people to shop around and find the best deals.

Auto insurance marketing campaigns have definitely placed extra emphasis on the idea of saving money. Progressive has created a campaign around offering price comparison tools to prospective customers, which enables them to feel like they’re making the most informed decision possible.

You can easily make these three trends relevant to your industry. It’s all about getting back to the fundamental principles of business and advancing with current technology.

I heart NY
photo credit: Tim Caynes / Flickr

Here are three ways you can apply these tendencies to your company:

1. Find your slogan, and stick with it

Consumers gravitate toward developing emotional bonds with consistent messages they can trust. Creating a catchy and pointed slogan is the best way for companies to achieve this connection with customers.

The inviting message of “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there” and the rhythmic “Nationwide is on your side” are perfect examples of slogans that attract consumers.

Devote time to researching what your audience wants to hear, and develop catchy, fun ways to deliver this message. You want your slogan to get stuck in people’s heads. They should walk around humming your jingle — just like Peyton Manning in the Nationwide commercial.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P35T7WGu9i0

2. Give your company an exciting face

Even if your business is primarily conducted online, at some point, the customer might have to interact directly with a human to get help. This is where your Flo is essential.

By creating a chipper, hilarious character named Flo, Progressive made its customers feel confident that they’ll have positive experiences dealing with the humans who represent the company. Regardless of how impersonal your industry might be, you need to develop a human element that customers can relate to. It’s especially helpful when the face of your company has incessant energy and has outbursts in which she yells, “Discount!” at customers.

3. Keep abreast of industry changes

Stay one step ahead of the competition by keeping tabs on the technological advances of your industry. Identify how these changes will provide new hurdles for your company, and make advanced plans on how to overcome them. For example, the auto insurance industry is already preparing to address driverless cars once they become commonly available.

Wearing Apple Watch

More relevant to your field, make sure you’re ready for when the Apple Watch takes over the world. If you’re a tech entrepreneur in the fitness industry, it’s your duty to know the strengths and weaknesses of the Apple Watch and what data it provides for consumers. Use this information to predict consumer behavior and prepare your company to address whatever new needs pop up.

We can learn a lot from the auto insurance industry’s evolution; these adaptations trace back to the fundamentals of business. Keep up with the times or risk becoming a caveman.