Flat began adding many new Insurance policies, Including accident, short-term disability, hospital intensive care, hospital confinement indemnity, lump sum cancer, lump sum critical illness, specified health event, life, dental, and vision. In 1964 Flat developed the ;cluster-selling” technique of making presentations to groups of employees, this conserved time and effort rather than doing face to face with each employee. Flat is the number one supplemental health provider in the U. S. The company Is present In all 50 states and In Guam, Puerco Rich, and the Virgin Islands.
Flat Annual Report for 2010) They are currently ranked 125 on the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest corporations. In the mid-sass Flat entered the Japanese market and they were only the third American insurance company to be licensed to sell in Japan. Flat was set to do well in the Japanese market, with cancer insurance not available from Japanese insurers and cancer awareness growing In Japan good things were In line for the company. They Insure approximately one out of every four households In Japan.
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They also Insure more than 35,400 payroll accounts representing 89% of the companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, as well as employers and employees at 159,610 small businesses. (Flat Annual Report 2009) Today Japan accounts for about 75% of the companies revenues. Although Flat was a Fortune 500 company the name had little recognition beyond the stockholders. After several unsuccessful attempts to Increase Flash brand awareness the CEO Daniel P. Amos challenged several agencies to make Flat a household name. When the commercial with the Duck came back to Mr.. Amos he at first thought it was crude to the company name.
After deliberating over the choices for a couple of days he noticed he couldn’t get that duck out of his head. After realizing that was his main goal of the commercial he chose to go with the Flat Duck as the company Icon. Ten years later the Flat name Is known by 94% of Mission and Objectives of the Firm: To combine innovative strategic marketing with quality products and services at competitive prices to provide the best insurance value for consumers. ; Offer quality products and services at competitive prices and use new technology to better serve our policyholders. Build better value for our shareholders. ; Supply quality service for our agents. ; Provide an enriching and rewarding workplace for our employees. Flat has two very simple strategies for growth one being, “To continue expanding our product line. ” And second “To focus on growing our distribution system of independent sales associates and insurance brokers. ” Marketing Objectives and the role of Marketing within the Firm: When Daniel P. Amos was named CEO of Flat Incorporated, he tried many different marketing campaigns to make the Flat name more recognizable.
All his attempts were coming up short until a 2000 campaign using a Duck as the company icon finally struck gold. The Flat name was unrecognizable to almost everyone except warehouses before the Flat Ducks depute. By the ten year anniversary of the marketing campaign the Flat name was recognizable to 94% of Americans. When the brand recognition hit 90% about five years prior to 94% the company began switching its marketing strategy from Brand Recognition to Brand Definition. When the company went to the brand definition strategy its goal was to advertise how its products can help the consumers.
In 2009 the company changed its tag line to “We’ve Got You Under Our Wing. ” That slogan is designed to convey that Flash products offer a layer of protection that consumers need. Flat has deputed more than 30 commercials and has used the Flat Duck in numerous other marketing ploys. Flat strides to be innovative in their marketing techniques and uses bold decision to help build their business which has dramatically paid off. Understanding Situational Variables- Price: Alfa is one of the most well known insurance agencies out there these days.
Flat grabs customers through their promotions but they also have a very strong price and product that insures customers they are gaining value. Flat uses a dynamic pricing model to set premiums for the customer’s specific needs. Pricing varies from state to state and depends on what level plan you take, age, industry class of your employer, along with many other factors. We can compare these prices to competitors by getting “rates based on standard criteria of a $600,000, 20-year life insurance policy using the same information on each of the supplemental insurance websites. (Star Reviews) If we do this we can see that Flat falls on the higher end of insurance pricing. It is not the highest priced premium and is still only a couple dollars away from the lowest priced monthly premium. This shows that Flat isn’t heir slightly higher price tag. Understanding Situational Variables- Product: Flat sells supplemental health and life insurance policies, including coverage for accidents, intensive care, dental, vision, and short-term disability, as well as for specific conditions, primarily cancer along with many other plans to provide financial protection and peace of mind to customers.
They have insurance policies and benefits for small, mid-sized, and large businesses with an online account management option. They have claim forms and update services for current policyholders to keep customers up to date with everything. They have resources for investors and brokers who want to invest in Flat along with helpful company history and policies. Those are all parts of the actual product that Flat offers. They also provide informative customer service telephone representatives who can provide customers with information on accounts, claims, and policies.
This portion of the product is considered the augmented product because it is the package that comes with the actual product. Flat providers a service to their customers and their service would most likely be considered and unsought good. Flat would be a service cause of their intangibility, inseparability, variability, and permissibility. Another element that is incorporated in Flat product package is their support service. Flat realizes that to keep customers happy they must continue to build and maintain a lasting relationship with customers even after the sale.
Flat does this by providing them with a number to a helpful telephone representative who can give them assistance with any questions or concerns they may have. It is clear that Flat has motivated and oriented their employees to work as a team in order to interact with customers to satisfy their needs. By doing this they have shown their interactive marketing between the customer and the employee, and also have shown their internal marketing between the employee and the company.
They also provide the customer with online guides to assist them though every step of their process. Another aspect of Alpaca’s augmented product could be the way they deliver their insurance. They advertise that Flat pays cash to cover expense that major medical does not. This cash can help you with many aspects of your life that may be affected if something goes wrong. This cash option can help with car and mortgage aments, gas, phone bills, school supplies, food, and cable bills.
The Flat Duck is a hit in Japan. In 2009, a Japanese marketing team launched a new incarnation of the duck for a new insurance ad, it is a combination of the Asian good -luck cat and the Flat duck. Their newest commercial was voted number one. The cat duck has had a major impact in Japan. According to the article, “revenues have increased by 44% since 2003; Flab’s revenues in 2008 were $16. 6 billion, with 70% of that coming from Japan. ” A tour bus promoting their new version of the Duck has drawn crowds of as many as 20,000 people.
Flat has remained successful in promotion by using the brand icon in new ways. The company understands its needs to combine traditional and social media channels. Flat is not scared to advertise big, but also releases they must stay creative. They have an amazing way of promoting heir product by involving the costumer and that is why their promotional tactics have been successful. Flat is in all 50 United States including Guam, Puerco Rich, and the Virgin Islands and has over 70,000 licensed agents worldwide.
The placement of Flab’s service still strongly belongs to Japan but Flat is also the number one service provider of insurance in the United States followed by Allocate. Problems, Issues and/or Concerns Faced by Flat During the Assessment Period: Throughout the course of our assessment period, Fall semester of 2010, we researched and collected press releases, articles, and news stories about Flat. When scouring through these articles we found a variety of problems and concerns facing Flat in their attempts to build their stocks, visibility, and company itself.
These problems and issues dealt with many aspects of their company and marketing including their mascot, the Flat duck, along with their recognizable members of the company, financial problems, stock rates, and the current turbulence in the global economy. While many of the articles focused on business aspects of the company, such as finances, stock rates and the economy, a few articles discerned away from these epics to discuss problems relating to their mascot, the Flat duck.
The duck has been used as the mascot since 1999, and the infamous voice of the recognizable icon has been Gilbert Gottfried. Recently he has been replaced by Daniel Muckrake, after a Twitter incident where Gottfried sent out “an offensive Joke about the Japanese earthquake” (Ex-Flat guy’s best offense). This resulted in a slight difference in the voice of the duck, which although “wasn’t immediately noticeable” (Gilbert Gottfried Flat Replacement), could lead to a change in the support of the mascot. As well,
Gottfried was a noticeable comedian, while his replacement, Muckrake, is “a sales manager and a father of three from Minnesota” (Gilbert Gottfried Flat Replacement) who does not provide added publicity to Flat, by being recognized and though. Paired with the change from the voice of the Flat duck, is a change in the face of the Flat company. Eric M. Kirsch replaced W. Jeremy Jeffery as global chief investment officer on November 1 of this year. Kirsch is a former Goldman Cash executive and took over after “Flab’s second-quarter net income declined nearly 52% on investment losses” (Flat: Hiring Former Goldman Cash Executive as CIO).
This was not the only problem facing Flat executives though, there were problems involving the Judicial system as well. The Jefferson Parish council chose to extend Colonial Life & Accident Co. ‘s contract to provide insurance to its residents, despite Flat having been the only company to turn in their application to be the insurance provided before the deadline and the council initially approving of Flab’s plan and beginning to write a contract for the company. The cause of this is mining questioning the council’s evaluation process” Professor Parish extends).
Finally, Flat ad to deal with insurance fraud in court. “Three dozen people were indicted in June as part of ‘Operation Sitting Duck,’ a sweep of Hidalgo County residents who allegedly bilked as much as $3 million” (6 get prison) from the company. Unrest in the court system and loss of money through losing contracts and insurance fraud were troublesome and unnecessary for Flat. Along with the problems and issues concerning the company’s mascot and company look, came a plethora of problems concerning the business’ finances, stocks and the global economy.
High unemployment in the United States paired with increased disability claims in the United Kingdom hindered Flab’s ability for growth this quarter. Since Flat earns its money through sales of supplementary insurance to people, such as accident and disability plans, and sickness and hospital plans, it needs its customer’s to maintain Jobs and not get hurt so that they can steadily increase their funds. Although Flat does not have much work in Europe, “51% of their financial institution debt is from Europe and the I-J” (FLAT: Lots of Macro Risk).
While this may seem good, Rupee’s economy had been in unrest this year and “in another crisis book will fall $4-5 per share again” (FLAT: Lots of Macro Risk). The debt that they are holding is causing their stock prices to drop and the company to begin a De-risking program to make their company and profits more stable. Another financial problem is that “Moody’s demoted Flab’s senior debt to ‘AY’ from ‘AY,’ which reflects a negative outlook” (Moody Ratings Pull Down Flat).
This was due to Flab’s investments in European debt during their economic downfall, mainly “Greece, Portugal and Ireland” (Moody Ratings Pull Down Flat) which is raising their risk and lowering their earnings. A final issue concerning Flab’s financial problems is that their stock is undervalued. “To state this as clearly as possible, we believe that a fair value PEE ratio for Flat should be at least 15, which suggests that the price should be double what it is currently trading at” (Lessons in Valuation).
With changes being made in the company’s personnel, compounded with financial, risk, and undervalued stock issues Flat had many obstacles to tackle during this assessment period. Here’s how we think they should handle it. Suggestions to Improve Effectiveness Related to Marketing Variables: Alfa has one a great Job with many aspects of their company. They had many different them informed. One addition that they could add to their augmented portion of their product would be better product support.
They do have a very informative website but they could add a section of questions and answers on some of their most frequently asked questions. This would eliminate a lot of the confusion that might arise from new customers. They could also provide internet users with an average price or premium insurance that should be expected so potential customers can easily see if it is within their budget. Alpaca’s current set up requires you to put all our information in and go through a somewhat lengthy process in order to get an idea on how much a plan costs.
Additional suggestions that we have would be to expand their business model into a similar business structure that resembles Japan. China might provide this opportunity for Flat because they have similar culture and values. China’s family structure also resembles that of Japans. One out of four families in Japan has adopted Flat as their insurance agency, promotion effects in China could result in a similar outcome. There are also many other countries that Flat is not available in which they could expand to.