Trusted Choice® Frequently Asked Questions
What is Trusted Choice®?
Trusted Choice® is a national consumer brand developed by the Big “I” and its company
partners in response to eroding market share, and it is the result of significant consumer and industry research.
Using national advertising, public relations and local agency marketing, we are communicating to consumers that Trusted Choice® is the smart way to buy insurance and financial services. As a member of Trusted Choice®, you can use this new consumer-tested name, logo and approved taglines, as well as professionally produced advertising materials for television, radio, print and online. Plus, the Trusted Choice® Agency Locator sends qualified leads directly to your desktop
What Branding Research led to the development of Trusted Choice®?
Groundbreaking consumer research, conducted by an independent branding and research firm, led to the creation of Trusted Choice®. In short, this research revealed that consumers don’t know where to find an insurance agent but know that they want choice of policies, customization of coverage and advocacy support with insurance companies.
These are the very attributes that your agency delivers to its clients every day. Trusted Choice® was created to give independent agencies and brokerage firms a nationally recognized brand identity to complement their local identity.
To read the branding research and learn more about consumer perceptions of insurance providers and the insurance-buying process, click this link: branding research.
Why should I participate in Trusted Choice®?
Because there is a critical need to differentiate your value-added offerings to consumers and to dispel the notion that agents are merely "middlemen." Trusted Choice® does that more effectively than anything else. As a Trusted Choice® agency, will receive:
• Consumer-tested brand and collateral materials
• National advertising and public relations exposure
• Local advertising and public relations support
• Listing in the Agency Locator at www.TrustedChoice.com
Will the Big "I" logo be dropped?
No. Since the Big "I" logo has equity in the industry and on Capitol Hill, it will continue to represent the Association. But since it has limitations among consumers, we only promote
Trusted Choice® in the marketplace. Although Big “I” member agencies are free to continue using the Big "I" logo, agencies are highly encouraged to instead use the Trusted Choice® logo.
Isn’t the branding program a benefit of my Big “I” membership?
Yes. Trusted Choice® is included in your Big “I” membership, subject to your agency’s acceptance of the Trusted Choice® License Agreement which includes a commitment to adhere to the Pledge of Performance. Once you have accepted the License Agreement, you will be able to log on to the Agent Resource Website at www.TrustedChoice.com/agents using your email address as your Use ID and your National ID as your password. (This is the same login information you use to access the national Big “I” website, www.independentagent.com, the Big “I” Virtual University, IA magazine, and Big “I” Markets).
What is the Pledge?
Our research demonstrated a strong desire among consumers for professional standards and quality customer service. In keeping with those findings, the Pledge of Performance was created to convey those standards to consumers. To read the Pledge, use the links below.
Click on the link to read the Trusted Choice® Pledge of Performance
Click on the link to read the Trusted Choice® License Agreement
Do I have to display the Trusted Choice® logo?
Unlike an association logo, which merely connotes membership in an organization, a marketing brand conveys the promise of performance, quality and/or purpose. Trusted Choice® highlights the benefits of working with an independent insurance agent or broker—a trusted advisor and advocate who can offer consumers a choice of products and markets. These are the qualities consumers value most in an insurance provider. By displaying the Trusted Choice® logo, you are promoting that your agency provides choice, customization and advocacy as well as benefitting from national and local promotion of the brand.
How do I use the Trusted Choice® logo in conjunction with my own agency identity?
Your agency already has a strong local brand. Now you can add to that strength by leveraging a powerful national brand that can evoke immediate and strong feelings in consumers, enabling you to:
• Leave the customer thinking first of “value”;
• Survive a crisis (i.e. hard market);
• Attract and retain good employees and carriers, and
• Sustain and grow market share.
Using the Trusted Choice® logo in addition to your agency’s logo is what is called “ingredient branding.” What is an “ingredient-brand”? Consider a new Dell® computer. On the box, and on the computer itself, are stickers that say “Intel Inside.” In consumers’ minds, that translates to a faster, more powerful device. As a brand, Intel doesn’t supersede the computer, just as Trusted Choice® won’t supersede an agency — but it adds value, which is why it’s called a branding “ingredient.” The Trusted Choice® brand, including the Pledge of Performance, complements your agency’s local brand, and you want the consumer to know that, which is why you should include the Trusted Choice® logo in addition to your agency’s logo.
How do I address the 24/7 promise in the Pledge?
Today’s consumer moves at the speed of the Internet. It is important for Trusted Choice® independent insurance agents to meet those expectations, however, from time to time the "24/7" component of the Pledge has led to a variety of questions. To review this prong of the Pledge it states: "Provide 24/7 services for our customers, offering any or all of the following: emergency phone numbers, Internet account access, e-mail and call center services".
Accordingly, there is some latitude for Trusted Choice® members to adhere to the spirit of the Pledge in a variety of ways, such as posting 800 numbers for carrier call centers on the agency's website and furnishing them as a recording on the agency's answering machine for after-work hours. Some members do subscribe to a 24/7 service that will respond to calls after normal working hours and some agencies have personnel equipped with cell phones and they rotate covering a time slot after normal working hours.
Essentially, the concept behind the 24/7 prong is meant to provide an avenue to allow a customer some way to access either an agency or carrier resource after normal working hours to convey a request or need. Agents have found that customers increasingly appreciate this capability and it provides an advantage when marketing to potential customers and retaining existing ones.
Additionally, today’s consumers no longer conduct their personal business exclusively during business hours. Having a staff member “on-call” enables your agency to capture after hours business that would have otherwise been lost.
Where can I find my user ID and password for the Web site?
Your User ID and Password can be found in your confirmation email that was sent to the principal’s e-mail address upon registration. For a copy of your e-mail confirmation, please e-mail TrustedChoice@iiaba.net.
Can you tell me more about the Trusted Choice® Web site and Agency Locator?
All Trusted Choice® agencies should complete a profile of their agency that highlights the firm’s unique qualities: lines of business, state licenses, companies represented, languages spoken and other relevant data. When consumers visit the site, they can search for an agency that meets their specific needs and be referred directly to those agencies that best fit their criteria. The site also features consumer-focused articles and frequently asked questions (FAQs) on insurance and financial services.
Why isn’t my agency showing up on the Trusted Choice® Agency Locator and how do I update my locator profile?
Consumers are directed to the Trusted Choice® website to find an agent near them. All Trusted Choice® agencies are included in the Agency Locator located at www.TrustedChoice.com. If your agency is not showing up when you type in your zip code, you still need to accept the Trusted Choice® License Agreement. Contact your state association to so this.
Once you are an official Trusted Choice® agency, your basic information will appear on the Agency Locator, but you will want to update your profile to include details a consumer will be searching for.
To create or update a profile, agencies should:
1. Go to www.TrustedChoice.com/agents
3. Login using your User ID and password. (Your User ID is your e-mail address and your password is your six digit national IIABA membership ID number. This information was included in the email confirmation sent when you joined Trusted Choice®. If you cannot find your User ID and password or have other questions, you can either contact national headquarters at 800-221-7917 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or your state association office.
4. Click on the “My Account” button in the bottom right corner of the page.
5. Select the “Click here to update profile data” button.
5. You must proceed through the entire update process (clicking "Continue" at the end of each section) until it notifies you that your profile has been updated, otherwise the data will not be saved. It will ask you for general agency info, as well as languages spoken, states you do business in, insurance lines written, and insurance company appointments.
6. Upon completing the profile, it takes up to 24 hours for the system to update records.
How do I enter my branch agencies?
The above steps for updating a profile also must be taken for each branch agency that is added. This can be done by the main office administrator or delegated to an administrator from each branch office.
Can I link to www.TrustedChoice.com from my agency site?
We encourage you to promote the Trusted Choice® logo and Pledge of Performance on your agency’s Web site. Additionally, adding a link to www.trustedchoice.com from your website helps build the organic search engine results for your brand’s website which in turn drives more consumer traffic to Trusted Choice® members. Adding the logo and link is easy, simply provide the following HTML to your web site vendor or webmaster and they can include it on your site.
To use the horizontal version of the logo:
http://www.trustedchoice.com/pledgeofperformance.htm" >http://www.trustedchoice.com/media/scaled.gif" style="border: 0" alt="Proud to be a Trusted Choice® Agency" />
To use the stacked version of the logo:
http://www.trustedchoice.com/pledgeofperformance.htm" >http://www.trustedchoice.com/media/scaled2.gif" style="border: 0" alt="Proud to be a Trusted Choice® Agency" />
Where do I get logo slicks?
We do not offer logo slicks however we have made available electronic versions of key documents, including logos, specifications (rules) and usage guidelines. The electronic versions of the logo, which can be downloaded at www.TrustedChoice.com/agents, under Logos, are superior in quality, easier to share with vendors, and more cost-effective to print and distribute. We also encourage you to review the Logo Signature Guide which can be downloaded from the same logo page.
Do I always have to use the “®” after the words Trusted Choice®?
In order to best protect the name, it is important to consistently include the registered symbol with each mention of Trusted Choice®. Especially when a brand name uses commonly used words, diligence will help ensure the integrity of the Trusted Choice® trademark.
Will you have print/television/radio ads we can tag?
Yes. Tag-able versions of the Trusted Choice® television, radio and print ads are available. You can access these ads under the advertising tab at www.TrustedChoice.com/agents.
Do I have to use the national ads, or can I produce my own?
While you do not have to use the nationally produced, tag-able ads, doing so will save your agency money on production costs. All of the ads consistently convey the brand promise spelled out in the Pledge of Performance. If you do produce your own ads, you must adhere to the logo guidelines when including the Trusted Choice® logo. Tag-able versions of the Trusted Choice® television, radio and print ads are available at www.TrustedChoice.com/agents, under Advertising.
Will companies be a part of Trusted Choice®?
Yes, in fact 60 companies are currently Trusted Choice® partners.
Do I have to write with the companies supporting the program?
You need not have an affiliation with any of the company partners to participate. Our company partners have committed funding because they support the branding effort and the independent agent distribution channel.
How can I start writing insurance through the company partners?
Company partners have aligned themselves with Trusted Choice® to give the brand financial and promotional support, but Trusted Choice® is not a market access program. Our Trusted Choice® Company Participants have made a financial commitment to Trusted Choice®. They make that financial investment as a way of demonstrating their commitment to the independent agency system, and their confidence in their agents' unparalleled valued. Trusted Choice® Company Participants realize that using a unified voice for advertising and promoting independent agents and brokers is what is best for everyone. Working together creates the best opportunity to affect significant change in consumer perception and market share. If you are interested in securing a contract with a Trusted Choice® company partner, you may contact that company directly and inform them you would like an appointment with that carrier. You can also visit the “Companies” tab at www.TrustedChoice.com/agents to see which company partners are looking for agency appointments and to access our company partners’ websites.