Seattle MagazineProud Of Our PEMCO And Proud Of Our Northwest Roots

Who chooses to move their successful career as a marketing executive into the insurance industry? That's a great question that deserves a full blog post on its own. It's a question that I pledge to answer at another time. For now, I'll just say that never thought that I could be that guy. When I joined PEMCO Insurance as the Director of Marketing in 1999, I could only hope that PEMCO was a company that would embrace a market driven, customer centric approach. A company that would adhere to a business model that leads with relationship in a category where so many others are focused only on price. And I hoped it would be a company that never loses sight of its core values including integrity, responsibility and courage.

Now, a dozen years later, my hopes for PEMCO are being realized. It’s exactly the company that I hoped it would be. One that places our relationships with customers, employees, and our community at the pinnacle of all we do. Of the core values, it’s in demonstrating the ability to be “a little different” that provides us with our edge and sets us apart the most. 

As the world moved into the new millennium I had the opportunity, as the company’s first Chief Marketing Officer, to lead a shift of PEMCO’s brand image and personality. We’ve moved from being a brand that was described as staid, stodgy, conservative, old fashioned and picky, to one that is viewed as current, contemporary, engaging, modern and discerning.

PEMCO CardsBy 2007, we were ready to claim our rightful place as the premier northwest insurance company – one that exists to enable and protect the dreams of responsible northwest people. We did our homework and spoke with hundreds of customers and employees, as well as their northwest neighbors. We discussed the traits that make the people of the Northwest uniquely great – our quirks, our pride, our heritage, our passions, and our preference for all things local.

Those conversations were the genesis of many ideas. Ideas about service innovation, community, engagement, marketing, messaging, and above all, ideas about behaviors that reflect our commitment to being the hyper-local company that stands apart from the crowd.

Case Study: How the PEMCO Northwest Profile campaign began and initial results in 2007-08.

PEMCO was ready to make the transformation in a way that no other insurance company would dare. While we couldn’t out spend the national brands, we could certainly out local them. We were prepared to prove that PEMCO is the most local insurance company that exists in the communities where we live, work, learn and play. We would prove it by demonstrating that we know the people of the northwest in ways that others don’t. We know what makes them special. We know what they go through. And because we’re “a lot like them” we know the things about them that are special. We know sandals and socks guy, relentless recycler, skis in the rain guy, super long coffee orderer, blue tarp camper, urban chicken farmer and all the rest! 

And now, in Seattle Magazines "Best of 2011" issue, PEMCO Insurance was identified as the company with the "best local ad campaign that we never tire of." I'm guessing that's due to the fact that our ads are little stories about the people of the northwest. People who live next door, across town, occasionally even under the same roof. At PEMCO we understand that you don't really want to talk about insurance... not when you could be talking about the neighbors instead.

Thanks for the vote of confidence Seattle. I think I speak for all of us at PEMCO when I say that we are incredibly proud of being "A lot like you. A little different."

Who moves a successful career as a marketing executive into the insurance industry? Well I did. And I have been "going to fun" each and every day.


We're A Lot Like You.

Goosebumped Beach Bum: One of the most recently created PEMCO Profiles, this couple sets out to enjoy a typical Northwest day at the beach.

Thank you to Our Partner.

Special thanks and congratulations to our partners at DNA, Seattle. A local agency with amazing creative talent "that gets it".

Your comments, suggestions, and stories of your personal edge are always welcome in my guest book.