Case study: Allstate Legacy

Title: What is the meaning of life?
Project: Legacy Planning program for financial advisors
Design: In-house
Client: Allstate
Service: Concept, program rationale and structure, writing

Many of the most successful marketing efforts in financial services originate at the deep end of the pool with high-net-worth clients. Allstate took an upmarket idea and brought it to the mass market with Legacy Planning — a wealth management process that was transformed into an everyday conversation.

This concept-based selling program offered a warmer and more personal approach than most sales efforts in large institutions. It favored the largely female target demographic with a pervasive tagline: “What is the meaning of life?” The answer is to “Pass it on,” meaning the transfer of not only the assets but also the values and the worldview of the client to the heirs.

This producer guide kit consisted of over a dozen pieces of collateral that equipped financial advisors (Producers) with everything they need to run a Legacy Planning program among their clientele. Advisors and wholesalers both reported that “This is precisely the kind of story that people want” — that is, not endless details about a financial transaction but rather its meaning in a larger context: one’s own life.

Advisors were able to engage in difficult conversations with ease, using a soft product-agnostic approach that seeks active input of a personal nature from the client, in contrast with conventional approaches that bombard clients with product information.

This program successfully rolled out during the height of the financial upheavals of 2008–2009: eliciting emotional responses from clients at a time when they were most reluctant to talk about financial products. “What is the meaning of life?” gave advisors a solid and realistic context for all financial decision-making: what do you really value most in life?

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