21 October 2016

[logo] Why MetLife Would Kick Snoopy To The Curb

Much consternation in the public as the nationally-recognized insurance icon, MetLife, is doing away with a multi-decade branding institution by ending its identification with Snoopy and the Peanuts characters, themselves American icons. But why?

It seems a sad thing to do, but when it comes to branding, meaning is everything. Up until now MetLife has been big in consumer life insurance, currently the largest life insurer in the United States. In 1975 it licensed the characters because, in the words of Esther Lee, MetLife chief marketing officer, they wanted "to make our company more friendly and approachable during a time when insurance companies were seen as cold and distant."

MetLife will be exiting from the personal insurance market by this time in 2017 for a more B2B approach: selling directly to corporations that provide insurance to employees. Being solely in the corporate market, being seen as cold and distant, a drawback anywhere else, becomes a positive boon. The new logo set, which we've not yet seen, has been described as being in a different typeface, with a change to a more "business friendly" black color.

About as cuddly as a leather briefcase, but it works for them, and, just as importantly, it'll save them around fifteen megabucks a year in licensing fees, because there'll be no cartoon characters to buy the rights to. One wonders if they got the 'coffee's for closers' speech before being shown the door. Whatever.

The Inquistr has the best article I've seen about it so far, with several aghast tweets

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