Repositioning for expansion and market dominance
When Matli Group was hired to help Hagerty update its brand and create a new marketing strategy, the company was already the leading private insurer of collector cars – and it was clear that their core customers, referred to simply as "car guys", had a stronger personal affinity for the company than is typical of how most people feel about their insurance company. But it was unclear how this could be leveraged to help Hagerty grow.
Most people don't love their insurance company. But passionate car collectors spoke about Hagerty as trusted friend that "got it".
We started with a complete brand audit of the company, including analysis of Hagerty's brand tracking studies and other consumer research they'd collected. It was clear that the company had grown in that most enviable way; through positive word-of-mouth by passionate customers who viewed Hagerty as the only true expert in the space. But unfortunately this cohort of passionate car collectors were only a small part of the market of people who owned collector cars. Our research revealed several different types of people who collected vintage and exotic cars - but clearly those who viewed themselves as "collectors" or "car guys" (rather than normal guys who happened to own a collector car) were far more likely to be fans of Hagerty, while the average person had likely never heard of them.
We crafted a segmentation strategy to support Hagerty's excellent outreach to core collectors and to expand Hagerty's awareness among average-joe collectors of all stripes. The marketing strategy amplified much of what Hagerty was already doing well, but expanding it to new channels and making Hagerty more visible in places where casual car enthusiasts might find them. We recommended a channel marketing strategy leveraging relationships with mainstream insurers who re-sold Hagerty to normal people. This foundational work has helped Hagerty to grow to be the largest private car insurer and has turned normal people who happened to have a collector car into "insiders" who understand the unique services that Hagerty provides for special cars that is different from any other insurer. It has helped to create more "car guys" out of people who liked classic cars, creating brand loyalty and increasing average lifetime value of each customer it acquires.