Monday, July 28, 2014

Gerber Life: “About Us” Evaluation by Corporate

Gerber Life Insurance Company specializes in juvenile life insurance (term life, accident, college plans, etc.). Formed in 1967 as a subsidiary of Gerber Products (which has been owned by Nestle since 2007), Gerber Life today has nearly 3 million policies in force with a total value of $33 billion. Its headquarters is in White Plains, New York. The main About Us page is here. (For those following @CorpHist Twitter feed, the Gerber Baby is a girl who grew up to be a novelist: read all about her here. We believe she's the best rep for Gerber Life's corporate history, per below.)


Products/Services: C
The main About Us page (Meet Gerber Life Insurance Company) states the company’s purpose in its first line: “Since 1967, Gerber Life Insurance Company has provided quality life insurance, especially for young families on a limited budget.” It goes on to elaborate, and includes an image of a family plus a few statistics about the amount and geographical areas covered. All this is good, but the page could be much improved by adding links within the text to pages such as Products and Customer Service.

Another issue: there are two awards at the foot of Meet Gerber Life Insurance Company, with icons (bravo!) —but the awards date from 2009 and 2012. Are these the latest awards that can be mustered, or is this a case of not keeping the site updated, per our Commandment 10 of About Us pages (“Remember to keep holy the updates”)?

Personality: B
The personality of Gerber Life shines through most in the page that’s misleadingly labeled About the Gerber Baby. It turns out to be corporate history told with charming personal anecdotes about the founding of Gerber Baby Food, soon followed by the search for the perfect baby face to use in advertising. This page ought to be mentioned and linked to on the main About Us page: it’s a great introduction to Gerber. Its final paragraph, “Another way to help baby,” sketches the establishment of Gerber Life.

If this page hadn’t been so misleadingly labeled or had been linked to within the text of the main About Us page, we would have given Gerber Life an “A” for personality.

Accessibility: D
The Contact pages on this site are confusing. The link in the header takes us to a page with phone, email, and mailing addresses (U.S. and Canada). It has a link to a standard online form for submitting email. The Contact page’s sidebar has a link to Customer Service, which repeats much of the information and links back to the Contact Us page, with the promise that we’ll find “A directory of customer service phone numbers and payment addresses.” We don’t. These pages should be combined and simplified. Our Commandment 8 of About Us pages is, “Remember to make yourself and your organization easily accessible.” Insurance companies have a reputation for being difficult to deal with; special care should be taken not to confirm that impression.

Look through your whole site for great material, and make sure it’s easy to find, either by repeating it on the main About Us page or by adding links to it.

Does your Web site’s “About Us” section accurately convey your organization’s history and capabilities? Every two weeks we evaluate one example, grading it in three areas that are key to potential customers: Personality (Who are you?), Products/Services (What can you do for us?), and Accessibility (How can we reach you?). To talk about your About Us page, contact us!
Today’s example was chosen at random; has no ties to this company.