State Farm Next Door – A New Idea

This is either a fantastically innovative idea, or a disaster waiting to happen. State Farm insurance is trying something new called State Farm Next Door. It’s not an insurance office, and it will have free Wi-Fi. It seems to be a way for the State Farm insurance company to connect with young adults.

There will be a State Farm Next Door located in Chicago, Illinois, that is set to open on August 1, 2011. It isn’t an insurance office. Instead, it’s something completely “out of the box”, that seems to be designed specifically to attract young adults to the location. The State Farm Next Door will be located in Lakeview, which is one of Chicago’s largest neighborhoods, that is known for it’s shops and boutiques. It is an area where a lot of young people live, so perhaps it’s got a chance.

No insurance will be sold from the State Farm Next Door location. Instead, it is going to be a place where young people with “urban lifestyles” can come to talk with financial consultants. They can ask whatever questions they may have about money matters, insurance, or specific financial issues. The location will offer personalized coaches that can help a person find a way to save up for a car, or to manage to pay off a student loan.

All of the services offered at State Farm Next Door will be free. There will be “no catch” and “no sales pitch”. It seems to me this is a way to slowly encourage young people to start thinking about how to plan their financial futures, and to understand more about insurance in general, without making them feel as though they are going to be stuck buying something they don’t want or do not understand. Education is always a good thing.

There will be a Next Door Cafe inside the State Farm Next Door location. I’ve not read anything that mentions exactly what will be served there, but one can safely assume that this will be a place where people can come in and get coffee.

The State Farm Next Door will also have free Wi-Fi, which is a smart idea in many ways. One can reasonably assume that there is a Starbucks located somewhere not too far away from the State Farm Next Door, and it’s well known that one can access free Wi-Fi at Starbucks. It seems to me that State Farm Next Door is going to need free Wi-Fi if it wants to have young people come in, hang around, and perhaps speak with a financial planner. It won’t be open until late summer, so it will be a while before anyone will know if this unique idea will do what State Farm hopes it will.

Wi-Fi symbolImage by Palagret on Flickr