A Dutch car insurer for women recently launched a useful new service. As soon as weather warnings are issued about conditions that could make driving hazardous, Onna-onna sends its clients a text message advising them to be extra alert or even stay off the road. The company relies on weather reports from the National Meteorological Institute, and provides the text messages free of charge to clients who have signed up for them. Aiming to reduce the number of accidents caused by heavy winds, icy roads and severe thunderstorms, the warning service is part of Onna-onna’s wider efforts to promote road safety. Which isn’t a purely philanthropic gesture, of course—lower accident rates are good for any insurer’s bottom line. Onna-onna is planning to trial the service for a year before evaluating and potentially adding other SMS-based perks. For companies trying to build their brand and forge meaningful relationships with their customers, text messages offer a relatively inexpensive way to keep in touch. And a powerful one, if used to share information that’s both relevant and useful. What would your customers like to hear from your brand, in 160 characters or less?