Case Study

An insurance broker changing the game


Overview

Partner: MIG Insurance

Our Role: Brand strategy, identity, marketing and experience

We worked with MIG in 2017 and at the time, they were facing new competitive pressures from insurance companies who sold coverage directly to customers through online channels.

In addition to their direct competition, they were also in competition with web aggregators which were capturing leads in bulk. These shifts in purchasing dynamics were posing a competitive threat to insurance brokers like MIG.

The Problem

We were initially approached to review and revitalize MIG’s marketing focus and implement a new “Buy Online” insurance offering. After our initial consultations, it became clear that MIG needed to redefine its market position in order to remain relevant.

MIG Insurance

MIG Insurance is a forward-thinking Western Canadian insurance broker. Since opening in 1995, MIG Insurance has grown to nine locations, servicing clients in cities and communities throughout Southern Manitoba.

Research, Insights and the Audience


Analysis

To understand how MIG could better meet market demand, we audited and analyzed their industry, competitors, brand and target audiences.

 

The landscape

Insight #1: An industry ripe for disruption

From our research, it was clear that the insurance sector has been lagging in both technological and customer innovation. In addition, differentiation between brokerages is not clearly perceptible to audiences.

More concerning were the results of a Capgemini study stating that customer satisfaction has hit worrying lows. Only 29% of customers globally said they were satisfied with their insurance provider’s services.

 

 

The market

Insight #2: Competition is increasing

In the insurance industry, aggregator presence is growing and Canadian aggregators are well-positioned to become embedded in the Canadian insurance market. Aggregator presence in the Canadian market is still in the beginning phases, but expanding due to the growth of self insurance and the evolution of digital technologies.

The future

Insight #3: Technology is evolving

The technological evolution is happening rapidly. Advancing technology continues to drive change in the way that brands and consumers communicate. 

Disruptive technologies are causing significant changes to our culture, our values, and the way we do business. As a result, brands are being forced to connect with their customers whenever and however they want to conduct business. It’s not enough to offer products online, businesses need to be digital by creating and shaping the customer experience online.

After our research, we felt MIG was not ready to effectively compete online. In order to make a significant impact, MIG would need to be perceived as a digital native — matching the user experience level that customers have come to expect from the best digital retailers. It became clear that MIG needed to redefine its market position in order to remain relevant.

Audience

From Aviva research, our primary target audiences, ‘First Timers’ and ‘Nest Builders’ both place value on technology and the digital experience. These groups are more likely to shop around and prefer connecting with their insurance company through a website, mobile app, or social media platform. 

The Challenge


Strategy

To respond to changing customer expectations, we realized it was important for MIG to be a leader in innovating the customer experience.

While brokers like MIG don’t have the ability to change the process or requirements needed to obtain insurance, they can transform the customer experience. In this area, there was significant room to improve the overall customer experience and improving the experience would set MIG apart from its competitors. 

To accomplish this, it was necessary to redefine and re-contextualize MIG’s role as more than an impartial middleman. They needed to meet customers’ high expectations for service by “retailizing” the insurance experience.

Brand Strategy, Identity & Campaign


Direction

As a broker, MIG was in a unique position to provide a customer-focused retail insurance experience.

Their hands-on and attentive approach was superior to direct-sales insurers or online aggregators, both of which had limited interactions and experiences dealing directly with people. MIG could tailor the customer experience and then leverage this to their advantage.

Buyer Friendly Insurance

We developed the concept of ‘Buyer Friendly Insurance’ to signal MIG’s shift away from a company that simply sells insurance to one that empowers customers with tools and knowledge to buy the insurance that’s right for them. It was important for MIG to remove the sales pressure, while remaining highly reactive to people’s needs where and when called upon.

Core Brand Principles

A Better Insurance Experience

The core brand principles focus squarely on the customer. Each element was made more concise to make them memorable and easy to implement.

Because of the inherent complexity of MIG’s business, it was important to create a messaging framework that structured the flow of information —making their communication clear, informative and relevant.

We developed a messaging hierarchy that flows from top-level positioning down through messaging pillars, where they are manifested into statements that support the core brand proposition.

The result is a structured mechanism for rapidly aligning communication through a set of distinct themes, supporting the overall brand proposition down to the individual product level.

The Design Strategy

Identity had a strategic role to play in establishing MIG’s new brand position. It needed to look ‘buyer friendly’ and send a clear message that MIG was unlike any other insurance brokers.

By creating a brand story for MIG that imagines “a world where insurance is bought, not sold,” we knew the brand identity needed to fully illustrate that idea.

Colour

MIG has always been a “blue” company. We wanted to build off of this brand colour and make it more clean, friendly, and inviting. We expanded their range of blues to incorporate a medium blue (MIG Cobalt) and a light blue (MIG Sky Blue).

In order to support MIG’s complete visual language, an extensive supplementary palette was developed. The supplementary collection was made up of a colour wheel with 12 base colours including three tints and three shades for each. This added up to a total of 84 colours.

We gave the colours a numeric system where 400 represents the base colour, and 100 and 700 represent the lightest and darkest respectively. This aids in the identification and classification process.

This palette was then extended further to include 13 skin tones and 14 cool and warm grays each. This gave us 125 unique colours to help bring MIG’s brand-world to life.

Each colour was derived from Pantone’s bridge series to ensure consistency across all print and digital channels.

Typography

Typography is central to communicating brand character and value. It was important for our type choices to feel friendly and slightly playful, as well as accessible with a focus on readability. We also wanted the type to pay respect to MIG’s origins and to provide some continuity from MIG’s previous identity.

We chose Libre Baskerville and Volte. These typefaces expressed the essence of MIG’s commitment to a clear and simple user experience and were in keeping with the positive aspects of MIG’s brand character.

To keep branded communication consistent throughout all channels, a typography sizing ratio system was created.

Shapes

To create MIG’s rich and immersive brand environment, we invented a distinct visual language from the ground up. To express simplicity through form, we started with a circle. From a simple circle, we developed a core set of shapes that would allow us to create a rich visual language for the brand.

Iconography

With this framework, we began articulating MIG’s brand identity by creating a set of proprietary icons. This would allow us to create quick visual identification icons for MIG’s range of products.

Illustrations

To provide a seamless brand environment, we used our visual language and an illustration style to create ‘a world where insurance is bought, not sold’. MIG is now able to demonstrate in clear, simple, and branded terms their diverse product offerings and the nuanced scenarios that relate to their customers.

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Our identity work enabled MIG to express a far richer brand experience than any offered by their new competitors. 

This identity work ensures MIG can quickly develop key branded marketing pieces that communicate highly complex concepts while competitors may need to rely on generic stock imagery or expensive and time-consuming photo shoots. This illustrated language saves time and resources. MIG can take an original concept to a finished, market ready, branded communication piece in a matter of hours.

Execution


Experience & Marketing

Bringing Buyer Friendly Insurance to Life

Once the strategic phase of our work was complete, we began building the core assets that would bring the new MIG brand to life.

Website

MIG’s web presence needed to articulate and encompass their new brand identity. Their website is where customers would take control of their insurance-buying experience, and every aspect of the new website needed to be ‘Buyer Friendly’.

Social Assets

With the new brand tools in place, we coordinated all of MIG’s social channels to deliver a seamless brand experience across all properties.

Brand Management

From the start of the project, it was clear that preserving MIG’s investment in their brand would be critical to long-term success. We needed to develop tools to share MIG’s strategic messaging and distribute brand materials for brokers across multiple locations to access. A digital brand style guide and asset hub was developed, which allowed MIG to centralize their communication materials and assets.

 

Campaign: Buyer Friendly Insurance in market

Once these key assets were in place, it was time to take MIG to market with their new brand and strategy. A multi-phase campaign strategy was developed focusing on several distinct stages of the customer journey.

The first phase focused on broad-based awareness introducing audiences to MIG’s new brand and the ‘Buyer Friendly Insurance’ concept. Brand awareness was built by rolling out a suite of outdoor and social media advertisements. 

Phase two built familiarity by diving deeper into MIG’s core messaging pillars of accessible, simple, and helpful online insurance. Once audiences became familiar with MIG’s new brand proposition, this phase directed attention to MIG’s individual products. 

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Results


Outcome

In this section, we’re highlighting the quantitative and qualitative results of our work.

Performance

Website

Site wide conversion rate increased.

 

Organic Search

Organic keyword visibility grew approximately 450% increasing MIG’s visibility for insurance terms across major search engines.

 

Working with Brandish has changed their business in the following ways:

Defense against commodification

We built a brand for MIG which is the best defense against MIG being commodified. MIG’s brand positioned the insurance broker to deliver an experience their audience was desperately looking for. By doing so, MIG automatically differentiated themselves from their competition.

Digital nativity

Initially MIG approached us to add their offerings to their website. By examining their brand and their experience along with what industry disruptors were doing, we were able to cultivate a digitally native experience for MIG. This built the foundation for MIG to grow online and connect with customers digitally where their audience actually was.

Quality performance

Our brand strategy laid the foundation to create a strategic marketing strategy that would build the MIG brand. MIG experienced significant growth across traditional and digital channels. MIG also reported that inbound leads and information requests were higher qualified and of a better quality.

Simplification & transparency

“Buyer friendly insurance” focuses on the customers. This positioned MIG as an insurance broker who could provide insurance that wasn’t complicated and served the needs and wants of their customers. Ultimately, it positioned MIG as a people-centric brand.

Careers

info@brandishagency.com

winnipeg toronto

brandish 2021