Why brand-building is essential to growth
New research analysis conducted by Gracechurch and ICMR shows that leading insurance CEO’s should now treat brand development as a fundamental building block of any growth strategy.
Brand leadership and positioning is becoming essential as insurance businesses compete more intensely on customer experience, attracting and retaining talent and demonstrating ESG credentials.
But there are no short-cuts: brand-building needs to be an invested, core aspect of your long term strategy, making sure that your brand demonstrates strong values and a clear, superior offer for customers.
Our analysis of over 20 Lloyd’s businesses shows:
- A strong correlation between brand strength (familiarity) and size (GWP).
- That deteriorating brand strength is often a leading indicator of slowing growth.
- That brand development is long-term and needs to be based on a clear and consistent articulation of what the business stands for in terms of values and superior ‘customer appeal’.
- Investment in high quality strategic marketing is essential and will accelerate brand building.
Which brand are you?
The examples below show three Lloyd’s players in very different brand scenarios:
This insurer’s brand strength was hit fast and hard and fell precipitously. The damage might not be fatal, but turnaround will be a long road. The business will be losing out on quality business making profitability increasingly hard to achieve, despite favourable market conditions.
The lesson is once you’ve built a build a brand, cherish it.
This is the London Market business of a large global player - the brand has been volatile with premium stable, but in a hard market where competitors are achieving better growth. It is likely that a more consistent brand build would have resulted in better growth in line or ahead of the market. This example is also interesting because the brand is a ‘household’ name meaning that it would have been cost-effective to build brand familiarity in London.
All the indications are that this insurer has missed an opportunity.
Beazley has created strong positive alignment between brand strength and GWP growth. This potent combination is the result of investment in sophisticated marketing and application of consistent values and service delivery over a long period. Notably Beazley was also the #1 Insurindex London Market Powerbrand in 2022.
Beazley’s strong brand gives it strategic advantages over many competitors.
ICMR and Gracechurch analysed over 20 Lloyd’s businesses based on financial and independent survey trends over the past 8 years.
Founded in 2000, Gracechurch is the leading research and advisory company serving the commercial insurance sector. Gracechurch provides global commercial insurance leaders with high quality, targeted independent research to benchmark performance.
Insurindex ranks the leading commercial insurance sector entities based on a range of professionally curated and validated evidence sources including surveys, social media and financial analysis. Its work is overseen and informed by an Advisory Group made up of experts from the fields of insurance, marketing, brand and digital.
For more information on this research and any other aspect of brand and financial performance please contact Ben Bolton at Gracechurch or Markus Gesmann at ICMR.
This article was also published as a Viewpoint during the Monte-Carlo Rendezvous by The Insurer.