Insurance Corporation of Barbados Ltd, a former state-owned company, is the leading provider of general insurance and also a provider of individual life, group life and health insurance in Barbados. It is thirty-five years old, with an outstanding record of financial growth and stability. The company is publicly traded on the Barbados Stock Exchange and has consistently been rated A- Excellent for financial strength by international rating agency A.M. Best. It operates in an intensely competitive local industry, where it is the dominant player in general insurance. In 2010 ICBL introduced a Life insurance division to challenge the players in that market.
Research conducted by G&A in 2012 confirmed that ICBL was perceived as a slow, stodgy and bureaucratic government entity by the desired new target segments and even by many of its own employees, despite having become a privately owned entity twelve years before. Young professionals who the company wanted to target did not have the company on their radar, and 41% of employees had a negative view of its brand image. The stark reality of these negative perceptions provided the final impetus to reposition the company through a rebranding programme. G&A was commissioned to undertake the process.
What G&A Did
Working with the ultimate brand ambassadors: ICBL Employees
We undertook a ‘branding from within’ approach, working closely with employees, management and the ICBL board to further discover the perceptions of the brand internally and chart the desired brand future.
G&A served only as facilitator to this process as it was critical for the brand future to be developed by those who would live the brand day in and day out. From board members to ancillary staff members participated in G&A-conducted brand awareness seminars.
Brand orientation workshops followed to give these critical stakeholders the tools to begin to give input on the desired brand story – the vision, the mission, the core values, the character and personality, articulating the past and the desired future. The G&A team distilled and refined this feedback, concentrating on the common themes that eventually emerged, to develop these brand assets and the visual brand identity (logo).
We went further, to conduct customer service seminars in conjunction with the human resources and customer services departments, in order to ensure that standards would reflect the new brand.
• A brand values booklet and brand essence video were created to continue sharing the values of the company with each employee.
• Environmental graphic design was undertaken to make the brand experential for employees and customers in the physical spaces in all branches.
G&A encouraged an internal launch of the brand prior to any roll out of external advertising. Employees had the first chance to celebrate the beginning of greater achievements as the new ICBL. We collaborated with the client on an official internal launch event and jingle competition including our unveiling of the external advertising campaign that would be rolled out to the public.
After a process lasting eighteen months, counting the research phase, the ICBL new brand was rolled out to the public. By then employees were in a position to truly own the brand having been a crucial part of its making.
Sky is the Limit
The ICBL Board, management and staff have all expressed delight with the outcome of the rebranding exercise. More importantly, the feedback from customers, brokers and the general public has been extremely positive.