BRANDING YOUR BROKER VALUE PROPOSITION

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25th Jan 2018

Development of New Brokers Ireland Branding Initiative for General Brokers

Brokers Ireland are currently exploring the establishment of a new consumer facing brand specifically for general brokers. The purpose of a consumer facing brand for brokers is to have a distinctive, professional identity which will promote and consistently endorse the products and services offered by general brokers to consumers. In order to fully investigate the scope of the project, Brokers Ireland have engaged the services of a branding consultancy who will conduct market research and define a value proposition and strategy around the establishment of a new brokers brand.

WHAT IS A BRAND AND WHY DOES BRANDING MATTER?

A brand is not simply a name, a logo or a piece of advertising. A brand is the guarantee of a unique experience. An experience that is both tangible (the product you buy, the place you stay, the car you drive) and intangible (the way you feel about using the product, the images you see in the advertising). Take Apple – it is one of the most valuable brands in the world. Why? There are many other computer/phone companies, some might even be better. What makes Apple unique is the combination of its branding and the aspirational image of universal game-changer it has come to represent. The same is true for every category you can think of from Apple in computers to Virgin in airlines. These brand names suggest a quality of experience which is unique even if many of us may never have used their services. People form impressions about brands based on every experience they have of those brands. So the key to success is to use a brand at the heart of the business – an organising principle that drives all that you do from a single perspective.

WHY ARE BRANDS SO IMPORTANT?

Products are what companies make; brands are what people choose and buy. A brand is, arguably, the strongest guarantee of future success for all businesses in the market. In most markets these days, there’s relatively little to choose between products and services in purely functional terms. So a strong brand – i.e. what a business, product or service stands for – is of real value in providing differentiation. More specifically, it can:

  • Justify a price premium – people will pay more for a name they trust
  • Increased awareness of your business
  • Attract the best talent – who would you rather work for?
  • Retain existing clients and win new business
  • Help your business extend into new areas of business
  • Protects your business when in times of crisis

MARKET POSITIONING AND BRANDING

Ideally, we will want to be the default choice for anyone who requires General Insurance. To achieve this we will need to position ourselves in a unique, memorable and relevant way in the client’s mind and make sure that we our thought of ahead of our direct competitors. This requires the development of a compelling story. A story that is unique and engaging for all our stakeholders. A story that can be communicated as a short sharp claim and be delivered on time and time again. Brand strategy is about constructing the story and translating it into a plan that supports the systematic development of our brand in order to meet our business objectives. A well defined brand strategy should answer questions such as:

  • What makes our brand so valuable?
  • What are we known for?
  • And what would we like to be known for?

But a combination of a focused brand strategy and poor execution is like an eagle without wings. A focused brand strategy with excellent execution will be a fantastic experience for clients as both actions (the way you behave) and expressions (the way you look) are aligned. It will be essential that we believe in our new brand, as professional service is all about delivery. But we should never forget it is magic, not logic that ignites passion and moves clients and employees.

PROMOTING AND PROTECTING YOUR BRAND

No matter how strong a brand is, it’s surprisingly easy to damage it. A single lapse in quality of service, for example, may change a client’s view of your brand, and therefore your business, forever. And, over a period of time, a lack of consistency in the way the brand is presented can gradually dilute its strength.

For our brand to deliver maximum advantage to everyone associated with the market, everyone must play a part in promoting and protecting it. It is essential that everyone who stands to benefit from the strength of our brand:

  • understands what it stands for: Who we are – our heritage and capabilities. What we do – our practices. Why we do it – our ethos
  • is able to communicate what your brand stands for effectively
  • protects your brand identity from misuse
  • actively promotes our brand at every opportunity

To sum up: the more you put into our brand, the greater the competitive advantage it will give you.

NEXT STEPS….

‘The power of analysis’ To begin with we will be performing a comprehensive research exercise in order to gain a complete understanding of the objectives and current marketplace through conducting stakeholder interviews with broker principals/managers and consumer groups to establish benchmarking insights. During these sessions we will discuss our future vision, values and business context in order to ensure the optimum fit of our new brand. These findings will provide the groundwork for all strategic and creative development.

These findings will provide the groundwork for all strategic and creative development. This process is a highly interactive phase and we will be operating an entirely open-door policy, welcoming and encouraging feedback at every stage. If you are interested in participating in the broker research element of this project, please contact Brian McNelis brian@brokersireland.ie or Niamh Hayes niamh@brokersireland.ie to register your interest.

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