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ANA/BMA16: A Business Insurance Company Embraces Risk

How Hiscox Got Results With a New Brand Campaign

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Russell Findlay, CMO at business insurer Hiscox, discussed the challenges his company faced when launching a new brand campaign in the U.S., during the first day of the ANA/BMA16 conference in Chicago.

Russell Findlay, CMO at Hiscox
Russell Findlay, CMO at Hiscox

"We are always challenging convention," Mr. Findlay said, when describing how the business insurance company wanted to position itself when launching a new brand campaign.

To define the positioning it would use in the campaign, Hiscox first considered what it stood for. Some of the ideas it came up with included "Don't fear risk," "Good enough, never is," "We put people first," and "Buying insurance should be liberating."

"We felt something unique was 'don't fear risk' -- it seemed unique and ownable," Mr. Findlay said. However, one challenge Hiscox faced was that "risk" is a term commonly used in the insurance industry, so it had to modify its phrasing a bit.

The result was a brand campaign called "Encourage Courage," which launched in October 2014 and was created by Doremus.

"It's about celebrating the positive power of risk," Mr. Findlay said. The campaign included print, online and radio, and used a photojournalistic approach to show small-business customers who faced risk with courage. "The idea is, without risk, nothing great can happen."

In addition to the ads, Hiscox has developed podcasts, research, thought leadership and other types of content to extend the campaign.

For example, it created a research report called "The DNA of an American Entrepreneur," which surveyed small business owners on their challenges and confidence in the U.S. economy.

"We got a bunch of media pickup and we got a lot of business out of it," Mr. Findlay said.

The company has done many other innovative programs as part of its brand campaign. To reach a target audience of architects and engineers -- which it insures -- Hiscox partnered with Tough Mudder, which puts on events such as the Tough Mudder Mud Run and other obstacle course events.

Hiscox developed a contest with Tough Mudder in which architects and engineers could vie for a chance to design an obstacle course, and the winner would have its design published in Architect magazine.

The company also developed a podcast series called "Courageous Leaders," profiling small business owners who took risks. "Driving the top of the funnel can have a big impact on the bottom of the funnel," Mr. Findlay said. "That is real money that we can tie back tangibly to the success of the campaign."

Since the campaign launched, Hiscox has seen double-digit year-over-year revenue growth, and its unaided brand awareness is up over five times.