Special Report: Case study on Encompass Insurance

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When executives at CNA Personal Insurance were evaluating their future, they opted to declare their independence from an unwieldy corporate name. In September, it did away with "CNA" and branded itself Encompass Insurance.

That's no small feat. Encompass sells automobile and homeowner's insurance exclusively through b-to-b relationships with brokers, and its 20-year history as CNA meant it had to nimbly change over for 1.2 million policy holders and 3,700 independent agents.

Moreover, business customers and consumers want longevity and stability from an insurance company. So, the Chicago-based underwriter borrowed imagery from some of the oldest and most precious documents and works of art in the U.S.

Advertiser: Encompass Insurance, Chicago
Campaign: "The independence campaign," corporate rebranding effort
Objective: Launch a new insurance brand to independent agents and consumers
Agency: Leo Burnett USA, Chicago
Budget: Undisclosed
Media: Trade, consumer print, new Web site
Results: Campaign just launched last week. How-ever, internal tests with employees and agents suggest it is the strongest campaign in Encompass' history.
In its campaign that debuted last week, Encompass juxtaposes Revolutionary War-era art and government documents (like the Declaration of Independence) with such modern-day products as sport utility vehicles and weed whackers. The campaign suggests that Encompass' Universal Security Policy brand of products provides old-fashioned coverage in newfangled times.

The campaign tagline "Life, liberty and really good insurance," appears in print publications that appeal to upscale consumers. In coming months, it will run in such publications as Better Homes and Gardens, People, Travel and Leisure, Fortune, Business Week, Newsweek and Time.

The copy of one advertisement says, "We the people of the United States are sick and tired of getting the runaround when making an insurance claim."

"We're positioning Encompass as a modern revolutionary," said Patty Bloomfield, senior VP-account director for Leo Burnett USA, Chicago. "Introducing a new brand of insurance is tricky because people need to understand it is not fly-by-night."

Encompass also needs to curry the favor of business customers. As many of its competitors move toward direct sales of insurance policies, Encompass has vowed to sell its policies only through independent agents. An adjoining campaign plays off this idea and appears in such vertical publications as American Agent & Broker, Independent Agent and Rough Notes Magazine.

The b-to-b approach runs against the grain of industry trends and could be met with success as a result, said Marilee Driscoll, principal of, Plymouth, Mass., which advises insurance agencies on lead generation.

While insurance companies increasingly divorce themselves from their brokers, the backlash from selling direct can wash away cost savings, she said.

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