How Zurich restructured 63 brands into one

For Zurich Financial Services, the rebranding challenge was daunting but started out with one distinct advantage: the company wasn't going to change its name.

But for Navigators & General, Real Garant, Eagle Star, Baden Badener, Wrightway, TEB Sigorta and 57 other insurer brands whose identity was to be subsumed into the parent Zurich brand, the stakes were much higher.

Articulating what he called "the global-insurance situation", Arun Sinha told a CMO Conference at New York's Museum of Modern Art that parent Zurich Financial Services had to speak with fewer voices if it wanted to move "from class to mass" in its consumer messaging.

Sinha, currently senior executive-in-residence at the Yale School of Management, was Global Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Zurich Financial Services until July 2011. Zurich, he said, started with the advantage of a brand regarded as "premium, conservative, and professional across the world." In time, the goal would be to put as much equity under that umbrella as possible. One size would not fit all – but managing 63 different brands was impossible. In time, the goal was to land with three product offerings:

  • Zurich, a high-price but high-quality service;
  • Farmers Insurance Group, the third largest insurance group in the US and another quality offering offered at a slightly lower price point;
  • Zurich Connect, a lower-cost service that would take advantage of the good will of the parent even if its might not have the same sterling reputation.