Sutton Winson is an independent provider of insurance, risk, wealth management and employee benefits. Established for over 50 years, employing over 130 employees across two sites we jumped at the opportunity to rebrand.
Having been around for so long it was only natural that there had been various work on the brand over the years. However, with a relatively new team the time was right to create alignment and get everyone excited by a brand they could get behind.
Amongst the challenges we faced was that over time different teams had created their own identities making it difficult for the marketing team to control assets and fighting against the business strategy of Sutton Winson being ‘One Team’.
In addition, with new areas of the business, references to being an ‘insurance broker’ wasn’t always appropriate for all audiences, and even the name was being challenged.
A guiding policy
With so much up for grabs and with a large stakeholder group it was important that we created a guiding policy that everyone could agree on:
- Always look to align — Strengthen message behind ‘One Team’ initiative to create a consistent brand
- Be authentic — Sutton Winson have an incredible reputation already, so concentrate on what the genuine differences are
- Differentiate, but where appropriate — Create a strong, distinctive and memorable brand, but with a strong customer base already, we don’t need to differentiate for the sake of it.
Due to the large number of stakeholders, we ran two separate brand workshops. The challenge with this is finding the similarities and differences within the group and understanding what this meant for the brand. We also had a short round of audience interviews to add to the mix.
Something that was immediately apparent for both groups was that there was a lack of confidence when promoting themselves. This was surprising given the way no one struggled to talk passionately about the positive impact Sutton has on their clients. It soon became clear that the problem was with the brand not reflecting who they were.
The workshops contained a set of exercises designed to facilitate a conversation around core values, vision, what’s important to their clients and what makes Sutton Winson tick.
We also used them to discuss issues around their current visual identity and to better understand each other's meanings behind words. This is always a challenge as people interpret words differently until there is something visual to point to.
This enabled us to move onto two concurrent work streams:
This was an iterative process, starting with moodboards to visually explore how Sutton Winson would look and feel. We also demonstrated how this would work in real world situations, for example on Twitter, on a poster and in a brochure.
We created various logos, all pulling in different directions that could be refined using feedback from a steering committee.
Building on what we’d learnt during the workshops, we crafted a brand framework. This is a great way of encapsulating what makes a brand successful into one place. In this instance we articulated the brand values, its proposition, the reasons why people should care about it, what its people care about, personality and company vision.
One team, working together
From the business strategy and talking to stakeholders we knew early on that Sutton Winson needed a centralised brand, something that brought every team together rather than further apart. We worked hard to find the key factors that has made the whole team such a success over the years, and threaded this through all the messaging.
“Expert advice, shaped around you”
With so many different angles for what makes Sutton Winson successful our role was to pull that together and provide focus. One of the ways we did this was to craft a proposition focusing on a central theme of a team of experts that take the time to understand a client's needs. This proposition can be used for the basis of externally focused marketing materials.
A confident brand
We’ve designed a brand that is bold, distinctive and human enough to give Sutton Winson the confidence to promote themselves using it. This is partly in the words we crafted, but also in the visual identity.
The logo is clear, solid and deliberate, just like Sutton Winson and has been designed to work well at large scale but also to degrade for use in social media. The colours and graphical elements convey this further perfectly matching the logo’s precise and bold aesthetic.
With a clear set of guidelines and brand framework, Sutton Winson can be confident that whenever they need marketing communications they will be designed to a consistently high standard. We’re currently working with Sutton Winson on brand activation and as designers and communicators we’re just as excited to see this out in the wild.