As always, we began by listening. A fact-finding mission that would allow us to engage with staff at all levels to provide an in-depth knowledge of Oakland Insurance, their team, their offering and importantly their customers. We visited all branches (Belfast, Downpatrick, Larne, Magherafelt and Limavady) where we interviewed staff and listened to insurance horror stories from people who had got it wrong with previous insurance providers. We also heard stories from satisfied customers allowing us to understand what it was about Oakland that the customer valued, and learned the insights that could inform future customers that Oakland would be the best option for them.
We gathered thoughts on the existing brand, as we wanted the process to be an inclusive one so that the team could claim ownership of the new brand. This would give us buy in across the company and overcome any resistance to change. Most importantly, it would also allow us to understand parts of the existing brand and marketing materials that were treasured by both staff and customers that needed to be retained. The owner of the company, while open to the need for a rebrand, felt a personal connection to the Oak tree in the existing brand and felt that he wanted some continuity linking the tree from the company launch and through the development, as the company like the tree, continued to grow.
We also learned that the staff and customers had developed a love for the company mascot Oakey Doakey, a squirrel who would appear at community and family events. Staff actually pleaded with us not to kill off Oakey Doakey.