Travelers’ Branding Campaign Works

Travelers’ well-known logo – a red umbrella – remains a key element of its new branding campaign which launched last year. I first learned of the campaign recently when friends told me about some wonderful commercials with a dog that was intent on protecting its bone from real and imagined risks. The message: Travelers protects the things you care about.

The spots are well done and, importantly, maintain clear brand identity. Shortly after seeing one of these ads, I happened to be in the Minneapolis airport where, once again, I was confronted with the image (in the form of large posters along the corridors) of Travelers’ trademark red umbrella.

A couple of things strike me about this campaign:

  • First, I’m glad to see that Travelers has not abandoned the familiar red umbrella logo. While I had pretty much forgotten about it, seeing it again reconnected me to the brand. Assuming it’s not a “bad” brand, why change? Yet, in the business world *not* changing is tough to do. When sales decline, when competitors emerge, when leadership changes there is often a strong internal push to “change our image.” *Not* changing can be a challenge but clearly pays off for those that stay the course.
  • Second, the TV spots are attention-getting and tell a story in the space of about 60 seconds. They’re the kind of spots you want to watch again, tell your friends about and – in the process – brand awareness is generated.
  • Third, it’s an integrated campaign. Not just relying on TV spots, Travelers is using a multi-media approach to raise awareness – communicating multiple times in various ways. That’s what mass media does best.

The bottom line – *don’t* abandon your brand identity capriciously. Too many business leaders and managers are too quick to change for reasons that range from fear to “me-too” tactics (following the competition) to ego. Unless you have quantitative evidence to suggest that your current brand image is not effective, don’t assume that’s the case. It takes a long time – and a lot of resources (talent and money) –  to build a brand. Once built, it represents significant value to an organization – value that shouldn’t be treated carelessly.

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One Response to “Travelers’ Branding Campaign Works”

  1. Dan Weedin says:

    Excellent post. Being part of the insurance industry as a consultant, I’m happy to see Travelers making inroads against some of the more “Progressive” insurers like Geico and Progressive. It is a great branding strategy mixing old with new. Travelers has also been one of the bright spots in the industry and this is helping get their message out.

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