​AUB Group CMO's 5 tips for a successful rebranding strategy

Marketing leader talks through the recent rebranding from Austbrokers to AUB Group as part of a new global brand identity

Successful rebranding requires patience, good timing and an engaging strategy, according to AUB Group CMO, Vanessa Lyons.

Lyons was instrumental in the recent brand evolution of the risk and insurance solutions provider, formerly known as Austbrokers Holdings. The rebranding was 18 months in the making and got into full swing in the last six months, launching to coincide with the company’s 30-year anniversary.

AUB Group, a publicly listed company, announced its name change approval at its last AGM in November. The rebrand is part of its evolution in the specialist underwriting agency and risk services areas throughout Australia and internationally.

“Austbrokers implies insurance brokers or broking, and about three years ago our CEO started on a diversification journey to expand it beyond insurance broking,” Lyons told CMO.

“We now have a very big risk services areas as we now call it, and we’re also going quite strong in New Zealand, looking abroad and internationally. We wanted to evolve from the holdings brand to something that would take us more effectively into the future.”

Here are five key lessons learnt by Lyons as part of the rebranding exercise.

1. Prepare for the risk

Just like any major organisational change, Lyons said rebranding is not without its challenges, one of which is the risk of losing a recognised and valued brand. Going through the motions of moving the name to something more agnostic, she said, while still maintaining Austbrokers where relevant, proved the best way to go to market.

“Every organisation has a very strong asset in their brand, and Austbrokers as it is known has very strong equity - people really recognise and value it,” she explained. “Moving the organisation away from that completely in some respects, was a bit of a risk.”

2. Focus on change and restructure first

During her 18 months as CMO at the AUB Group, Lyons has faced the challenge of organisational change and diversification head-on by first focusing on the journey, before tackling the brand.

“This is a very difficult exercise, especially given the stakeholders we have,” she said. “We have a lot of investors and analysts and it is really important for them to understand the full repertoire. Ultimately, it required a lunchtime discussion to say we’ve reached tipping point, we’ve diversified enough now, and from a marketing perspective, it is time to revisit representing our brand correctly.”

Lyons presented the rebranding strategy to the board of directors and showed them that it presented minimal risk and was a positive step in the organisation’s growth. She also showcased what the rebranding would actually look like.

“Then internally, from a culture perspective, the organisation changes very rapidly and with that comes a lot of change,” she added. “This is one more change we had to put into the mix.

“But our staff sense that it is really the next era for our organisation. They’re a lot more excited about it now, because they can affiliate themselves with the organisation’s vision that we have been talking about for two years.”

3. Patience and timing are key

According to Lyons, there is a time for everything and while some things may seem quite logical from a marketing perspective, it might not be the most optimal time for the organisation to go through change.

“We waited to pick the most optimal time, and obviously I would have loved to have rolled out the rebranding even sooner, but now it makes sense for us,” she said.

Lyons advising waiting until the time is right to make the biggest impact.

“You’ll see larger organisations do this very well, especially if they have a large project team behind the hard changeover,” she said. “From an internal perspective, it’s also important to do the hard changeover and engage staff all the way.”

Lyons said the team spent three months getting everyone to understand what the new brand is, what it stands for, getting them excited and ready for the change.

“That way they, also feel involved and engaged,” she added. “It’s important never to forget people as part of the rebranding shift.”

4. Engage brand ambassadors

To ensure a smooth and seamless transition, Lyons said the AUB Group engaged fantastic ambassadors from various technical functions, who ensured a lot of the testing was done before it became effective

“It’s been a lot of work, but it’s been very smooth,” she said. “We’ve been receiving a very good response both internally and externally on what we’ve done.”

5. Having a global vision

With the AUB Group having equity and a 50:50 shareholding in about 75 businesses internationally, Lyons said the next phase for the organisation is to apply its strategic marketing thinking to these businesses.

“It’s about trying to help them grow by applying more group-wide marketing thinking,” she said. “We’re currently in pilot to expand this out on a bigger scale. It’s all about growth now, so it’s fair to say we have our house in order. We look, we feel and are represented as one organisation and one group, so now it’s a real focus on essentially the bottom line.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Launch marketing council Episode 5: Retailer and supplier

In our fifth and final episode, we delve into the relationship between retailer and supplier and how it drives and influences launch marketing strategies and success. To do that, we’re joined by Campbell Davies, group general manager of Associated Retailers Limited, and Kristin Viccars, marketing director A/NZ, Apex Tool Group. Also featured are Five by Five Global managing director, Matt Lawton, and CMO’s Nadia Cameron.

More Videos

Thanks for nice information regarding Account-based Marketing. PRO IT MELBOURNE is best SEO Agency in Melbourne have a team of profession...

PRO IT MELBOURNE

Cultivating engaging content in Account-based Marketing (ABM)

Read more

The best part: optimizing your site for SEO enables you to generate high traffic, and hence free B2B lead generation. This is done throug...

Sergiu Alexei

The top 6 content challenges facing B2B firms

Read more

Nowadays, when everything is being done online, it is good to know that someone is trying to make an improvement. As a company, you are o...

Marcus

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

Check out tiny twig for comfy and soft organic baby clothes.

Morgan mendoza

Binge and The Iconic launch Inactivewear clothing line

Read more

NetSuite started out as a cloud-based provider of Enterprise Resource Planning software or as NetSuite solution provider, which companies...

talalyousaf

NetSuite to acquire Bronto's digital marketing platform for US$200m

Read more

Blog Posts

Getting privacy right in a first-party data world

With continued advances in marketing technology, data privacy continues to play catchup in terms of regulation, safety and use. The laws that do exist are open to interpretation and potential misuse and that has led to consumer mistrust and increasing calls for a stronger regulatory framework to protect personal information.

Furqan Wasif

Head of biddable media, Tug

​Beyond greenwashing: Why brands need to get their house in order first

Environmental, Social and (Corporate) Governance is a hot topic for brands right now. But before you start thinking about doing good, Craig Flanders says you best sort out the basics.

Craig Flanders

CEO, Spinach

​The value of collaboration: how to keep it together

Through the ages, from the fields to the factories to the office towers and now to our kitchen tables, collaboration has played a pivotal role in how we live and work. Together. We find partners, live as families, socialise in groups and work as teams. Ultimately, we rely on these collaborative structures to survive and thrive.

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in