Mark Gromek is the Chief Marketing & Underwriting Officer for Builders, a regional leader in property and casualty insurance and trusted partner for builders and small businesses of all kinds since 1992. When he started at Builders, he immediately recognized the need to define the company’s identity, driving greater focus and clarity around the brand.
“We were sitting on a goldmine of what I would consider best-in-class underwriting and claims management, and we weren’t talking about it,” said Mark. “We needed to define who we were and what we stood for so we could tell a clear and consistent story about our company.” Mark was prepared to leverage the brand in a way it hadn’t been leveraged before, putting people at the center and giving meaning to everyday actions.
Using market research to establish a new brand position
Mark took the lead on convincing the Executive Team and Board of Directors that a rebrand would help their business as they shifted focus to writing policies for industries outside of construction and broadened their market position. Changes in corporate branding and identity would support this transformation from both an operations and communications standpoint.
The first step in this journey was conducting market research, which brought forth three very important insights:
Following research, the team and their boutique creative agency, based out of Marietta, GA, began to define a new logo, visual identity, and marketing communications approach. As a result of the strategic branding work, they decided to shorten the name from “Builders Insurance Group” to“Builders” to align with the organizational changes and market expansion. They updated the logo to balance strength with approachability, creating an appealing design system that visualized what it means to be “built strong.”
Bringing the entire organization along the journey
During the rebranding process, a new CEO was brought on board. “Our new CEO had a strong vision of where we were going, and we saw the opportunity to further align our brand with that vision as we moved toward launch,” Mark said. He knew executive buy-in was critical to the brand's success along with internal buy-in from management and frontline leaders. Builders focused on internal education and engagement to bring people into the fold and feel connected with the new brand. They did this by communicating early and often, showing them how market research drove brand changes and launching an internal teaser campaign to get people excited about what was to come. “Because we got leaders on board and built out a sophisticated internal communications plan, it was one of the easier change management initiatives I’ve been a part of,” noted Mark.
Mark’s team also deployed the “I’m a builder” campaign which highlighted their people by sharing what clients and internal teams were saying about them. “This was an incredibly powerful and personal way to get people onboard. It wasn’t about marketing, it was about infusing our brand into our organization and showcasing how our people bring to life expertise, flexibility, and stability, every day. This continues with employee recognition efforts like the Built Strong award to reinforce these brand pillars and create muscle memory,” said Mark.
Emphasizing brand integrity during the roll-out process
When it came to implementing the brand, there was emphasis placed on protecting the brand investment and ensuring everyone understood the importance of using the new brand in a consistent way. First, Mark’s team focused on communicating why the brand had changed, how it reflected market research insights around expertise, flexibility, and stability, and how it supported the company’s vision. Second, a comprehensive set of brand guidelines helped ensure people were using the brand in correct ways and protecting against distortion. Third, they updated everything the brand touched, including branded environments with the correct colors and design elements, to demonstrate commitment and inclusivity.
“We wanted to walk the walk and help people feel a part of the brand,” said Mark, “and we did.” Nothing was compromised when it came to upholding brand integrity.
What it takes to succeed
When we asked Mark what he considered key to Builder’s rebrand success, he noted:
Tell us about your rebrand
We were excited to speak with Mark and learn from his experience as a part of our Tell Us About Your Rebrand series. If you’ve recently gone through a rebrand, no matter what industry, we’d love to hear about it. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts and stories.