Re-branding after an acquisition: Lessons from XL Catlin

Re-branding after an acquisition: Lessons from XL Catlin | Insurance Business

Re-branding after an acquisition: Lessons from XL Catlin
There is always a flurry of excitement following a takeover of another business; but understanding the value of that brand – and not losing clients in the process – is key to making the acquisition a success.

On May 1, Dublin-based XL Group completed the acquisition of Bermuda-based Catlin Group, officially joining their two global (re)insurance operations together and launching a new brand, XL Catlin, and unveiling a new logo and new display, digital and print advertising campaign.

“Our new brand and marketing campaign assumes features of both XL and Catlin’s personalities and our collective history as innovators,” says Elliott Bundy, XL Catlin’s chief communications & marketing officer. 

“In our industry’s sea of many blue and gray logos, XL Catlin is designed to stand out.”

XL Catlin’s new corporate logo uses black and cream, reflecting a combination of both companies’ legacy logos, says Bundy, with the colour cream having a special significance at Catlin, which was established as a Lloyd’s managing agency.

“Lloyd’s had historically provided correspondence on cream-coloured paper. That tradition was carried on by Catlin, and now XL Catlin, which manages Lloyd’s largest syndicate, will maintain that connection,” Bundy told Insurance Business

“At the same time, we’ve incorporated this history into the former XL brand, which was primarily black and white and was designed to both stand out as well as be a clear representation of what we view as the dual sides of underwriting, science/logic/math and  healthy dose of judgement.”

Another decision was to retain the ‘Make Your World Go’ tagline.

“Alone both XL and Catlin had strong reputations as specialty insurers, capable of handling businesses’ very complex risks,” says Bundy. “Together, we’re a specialty insurer with significant scale and global reach that’s ready to help our clients’ solve problems so that risks don’t stand in their way.

“That’s a bold intention and we’re backing it up with our advertising campaign – ‘Insurance for a Bold New World,’” continues Bundy. “Our ad campaign shows the industry that we’re an insurance/reinsurance company unlike any other.”

It is the bold use of colours and the creativity behind them that are crucial to XL Catlin’s branding, says Bundy.

“Our ads are creative and very bold – bearing bright pinks, blues, greens and more. They invite businesses to talk to us about their innovative ideas because we don’t want to just sell insurance,” he says, adding that “we want to collaborate with our clients to create insurance solutions for more familiar risks, the emerging ones and the ones we don’t even know about yet.