Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers recently rebranded itself as Mitch, with a new value proposition of “loveable insurance.” But what really goes behind the decision to change a brand, and what does it mean to make insurance “loveable”?
Helping steer this rebrand strategy is chief marketing officer Igor Bubic (pictured). Bubic joined what was then Mitchell & Whale in May 2021, bringing with him nearly two decades of experience in crafting marketing strategies.
While Bubic explained in a previous interview that “loveable insurance” is about being more engaging with customers, we sat down with him once more to talk about his involvement with the rebrand, the immediate challenges faced by Mitch, and how the brokerage is looking to forge more positive experiences with clients in order to truly become “loveable.”
Can you tell me about your role – and its key responsibilities?
I’m the chief marketing officer here at Mitch. It feels really good to say that. Our recent brand launch is the culmination of a year’s worth of work, which started when we were Mitchell & Whale. My role is to help our CEO, Adam Mitchell, grow the company into a $1 billion, top-20 brokerage by 2030.
For my part, that means driving our visibility not only through organic and paid leads but also through brand awareness. These will be a big part of my job in 2023. We just launched the foundations with a new brand of lovable insurance and a fresh and modern website – mitchinsurance.com. Some other key responsibilities for me will be product and geographic expansion, along with strategic partnerships.
What challenges and opportunities do you see for the insurance market in your region in 2022?
From the perspective of a scaling brokerage, amalgamation is one of the biggest challenges and an existential threat to all generalist P&C players, no matter if you’re a carrier or broker. Which leads me to the second challenge - scale. Whether you’re a smaller brokerage or carrier, it requires a large amount of capital and investment in a lot of unanticipated areas. Most smaller brokerages are not equipped or have the confidence to invest in marketing teams, robotic process automation, IT and technology, user experience, HR and more.
Conversely, if you take a risk there’s a huge opportunity to differentiate yourself through brand, service and overall customer experience. The industry is completely homogenous in its collective branding and in the way it delivers products and services. Spend an afternoon looking at carrier and brokerage sites across the country. It’s no wonder there’s a lot of consumer apathy and confusion. It’s nearly impossible to distinguish the value proposition from one insurance service to the next. There’s real opportunity to be different. We’re hoping to prove it.
What are some common challenges you are seeing being faced by your clients?
The biggest issue for customers, and where we fail them more broadly as an industry, is a lack of responsiveness. It’s the biggest pain point. It should also be the greatest focus area where we can win trust with our clients. Surveys and data show us that basics like picking up the phone and answering an email quickly are cornerstones to trust and loyalty.
Surprisingly, indicators are showing us that customers want a bit less technology coming out of COVID rather than more of it. Phones and the operational systems surrounding them are becoming critical. At the point of purchase, customers want clarity and assurance that they have the right product and protection. The pandemic has left everyone with residual uncertainty. We see this as an opportunity to deliver clarity and really live up to our value proposition as a brokerage and insurance distributor.
Tell us about the decision to rebrand Mitchell & Whale into Mitch. What does it mean to be a "lovable" insurance brokerage?
Lovable insurance is a promise of how we deliver our business to our customers and employees. From a customer perspective, everything about insurance is embedded with inherent fear or negativity. Consumers don’t understand the language of insurance, the products or the actuarial science of how rates are calculated and why they increase – even if they’ve never had a claim in their lives.
We’re aiming to take the anxiety out of buying insurance, make it an unexpectedly positive experience and provide transparency. Lovable insurance means that we will treat our customers with a high degree of empathy, care and transparency. More than that, we’re looking to deliver a genuine wow experience in every interaction people have with us.
On a more practical level, our research has shown that the biggest thing customers care about is speed of service and respect for their time. We’re looking to lead the industry in call response times. We’re also looking to deliver little to no lag in all our communication channels and touchpoints, whether it’s our website or social channels. It’s a key component of lovability. It may be the most important component.
What does Mitch plan to do in the months to come?
Our recent website launch is only the first phase. We’re in the middle of reimagining our online quoters and self-serve options, not only to give people the ability to compare coverages and quotes in a simple way, but also help them understand how their rates compare to their peers, and how they’re being “scored” as an insurance consumer. It’s one part of our focus on delivering transparent service.
Our social media channels are going to need a lot of attention in support of SEO and paid search. Social has a key role to play in increasing our visibility. While it may be atypical for our space, we want our brand of lovable insurance to be an influencer. We want to be thought leaders who can drive change for consumers through our subject matter authority, data insights and customer feedback while providing reciprocal outputs. Ultimately, we want to be a fearless and unwavering voice for public insurance and consumer good through kindness and advocacy.