At the beginning of 2020, we set out on a rebranding journey to discover, reflect on, and evaluate our purpose as a brand. It was a company-wide effort, with dynamic duo, Mai and Masha, leading the way.
How did the idea of rebranding come about?
Digital Risks set out in 2015 with a bold ambition: to bring an age-old model of small business insurance into the modern era. A model that, from our founders’ personal experience, was proving unfit for the needs of modern businesses. This called for the inception of Digital Risks: business insurance built for modern risks, the way people want to buy, transact and engage.
Since then, our company’s scope and capability has grown beyond catering for just digital risks. With rapid scaling amongst a variety of trades across both in the digital and physical worlds, we’ve become a trusted insurance provider for small businesses across all sectors, and we needed our brand and identity to better reflect this.
What was the brief?
We worked with the branding consultancy Siegel+Gale. The process kicked off with a workshop for the consultancy to clarify our business objectives, ambitions and future plans with the rebranding, and to agree the process and ways of working. This was complemented by a series of internal stakeholders interviews across underwriting and broking, product, technology, data, marketing, partnerships and customer success, to deepen their understanding of the business insurance ecosystem, of our product and our experience. The objective of the rebranding was to translate our purpose into a new name and new visual and verbal identity that better resonates with all SMEs of all sizes, whatever their goals and regardless of their business type.
We needed a brand that would help us to express what we stand for and what makes us truly different. As a team, we have a real passion and drive to create the best product in the business insurance world, therefore, the groundwork around our purpose and values was one of the most important parts of the brief, as it creates a foundation from which to support our awesome team and culture.
What did the process behind forming an identity look like?
I was keen to go with an immersive and iterative process that involved our founders at key stages, to ensure that all along we stayed true to their vision. Given our purpose, I wanted to ensure the output was grounded in real insight into our audience of small businesses by running an in-depth piece of customer research, which output was foundational to the development of the new brand.The project was structured into sprints concluded by key milestones, and including a number of interactive workshops. Each meeting was thought-provoking, and we had lots of fun along the way too!
The most unusual part of the process was that we had to do a bunch of creative workshops with business owners. At the beginning, I was a bit sceptical of what that could look like, but it’s usually the most exciting part of the process, during which everyone gets to think outside the box and come up with brilliant ideas from the most unexpected places. It worked! I am super pleased that together with Siegel+Gale we created a brand with such a beautiful identity, grounded in strategic insight. It’s got the brains and the looks!
How did you go about choosing a new name?
Choosing a new name is a big decision. A name for your business, is the first conversation with your audience. Whether you want to engage your target customers into your business, or whether it’s to pitch it to investors, it’s often where it all starts. Hence, it’s important to be open, think broad, look ahead, but above all, take your time when going through a naming process.
Hundreds of names were generated, based on the various themes we had brainstormed: freedom, empowerment/enablement, progress, thriving, protection, staying ahead, ambitions were amongst the themes. For each theme, they came up with a range of names including abstract names, coined words, real words, contractions and compounds. A pre-trademark screening eliminated many of them.
Still, we ended up with a nice shortlist to choose from. We wanted a name that was modern, universal, punchy and bold yet sophisticated, but above all, a name that stands out in the world of insurance as different. It had to break the mould. It had to set us apart. We loved Superscript for these reasons, and also because it had so much meaning, and embodied our whole purpose and reason for being.
The remarkable growth we have experienced was achieved by putting our customers’ needs first and living by our purpose: we’ve always believed that risks make better business, which is why we’ve built insurance that embraces those that make it happen, clearing the way for people to go all in.
So changing our name to Superscript is a figurative way to elevate our customers and their needs, to give them the freedom to do what they do best. Superscript embodies our ambition to raise the bar on how insurance should work for SMEs, as we champion their ambitions, however big or small.
How did you communicate the rebranding to stakeholders?
From the outset, key stakeholders were made aware of our intention to rebrand, and the reasons why. It was then simply a matter of keeping them up to date with our progress. I made sure they were on board with our brand purpose and manifesto. I took them on the journey, and revealed the new name packaged up with its new visual and verbal branding. Our employees are our biggest brand ambassadors, and so it was essential to have them engage with the rebranding. In fact, many of them were involved in the agency discovery process of internal interviews.
We updated the team on our progress after every sprint. Our company ‘All Hands’ were a good forum for these regular updates: from the customer insight, articulation of our brand purpose and manifesto, to the brand idea, name, verbal expression and visual identity, they were engaged every step of the way. The big reveal was a big moment for me. I felt nervous delivering it remotely on a video call while in lockdown, but was thrilled to receive positive feedback across departments: the name, its meaning and its identity resonated and enthused everyone.
There were a couple of times throughout the project when the wider team helped us see things differently, and we took their feedback on board. However, we did work really hard to make sure that our values and purpose truly expressed who we are as a team and that’s probably why the buy-in was so easy! It was definitely a positive decision to share our thinking along the way - and ties in well with the next stage of this process: to continue building engagement between the team and our brand.
What challenges did you come across and what advice would you give, based on these experiences?
To me, the biggest challenge in a process like this is to limit input, as having too many opinions invariably leads to indecision. We made the conscious decision to keep the core team tight internally (our two co-founders, myself and our Brand Manager, Masha). While the wider team was informed of the progress throughout, decision-making at each step of the process sat with the four of us.
I also think it’s important to not over-intellectualise every aspect of the brand work, and to follow your instincts, especially when it comes to naming. I don’t think the right name would have come out of a checklist; ultimately it was a combination of meaning, feeling and intuition.
The biggest challenge was to make sure that the brand felt honest and true to who we are: to package up everything that’s make us who we are into one coherent story. Everyone needs to own the brand, not just the marketing team! Being collaborative as a wider team has definitely helped a lot. Many times, we found ourselves asking: does it actually sound like us or does it just sound good?
What were your favourite moments?
My two best moments were first when the trademark search for our shortlist of three names came back clear for one of them… which was also our favourite. This was a mix of relief in that at least one of them was clear for us to use, with the satisfaction that we didn’t have to compromise on the second best option.
The second one was when the new brand was revealed to the Board - who loved it. The presentation generated overwhelmingly positive reactions. The Board was fully supportive of the new name and branding and as eager as I was to bring it to market.
Sharing creative work was one of my favourite parts of the process and of course nothing compares to the launch day! So much hard work and anticipation. A huge thank you to the team who made this possible!