Case study - Design and content

Edge Group

What they said

Our brand and reputation lag our capability in the Marine Insurance market where everyone knows everyone. We want you to apply your design expertise - against the context of our strategy - to help us rebrand our company and create content that reflects our new brand and fits our aspirations to lead this sector.

Edge has grown by creating strategic alliances in the major marine insurance markets of the world and has full service operations in Norway, Denmark, Germany, the UK, Athens and Singapore. In 2016 it acquired and merged its partners together into Edge Group, a new global entity. 

Our challenge was to create a new brand identity and guidelines, quickly followed by a new annual report and supporting corporate materials that would excite the leaders of each formerly separate entity, give them all collective ownership and pride, and inspire them to raise their game under a new flag.

What we did

We looked in depth at every competitor, finding some of the most formidable corporate entities in the City. 'Big Insurance’ is huge. Edge is not. And herein lies its strength. Big Insurance adds marine and trade risk - Edge’s specialty - to a long list of insurances most of which are high volume algorithm-led actuarial tasks. Marine is different and we felt that Edge’s specialist experience should be the root of their brand identity just as it is their competitive advantage. 

We created a mantra ‘without us, ships could not sail and trade could not happen’ which told us we should look to the sea for inspiration, and so we did. Its colours, its restlessness, its relentless movement led us to create a new identity which we applied to a new website (which we designed), office signage, corporate materials, a new Annual Report and more besides. 

We worked with the board to define a clear tone of voice far removed from traditional corporate-speak (and much easier to translate into foreign languages). We made the new annual report and other sales materials much easier to read. 

What happened next

We ran workshops for the board and wider management team to launch the new brand and explain the reasons why we had arrived at our particular solution. We set the learning against the context of the new strategic narrative (which we co-created with the board).

It’s early days yet, but staff and clients have been very positive, posting comments like ‘it feels like we’ve achieved critical mass’ and ‘I now know I work for a great, international company’… exactly the impression we were trying to create in Edge offices and in the wider market.

'Before this, we were a loose federation of experts serving clients in our own efficient, but different ways. Now we have reshaped our identity as a business so that we present ourselves as a unified global brand of significant stature. More importantly, our behaviours as leaders in our business have evolved such that we now live up to the brand. 

The way we now look has clearly eased our access to and response from the financial and other markets. In addition, the strategic narrative has become our bible helping to form corporate behaviour, drive reorganisation – and probably most importantly – our product development. This work has not only improved the look and feel of our brand, but the operation of our business' said our client.

What we learned

We were initially concerned that the compressed timeframes of this project would combine with territorial and cultural differences to lead is to a lowest common denominator solution. Our fears proved unfounded… the common element of the sea was interpreted differently across Edge offices but united by our design work.

The power of simple words directly expressed appealed to the Nordic partners especially and was more readily understood and interpreted by Greeks, Germans and the South East Asian operations. 

Launching the new brand in multiple markets across multiple materials and channels simultaneously worked to our advantage in the sense that there was no time for reflection and nit-picking. We presented our design and content as work in progress always with the promise that we could revisit and amend. That said, since launch, we have revisited but not amended. We continue to apply the identity across a widening range of materials and so far have not found anything on which it looks out of place.