Celebrating the past with eyes to the future

How The Hartford puts the customer at the center of a centuries-old company

For insurance companies, the struggle to bring a human element into their business and culture is nothing new. The Hartford faced this dilemma as the company grew exponentially and ultimately became hampered by its inside-out corporate style.

Using a customer-centered brand strategy crafted in partnership with Tenet Partners, the company set the stage for a dramatic shift. Starting with financial communications and sponsorship of the NCAA, a fresh approach was developed to bring customers, and their personal stories, to the fore.

Creating a people-to-people experience

As the new brand personality was embraced by the organization, a larger effort to redesign the website and intranet began. The first step was to rethink the information architecture with a more human-centered design and emphasis on ease-of-use.

Based on user input, the site was divided into two categories: one for business customers and the other for individuals and families. These two areas were then better able to focus on the specific needs of two very different targets. The combination of visual elements and interface design significantly improved the site’s usability. It also had a positive result of increasing customer satisfaction and drawing more traffic.

Celebrating a rich history

In 2010, The Hartford refreshed its corporate brand positioning and identity to better reflect its move to become more customer friendly. The program helped launch the celebration of the firm’s 200-year anniversary.

Very few brands can boast such a rich history. In business since 1810, The Hartford was there for the Chicago Fire and the San Francisco earthquake, bonded construction of the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge, and stood by customers through the Civil War, the Great Depression and two World Wars.

Our research revealed that The Hartford’s customers, brokers and agents considered the 200-year milestone a meaningful achievement that deserved recognition.

With customer brand research as the foundation, Tenet looked closely at the evolution of The Hartford Stag, the symbol of the company’s brand as far back as 1861.

Without diminishing the current promise of strength and stability, Tenet’s design team created a commemorative bicentennial logo that evokes The Hartford’s promise of empathy, expertise and enduring values. The bicentennial message – Trusted 200 Years – speaks to the company’s enduring relationship with customers.

To accompany the new logo, Tenet developed a dynamic visual system. The Hartford’s new visual identity creates a more meaningful experience for future generations of customers.

The design system – and its unique templates and toolkits – gave business units the flexibility they were looking for to tailor their communications to their distinct audiences without sacrificing corporate unity.

Headquarters 11 West 42nd Street
Penthouse Floors 31/32
New York, NY 10036
212 329-3030

Kansas City
San Francisco

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