Case Study

Redefining the AXA brand

12 pages
April 2010
Reference: IMD-5-0757

The case describes how AXA, a global insurance company headquartered in Paris, France, defined and implemented its new brand in May 2008. This is exactly 3 years after CEO Henri de Castries launched the initiative “Ambition 2012” aimed at doubling revenues and tripling underlying earnings between 2004 and 2012 and turning AXA into “the preferred company” in financial protection. In order to become “preferred” among consumers; AXA needed to differentiate itself from its competitors. But, the brand attributes – including the signature “Be Life Confident” – didn’t seem to be totally up to it. In 2007-2008, Claude Brunet, AXA’s Chief Operating Officer, led a project to investigate and reinforce the brand. He strengthened marketing through the creation of a Group marketing department reporting to him which was responsible for strategic marketing and customer insight, offer and innovation, customer programs and quality of service, distribution, and brand and advertising. The voices of executives, customers and employees were then thoroughly analyzed. This fed the AXA Brand Spirit, a multidisciplinary task force made responsible for proposing action to the management board. The research concluded that the three main core attributes for AXA were “available”, “attentive”, and “reliable”. The AXA Brand Spirit decided AXA ought to “continuously work to prove it is worth trusting”. This meant exiting the “land of promise” and settling into a “land of proof”. This would be the spirit of the new signature “redefining / standards”. The new AXA brand was launched internally on May 27, 2008 with a worldwide online forum in which 55,000 employees participated.

Learning Objective

Brand management is more than designing a new logo and creating a new value proposition. The case shows the importance of building emotional momentum within a service organization and using brand management as a catalyst for a deeper cultural change. A teaching note for this case is currently being prepared and will be available by Summer 2010.

Brand Management, Brand Strategy, Change Management, Corporate Culture, Customer Feedback, Customer Orientation, Emotional Momentum, Employee Forum, Insurance, Proof Execution, Proof Strategy
Global, France
AXA Group, Finance and Insurance
Field Research
© 2010
Available Languages
Related material
Teaching note, Video
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