Case Study

How we helped an insurance company climb 78 spots in the Fortune 500

A twenty-billion-dollar company, Auto-Owners Insurance markets its property, casualty and life products in 26 states exclusively through a network of independent agents. 

The Challenge

A product sold and serviced by a 3rd party

As they approached their 100-Year Anniversary, Auto-Owners Insurance looked for a way to elevate awareness among consumers while reinforcing the stability and reliability of their independent agents.

The Strategy

A story that touches the sole

We decided to lean into Auto-Owner’s community-oriented sales model by juxtaposing its massive scale and national footprint, with the promise of a superior local service model rooted in local communities across the US.

By personifying Auto-Owners’ commitment to hyper-local customer service and empathy, we found their voice and rooted the brand’s essence in something that would have universal appeal.

The Results

A brand rooted in scale and trust

Beyond providing a new template for how Auto-Owners would position itself in the marketplace, the business results speak for themselves in terms of sustained growth, brand loyalty and brand evangelism.

  • Climbed 78 spots on the Fortune 500
  • Revenues topping $8 Billion
  • #1 in Customer Satisfaction by JD Power & Associates for 5+ years
years and counting
$ 1
Billion in assets
# 1
in Fortune 500



Nobody wants insurance. What they want is peace of mind. But people don’t trust huge corporations. So as Auto-Owners climbed the Fortune 500, it became difficult to connect with the average person.

People trust people. Most notably, their neighbors.

This was the cultural insight we tapped into.

We stripped the brand of traditional “insurance speak” and instead built storytelling from the perspective of friends, neighbors and confidants who genuinely care, because that is the value proposition of Auto-Owners Insurance.

We began by crafting a new positioning statement that would reframe the conversation:

“The quality of your independent agent and the company that stands behind them” 

Beginning with Auto-Owners’ 100-Year Anniversary celebration, we systematically repositioned the brand, one campaign at a time.

We devised a new template for brand storytelling, showing local agents as real-life, everyday heroes who were always there, always going above and beyond to meet the needs of policyholders.

AOI Campaign Highlights

The new tagline became a rallying cry for the brand, reflected in all marketing, operations and customer service. Messaging was delivered across TV, digital, OOH and collateral.

Below are some of our most successful campaigns:

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AOI "Fire"
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AOI "Disaster"
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AOI "Holiday"

By repositioning Auto-Owners Insurance as a brand rooted in the wellbeing of its customers, we have helped drive both revenues and profits to historic levels and enabled Auto-Owners to leapfrog 78 companies on the Fortune 500, while earning recognition as one of the country's most respected corporations.

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