Did you grow up eating a certain brand of peanut butter or using the same brand of toothpaste all the time? I did. And if you did too, are you still loyal to a particular product regardless of the cost or convenience?
It's easy to think of brand names when it comes to tangible products like food, clothing and cars, but what does "brand" mean to you and how does it apply when you think about the corporate and financial world of re/insurance? Is it the ease of doing business, financial strength, integrity or transparency? Is it loyalty to a certain company, product or person regardless of the cost or policy coverage? In my view, it should be some combination of these factors, but on a broader level – it's a promise to provide and sustain financial stability.
I've worked in the reinsurance world for many years – the last 19 for Swiss Re, one of the largest reinsurance companies in the world – and I've come to value the brand my company represents. Our brand, or promise, is built on the foundation of these points above (financial strength, integrity and ease of doing business), which guides how we act and communicate daily in driving our vision and mission.
Just as we invest in our clients and technology, Swiss Re invests in our people and talent development. While there are training classes, development courses and job rotations, I've also had the opportunity to participate in a group call the Emerging Leaders Council (ELC), a think tank of future leaders who provide idea generation and vetting for senior management. Our group of 15 colleagues meets every other month, and we discuss a wide range of self-generated and management-generated topics. The goal of this council is to form an environment to provide networking, working relationships and exposure to other areas within the firm, to broaden the communication channels between leadership and top talent, to create a place for thought innovation and to contribute to the firm's strategic direction.
The ELC represents the brand and promise of Swiss Re, where the investments in talent development and thought leadership go beyond the tag lines.
As 2015 comes to a close and you contemplate your 2016 New Year's resolutions, consider what your company brand and/or personal brand is – or will be. We'd love to hear your thoughts.
Happy New Year!
Location: Armonk, NY, United States