Ask someone familiar with branding this question, and they will explain a person’s or organization’s name conveys a brand. Good, bad, or unfamiliar, names convey a brand. Donald Trump and Colin Powell. Two very different brands. Ritz Carlton and Hotel 6. Again, two distinctly different brands. Coke and Pepsi. Two brands that are quite similar. John Public and Mary Doe? Nothing — I don’t know them either. Now, consider these two prominent insurance companies: Ace and Chubb. I view Ace and Chubb as very similar and very different.
Among the ways Ace and Chubb are very similar: financial performance. According to Fitch Ratings: “For the five-year period 2010-2014, ACE’s average consolidated GAAP combined ratio was 91 and the operating return on equity was 12 percent. Chubb’s average combined ratio and operating return on equity for the same period was 91 and 13 percent, respectively.” That’s pretty similar.
Among the ways Ace and Chubb are very different: how their brands are perceived. Says Ace Chairman and CEO Evan Greenberg: “The combined global operation will operate under the Chubb name, an acknowledgement of the distinctiveness and recognition of its brand, particularly in the U.S.”
Recognizing the importance of “what’s in a name”, Ace, the acquiring company, has shown the wisdom of moving forward using the acquired company’s brand. Ace will re-brand as Chubb, the ultimate compliment. Those who question the importance and value of a brand should take note — and believe in the power of the Chubb brand.