Brand overhaul from Jacknife helps TruShield insurance attract new customers and build relationships

Case Study by Michael Richardson RGD, Partner / Creative Director at Jacknife


Small business insurance provider TruShield needed a brand overhaul to create a more appealing, consistent and systematic offering to cut through a noisy, highly commoditized market. Jacknife introduced a new visual identity to help them attract new customers and create more meaningful relationships with small business owners. 


In a very cluttered market, a well considered and consistently applied visual identity can help a challenger brand such as TruShield gain consumer recognition quickly and effectively. Clearly defined brand guidelines also make it easier to ensure that if any other partners need to create communications pieces, they will be consistently delivered as well.


Jacknife employed our strategic process which involved conducting stakeholder interviews, mining TruShield consumer research, taking part in small business owner discovery sessions and conducting an extensive audit of the brand and the insurance category, with a focus on direct-to-consumer and small business.

Among the insights that informed the design direction, we found that entrepreneurs and small business owners are all-consumed and focused on running their business. They value information and advice which comes to them from trusted sources like close family, business partners, reliable suppliers, peers and mentors, yet when it comes to insuring their business they are hesitant about who to trust and how to make the right decisions. Many believe that their personal coverage will suffice and in some cases, there exists a low awareness and low urgency for the need to insure their business at all. 


Based on these insights, we developed a brand narrative rooted in the notion of “Here For What’s To Come.” At its core, the new branding is focused on relationship-building, inspired by TruShield’s desire to be recognized as the small business insurance company that focuses on building strong long term relationships with small business owners by taking every opportunity to earn their trust along the path to growth and success.


With the narrative established, we developed a master brand platform which included defining core values and brand personality and providing guidelines for expressing the brand. The visual identity is boldly simple and clean, helping to convey trust and confidence, while the tonal expression of the brand is empathetic, direct and honest to establish an emotional connection and cut through the clutter of typical insurance-speak. We ensured that the design connected back to the main idea by creating a system that provides clarity and direction balanced with unexpectedly delightful and business owner-relatable moments throughout the customer experience, regardless of touch point.


Over the course of developing the new identity, we looked at many, many concepts internally and ultimately about a dozen different options were presented to client. Through the process, the client provided lots of helpful feedback at each stage of development which impacted the final design direction.



For the final design direction, Jacknife created a new icon featuring interconnected elements to represent a strong shield of protection. The icon functioned as a unifying element across all communications and artfully captured the essence of the TruShield brand values.


To further stand out in the market we visually positioned TruShield with a bright, fresh and friendly colour palette. With the addition of modern typography, featuring subtle round edges, we developed a look that is a distinct departure from the staid and conventional branding typical of the insurance sector. 


To support and amplify the new brand identity and messaging we crafted the “Cover Your Ass” digital campaign consisting of a microsite, two video spots and digital ads to help launch the brand in the GTA with a splash.



Working closely with our media partners, Jacknife additionally developed a strategy that delivered tailored experiences to consumers and worked with our audience’s media habits to ensure business owners connect with TruShield on a powerful and meaningful level.


To further enrich the program we created a comprehensive social media guide, which helped the TruShield marketing team apply recommended practices consistently to support the campaign and continue to build relationships with customers post-launch.


The campaign delivered a staggering 14,477,436 impressions between April and June of 2017, over-indexing the original target by 136%.



Designer Takeaways

  1. Spend time studying and understanding the competitive landscape so that you can determine ways in which to differentiate your client’s brand.
  2. Listen carefully to your client’s feedback and value the knowledge they bring to the table. Although they may not be design experts, they will certainly have a wealth of knowledge about their business and the category in which it exists.


Client Takeaways

  1. Encourage your design partners to challenge your assumptions - an outsider’s POV is a valuable resource. Don’t be afraid to explore the unexpected.
  2. Give it time. Although an identity may seem like a simple thing to some, it takes time to do it well. Listen to your design partners when they present timing. They want to ensure the process is executed properly.