Passing the local HBF branch on the weekend, I noticed a change in their branding. The big, bulky, capital letter HBF brand has been replaced with a flowing, lower case version, accompanied by a distinctly feminine and friendly, corporate style.

I find this change quite interesting. For years, HBF have been trying to create themselves as this warm, fuzzy, corporate organisation – literally, through the HBF bear. This did work, to some degree, but every time you looked back to their logo, you got the same unfriendly, corporate vibe. Maybe it’s the acronym; in its own subtle and subconscious way it says to the consumer – ‘I’m big, I can charge what I want, and not care about you’.

HBF then went on to introduce their latest campaign, the rather humorous ‘live life well’ approach. It shows average people doing average things, but being healthy and active, nevertheless. It says to me that HBF care about their members, and respect them for who they are. Still, only until recently, the gawdy, aggressive HBF brand loomed above it all like a dictator on his proverbial throne.

Now finally, I think HBF have taken their image change to the level it should have been a long time ago. The colours are warmer, lighter and cleaner. The brand sits within their outlets (as a central piece at eye level on their glass windows) rather than above them; a subtle yet powerful gesture to the consumer – it doesn’t look down on you, but rather stands next to you. It is a brand you can associate with and warm to – it has a personality.

So well done HBF; for embracing the female and the human side to personal insurance – it doesn’t have to be a daunting, scary, and painful task. All I can say is that I sincerely hope that your customer service matches these new consumer promises, otherwise it may be valuable money and resources down the drain.