For more than seven years, Brightway Insurance has enjoyed 50 percent year-over-year organic growth and significant value from investing in Axia Public Relations to build its brand – an investment that has helped propel the company from a locally-owned startup to a nationally emerging brand in insurance franchising with more than 100 unique insurance stores nationwide.
Brightway Insurance was a startup independent insurance agency with only one location when a trusted advisor referred its partners to the experts at Axia Public Relations. Brightway’s founders wanted to tell their story and build their emerging brand. A startup with big goals, Brightway chose Axia Public Relations because it was confident the PR firm could immediately impact Brightway’s growth and could scale with the company as it became a major player in the independent insurance agency arena, and because its owners knew that PR – not advertising – builds great brands and reputations.
Axia’s public relations plan for the startup began with a local campaign focused on building Brightway’s brand recognition and status as an expert in its own backyard, positioning Brightway Insurance’s CEO as a thought-leader and innovator in the business while educating consumers on important insurance tips and public safety topics.
Brightway’s increased visibility and unique offering soon brought increased growth, and as Brightway expanded statewide, Axia’s public relations plan grew with it. The PR campaign expanded into the insurance industry trade media, focusing on sharing the news of Brightway Insurance’s fast growth and unique Florida-focused independent insurance agency model during a period of consecutive busy and high-profile hurricane seasons that caused most insurance companies to exit Florida.
From there, as Brightway continued to expand, so did Axia’s public relations campaign. The PR firm included consumer and business media throughout the Southeast and national franchise media as Brightway began to expand beyond Florida.
With its broad list of national contacts, Axia adjusted the PR campaign’s course, utilizing the firm’s influence with local, state, regional and national media outlets as the insurance company’s image and size grew organically at a rate of 50 percent year-over-year for five consecutive years.
Today, the public relations campaign continues nationwide, attracting new franchisees and consumers to Brightway Insurance’s unique business model, which offers the most options and carriers as well as exceptional customer service and business practices.
Successful coverage saw Brightway Insurance become a thought-leader in the franchise and insurance industries at both the regional and national levels. News coverage in outlets like Entrepreneur, Franchise Business Review, Franchise Update, Kiplinger, The Insurance Journal, Miami Herald and Smart Business – as well as numerous television appearances by Brightway executives – helped share the company’s unique independent insurance agency store model and its franchising opportunities with audiences across the country and in targeted industry and geographic markets nationally.
In January 2009, when State Farm exited Florida as a home insurance carrier, Axia posited Brightway Insurance, at the time a Florida-focused independent insurance agency, as the expert solution for abandoned customers. Brightway’s then COO Michael Miller, one of Brightway’s founders, reported to Axia that after the earned media coverage from Axia’s public relations campaign, their inbound call center call volume increased 300 percent for a two week period with Florida consumers seeking reliable homeowners insurance from the independent insurance agency. This lead to more than a five times return on investment in news coverage alone. At that time, Brightway Insurance had 39 offices. Today, it has more than 100 with plans for 200 in the near future.
This media coverage generated even more awareness, more consumers, more policies sold and more franchisees.
Once a one-store, obscure startup, now a national growth-driven rising star and respected insurance store franchise, Brightway Insurance looks forward to achieving its goals and reaching its full potential for many years to come. With no end to its expansion in sight, Brightway Insurance is well on its way to becoming the nation’s largest independent insurance agency and continues to count on Axia Public Relations as its agency of record for the entire journey.
When Brightway completes its journey from one-store startup to number one in the nation, Axia Public Relations will be there to celebrate, having been by its side every step of the way.
“Axia Public Relations plays a valuable role in positively publicizing and promoting Brightway Insurance’s growth across Florida and the Southeast.”
– David Miller, Brightway Insurance
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