My name’s Wendy Instrell and I’m a brand manager at the Direct Line Group.
My particular role is to look after the Churchill and brand positionings to make sure, however the company communicates and talks about our brands its stays true to what the overall brand promise is and the positioning we’ve set for those brands.
In the five years that I’ve worked at Direct Line Group I’ve had exposure to different things, from strategic brand planning to event planning to exposure to the commercial side of the business. People from all round the business come and we discuss all the issues, it gives you a real, wide sense of how this business operates rather than just working on your own, in your own silos.
We have different brand positions, those stand for different things, and as a brand team we want to get those positionings totally bought into all the way through the business and through the customer journey. You might have sales staff answering the phone for Churchill one moment, Direct Line the next, and it’s really challenging to be able to show that differentiation when they’ve got to switch between the brands.
When I’ve pushed for something to be done in a different way, actually quite recently, working with the teams developing scripts for our different IVRs, those quite annoying machines, when people phone up and they go through and its “press one for this, press two for this”. What I really wanted was to be able to differentiate the tone of voice for Direct Line and Churchill within that to show that actually, the brands are different and they behave in a different way. So that’s something that we’ve been able to make some changes, and push through.
When I’m out with my friends, or I’m meeting people for the first time and they ask “where do I work, what do I do?” and I say I work on Churchill, everybody knows Churchill, everybody knows the Churchill dog so it’s great that you can have the kind of rapport straight away, they’re recalling the advertising, they’re recalling, you know, the dog and the “Oh yes, Oh no” so its nice to have that common link straightaway and it does make me feel proud of working for brands that are as high profile as that.
“Let’s take the lead.” It just makes me really encouraged to be part of a company that’s so ambitious and wants to be leaders in the field. The culture really does feel likes its changing, its becoming more lively, more vibrant, people are more empowered to do things, we’ve got a great set of values that actually everybody in the company helped create, so it definitely feels like we’re on a journey to a more exciting place.