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 adviser 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. Brightway’s owners knew that PR – not advertising – builds great brands and reputations.
– David Miller, Brightway Insurance
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 insurance industry 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 PR campaign grew with it. The PR efforts 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 PR 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 CarInsurance.com, Entrepreneur, Fox Business, Franchise Business Review, Franchise Update Magazine, Insurance Business Review, insuranceQuotes.com, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, PropertyCasulty360, The Miami Herald, Insurance Journal, and Smart Business Magazine – as well as numerous television appearances of 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.
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, its 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 led to more than a five-time return on investment based on media exposure alone. At that time, Brightway Insurance had 39 offices. Today, it has more than 100 locations with plans to double that number in the near future.
Axia earned an article in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine featuring Brightway Insurance as one of the top eight franchise opportunities in America. Soon other news sources, including Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, and World News Network, picked up the same article and published it. The response was tremendous, and an early count showed that 38 qualified franchisee candidate participants came to Brightway Insurance from the Kiplinger’s magazine story. 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 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 to No. 1 in the nation, Axia Public Relations will be there to celebrate, having been by its side every step of the way.
- PR Firm increases Brightway Insurance's call volume by 300%
- PR firm’s pitch leads to national coverage and new location for franchise