Reimagining a heritage brand in the face of change

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An Interview with InLife
Executive Chairman
Nina D. Aguas

Insular Life, an iconic Filipino brand, has entered its 108th year, and with it a refreshed look. Why did you see the need to change your corporate logo?

Even before I joined Insular Life, I had great respect for this Filipino company. When I became part of the Insular family in 2016 as its CEO, not only did I confirm its financial strength, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it has a young employee force, it is well advanced in its policy administration system, it has made inroads in the digital platform, its turnaround time for benefit payments is among the best (if not the best) in the industry, there is work-life balance, and a culture of respect for the individual.

As Insular Life is strong and durable, this gave us the cushion to pivot, introduce best practices, innovate and transform—something that we cannot do if the company were not standing on solid foundations. And so, we immediately created the road map for Insular Life’s dual transformation, that will enable us to revitalize today, while developing the business model of the future. In two short years, we have made headways in transforming our company into the high performing organization that we aim to be.

Thus, we deemed it necessary that as part of this transformation ambition, we refresh our brand identity, starting with the name: InLife. The refreshed brand will represent the new realities of our workforce, our products and services, and our distribution channels. It will represent our dynamism and capability to deliver insurance and financial solutions, as appropriate for our market and in a manner that is most convenient for them.

The new corporate logo uses vibrant colors, but it still uses the eagle as your icon. Can you share the story behind this?

Yes, we retained the Philippine Eagle as our icon because it is our connection to our Filipino heritage, as well as to our corporate heritage, as the eagle was the very first symbol used when the company was established in 1910. We took the creative license to make a vector image of the eagle to make it look younger and friendlier. The eagle with its keen eyes symbolizes courage, strength, and immortality. It is also considered the “King of the Skies”and messenger of the higher gods. With these attributes, the eagle became a symbol of power and strength in ancient Rome.

This is how we will project ourselves to the world out there, as a dependable and trusted brand, who has been consistently evolving to be in step with the changing needs of our market, and bold enough to take the lead in digital transformation, yet retaining the warmth and care that only a truly Filipino company can give.

You also have a new tagline: A Lifetime for Good. How does that relate to the company?

Together with the refreshed logo is the tagline: A Lifetime for Good. We define ourselves by the good we bring to our policyholders, the bigger communities, and our country. As a life insurance company, we have products and services which inherently bring good to the individual and his/her family. As a Filipino institution that has been here for over a century, we have done good to the greater community, and the country, beyond business considerations. Thus, through our industry, our products and services, our innovation, and transformation, we are and will be bringing the good today, and in the future… for life. Thus, our tagline is not a marketing spiel. Our tagline communicates the clarity of who we are and our purpose as an institution, affirming our mission, our commitment, and vision.

Where do you want to take InLife 5 years from now?

Because Insular Life is the “Most Trusted Brand” in the life insurance industry, a distinction we carry proud and tall, it is incumbent on all of us to secure the organization’s future decades from now. The attributes of trustworthiness and credibility, quality, value, understanding customer needs, innovation, and social responsibility are intangible but powerful measures that we will continue to pursue and live by.

The coming years will continue to be challenging given the many external developments, both here and abroad, that are still unfolding and will surely influence this “new normal” space that we operate in. Transformation and allowing ourselves to be disrupted would be critical. We need to keep our focus on the strategic priorities that we laid out for ourselves.

Subsequently, all initiatives are directed towards providing customer excellence by putting their perspective first in our decisions and operational capability. With even greater resolve, we recognize the changing dynamics of customer engagement and their new expectations.

How do you address the new challenges in running a life insurance business in the face of all the technological innovations and disruptions in the business landscape?

We are standing on the brink of the great cycle of human progress—the world is rapidly changing through artificial intelligence, the internet of things, the collaborative of commons; digital disruption is upon us, so is global climate change. Change, they say, can be done unto you or we can harness it. We at InLife choose the latter.

What we call the fourth industrial revolution has come upon us in a significant way and therefore we must transform ourselves and our business models from how we operate and run our businesses, taking these from our clients’ perspective and point of view to our workforce and employees. The changes present both a challenge and an opportunity.

We need to understand the world from our clients’ lenses and their preferred way of servicing and communicating with us. For these reasons, the nature of the organization must adapt to the changes and the disruption that are taking place in order to remain relevant. This is no longer a matter of choice as this has reached every industry and organization in both the public and private sectors.

The complexity of looking at future capabilities of the workforce as well as looking at the current workforce and their existing competencies will be as interesting as it will be demanding. We now must recognize a multi-generational client base and workforce that is digitally connected all the time for example, and manage the transformation of our business model to cater
to this reality.

Logo Transformation:

On our 108th year, we’re committed to face the challenges of a digital world. And it starts with how we present ourselves.

Our eagle is no longer confined within its borders, dramatizing an expansion in our reach across horizons as we evolve to become a fully digitized company.

The eagle’s new look is inspired by the intersecting circles of The Seed of Life, a universal symbol of creation and new beginnings.

Bolder fonts mirror the bold direction our company is moving towards as it navigates through the digital age.

Gradients symbolize dynamism, showing our flexibility to move with the times.

Blue represents trust & dependability
Orange emulates warmth & care