Best's Review



Insurance Marketing
Now Hear This

Axa uses sonic branding to bolster its brand, and an industry expert shares tips for maintaining strong agency relationships.
  • Lori Chordas
  • October 2019
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Name That Tune

An iconic sequence of three chimes quickly identifies NBC's brand. A five-note melody immediately conjures up images of McDonald's successful “I'm Loving It” campaign.

Now the insurance group Axa is using a riff of 10 piano notes to help bolster its brand and strengthen consumers' connection to its products.

Axa recently debuted its new sonic branding in a new ad that features tennis icon Serena Williams. Sonic branding uses music and sound to help reinforce a company's brand recognition and contextualize a brand's message.

Axa's new 10-note sonic signature, in which the first note begins softly with the others growing louder and more intense, is part of the company's new global brand positioning and tagline, “Know You Can.” The new tagline signals that Axa aims to go beyond insurance and live up to its purpose of being an encouraging partner that empowers people to live better lives.

Axa selected the 10-note approach to “create uniqueness and distinctiveness, and to have the flexibility to use the same rhythm with different instruments so we can match the moods of different ads but keep the brand recognition,” said Axa global brand director Paul Bennett.

The company plans to use its new audio cue in all future ads worldwide and on Axa digital experiences.

“Audio branding is as important as our visual branding codes, such as the logo. It helps create more proximity with customers and create a mental mark to hopefully drive consideration and choice,” he said.

Top 5 Tips for Maintaining Strong Agency Relationships

Brian Kilroy, Vice President of Marketing Philadelphia Insurance Cos

Brian Kilroy
Vice President of Marketing Philadelphia Insurance Cos

1. Be an active listener. You can't be of optimal value to your agency partners until you understand their needs.  

Armed with a clear picture of their goals, you can then place your organization in a position to shine. 

2. Be solution-oriented. Always be proactive with new ideas for mutual growth. Company-agency relationships thrive when company personnel provide new pathways for success.

3. Always project a positive attitude. Your agency partner wants to feel good about working with you. Your enthusiasm and zeal for your role in their success is reassuring to your partner, and is infectious.

4. Seek out the “yes.” Your trusted agency partner relies on your expertise. While a quick “no” is sometimes warranted, a good relationship manager will look for another avenue toward success. 

5. Be consistent. Possibly the most obvious tip may be the most difficult to master. Your consistency in approach, demeanor, follow-up and temperament is a trait that is highly valued by your partner.

Lori Chordas is a senior associate editor. She can be reached at

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