Insurance firm Next employs a cast of friendly characters in new branding

The digital-first insurance company wants to motivate small businesses to take the leap to them with the help of uplifting new branding designed by Collins

Next’s new branding and tone of voice are designed to steer clear of the clichés surrounding insurance companies, which “are either your overly earnest protectors from doom, or rely on the absurdity of animals and athletes to help you remember them”, according to design agency Collins, which led the brand redesign.

The team took an illustrated approach to the brand visuals, which feature bright palettes and a cast of friendly, motivational characters, including a toolbox and a chef’s hat.

With kooky character design reminiscent of old cartoons, the illustration style is intended to draw a link between the Covid-19 pandemic and periods of adversity in the past, such as the 1920s depression and economic turbulence during the 1970s, according to the agency. The move is in keeping with brands leaning into friendly characters and illustration to liven up otherwise dry subjects.

The new branding includes a tagline imploring small business owners to ‘get going’ and messaging that focuses less on risk and more on opportunity.

Next has also commissioned small business owners and creators around the US to contribute to its corporate apparel and gift items, photography and videography, and custom on-hold music.