Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance

How we made everyone a farmer


Quick take

Ask: Reposition an established company to grow membership and clarify brand identity.*

Brand Truth: Virginia Farm Bureau was founded to provide assistance to farmers, but they protect anyone who supports Virginia.

Opportunity: Shift brand messaging from what’s important to farmers to what’s important to Virginians.

Strategy: Virginia Farm Bureau celebrates people who embody the best traits of a farmer.

Long Take

Situation: Virginia Farm Bureau is a local insurance chapter of a national organization. They were looking to gain membership outside of their traditional rural target market, but many people assumed they had to be a farmer to get insurance.

Research Approach: In order to re-position the company, we knew we needed to gain an understanding of how the company talked about itself. We did a deep dive by interviewing current employees and reading the publications (including a book on the history of the company) published by VAFB. Their publications and current messaging talk about how supporting farming and agriculture are their main goals, but they don’t pull this idea all the way through to the rest of Virginia. Because agriculture and food tourism are such key components to the Virginia economy, by supporting farmers, VAFB is supporting Virginia.

Positioning: Virginia Farm Bureau is really about protecting what’s important to Virginia. This new positioning provides VAFB with an ownable stake in the ground that applies to a wider audience. We created a set of values that clarified and strengthened the positioning statement:

  • Treat Members Like Family

  • Be the Voice of the Community

  • Commitment to Integrity

Strategic Approach: We mapped out the archetype of a farmer and selected three key traits that represented the archetype best: Nurture, Protect, and Cultivate. From there we developed the strategy: Virginia Farm Bureau celebrates people who embody the best traits of a farmer. The people who bring these traits to life are people that we know in our everyday lives such as teachers, first responders, and community gardeners.

Ways this could live:

A video series highlighting the different types of local farms around Virginia.

Showcase local community members in social ads on Facebook to raise awareness.

Partnership with local car dealers to drive membership.

Team: Beka Tesfaye (CBM), Imani Sherrill (ST), Zach Brown (CBM)

My role: SWOT analysis, competitive analysis, secondary research

*This was a live client project