Pushing the brand boundaries with Apex Insurance
From the start, Apex Insurance wanted to do things differently.
In a competitive market where it’s easy to look the same as everyone else, the business wanted to cut through the red tape – and stand out from the crowd.
Today, 25 years after it was first established, Apex Insurance is one of New Zealand’s leading insurance brokers, well-known for its modern, more agile approach to insurance. With offices right across the country, the business has expanded over time, offering services that not only protect businesses but help them thrive too.
Managing director James McGhie joined the company 11 years ago, and while many would argue the business has achieved exceptional growth during his tenure, we get the feeling they’re only just getting started.
We recently sat down with James to have a chat about his experience working with the Rapt! (formerly MacWork) team – and why branding has been a critical part of their success.
A brand the business can be proud of
After over a decade of working together, James’ memory of his first encounter with Rapt! is a little rusty, but he knows he instantly liked the team and “we just got started.” It’s been on the up and up since then.
“We’re always getting comments on our branding and marketing material, and that’s because of Rapt!,” James says.
That hasn’t always been the case.
“We realised what we were doing was sub-par and we looked like every other insurance company. So, I just started throwing everything at them and said we need to stand out from the crowd.”
Like any brand, Apex Insurance has evolved as the business has grown, but with design, print management and distribution support from Rapt!, they’ve consistently stayed at the forefront of the industry.
“We’re really happy with where our brand is now, but we also know it will keep evolving. We want to continuously improve and Rapt! understands that.”
Turning one-line briefs into well-established brand
James happily admits that his briefing skills haven’t improved over the years – “I’m that really painful person who basically gives them one line and expects them to be able to read my mind,” he laughs.
But not once has that hindered Rapt!’s quality, whether that be a simple brochure, an eDM to 6500 commercial clients or more complex proposal documents.
“Their dedication to the Apex brand has been a huge part of our success,” James adds.
“People want to work with a professional services company, and to do that, you can’t have chinks in your armour. I look at the business and I’m proud of it, and defining and distributing our brand is an important part of that.
“You know you’re doing something right when your competitors start following you!”
Part of the Apex family
When you’ve been working with clients as long as we have, it’s natural for the lines between teams to become blurred. But as James says, that closeness has many benefits.
“Some people might ask why we don’t pay someone to do this work for us in-house. My response is, I don’t because I know I won’t get the same level of experience or skill.
“Blair and his team understand our brand so well, and the quality of work they produce – they just never let us down.”
James also appreciates that our working relationship extends beyond the office.
“The Rapt! team comes along to our annual volunteer day on Rotoroa Island for the past 8-9 years so it really is a part of the Apex team.”
More time for new business opportunities
As managing director, James is constantly juggling multiple hats – which means he has no choice but to delegate. Having people he can trust to always deliver the best outcomes means he doesn’t have to worry.
“I feel like they prioritise us as a client. If something is urgent, they’ll drop what they’re doing and respond quickly. I’ve never had to chase them up.”
He says that’s the true value of working with Rapt!, being able to pass on work so the Apex team can focus on new business opportunities.
“Like most business leaders, I enjoy having conversations with customers and how we can improve things for them. That’s where Rapt! helps us add value with the quality of information we’re able to put into the market.
“From my point of view, we couldn’t do it without them.”
It’s a tick from the Apex Insurance team
• 10+ years: deep understanding of brand and customers
• More time to focus on new growth opportunities
• No brief is too hard, consistent delivery of high-quality work
• Part of the Apex family – Rapt! attends annual volunteer day