Reinventing Insurance > Launching an Insurtech – Week 3

Week 3: At Last — Our Insurance Goes Live

In the third of our five diary posts covering the buzzvault journey from November to January, we follow Holly, who recently joined buzzvault’s marketing team. A dual British and Canadian citizen, she lived and studied in Canada for 8 years.

I arrive at Archer Street Studios on Monday morning for my very first day at buzzvault. And any thoughts I may have had about easing myself in are quickly put to rest.

This is the week – the day in fact – that everyone has been waiting for: when buzzvault insurance finally launches. The tech team have handed over a product ready for its first customers. Now it’s up to marketing to do the rest, and that’s where I’m headed.

We’re a small start-up launching its first Insurtech product, so you might not think there’d be that much to do. But it’s precisely because we’re a newcomer that we have to take full advantage of D-Day. For one week, maybe two, we have the eyes of the trade press firmly upon us – so this is our chance to make a splash.

Over the past few weeks, the whole buzzvault marketing team has been readying all manner of communications for release. A hidden army of tweets, LinkedIn postings and press releases lies gathered in the insurance undergrowth. Amassed and waiting for the fatal bugle call of launch.

Still clutching my branded key-ring and welcome notepad, I’m thrust straight into the breach. The first wave of outgoing PR is followed by an immediate backwash of requests for comment from journalists – and my first task is turning these around and getting them back out to press in time.

Even if it’s just a single sentence, every communication we put out – especially in connection with our hotly anticipated launch – must first be passed through the alembic of brand, scrutinised with the withering eye of FCA compliance in mind and, last but not least, approved by Founder and CEO Becky Downing. It’s an intricate process, but it always pays to remember: a few of the right words are better than lots of the wrong ones!

On Wednesday, I sit down to discuss brand housekeeping with Tommy Rae, our Head of Brand. Pre-launch, you can have any number of ideas about who you are as a company. But there’s nothing like actual flesh and blood customers for crystalizing your ideas on look, feel and tone of voice. The leap from the one-off investor pitch to the daily, hourly pitch to customers is a huge one.

On Thursday, we get the revamped buzzvault blog up and running – which gives me and Tommy a good opportunity to flex our brand muscles. Inside the Vault is both a mission statement and a treasure trove of useful info for our insurance customers.

Thursday evening brings with it some welcome drinks at the White Horse on the corner by the office – a chance to sup G&T with juniper berries in it and meet the rest of the team in a less all-hands-on-deck environment. Come Friday, there’s increasingly a sense that the hard work has paid off. At 4pm, it’s time for an early finish as we gather around the buzzmass tree for Secret Santa.

This year’s Secret Santa is played according to “Yankee Swap Rules”. For those unfamiliar, with Yankee Swap you could unwrap your dream Christmas present only to lose it later in the exchange, as all subsequent players – pesky second movers – have the chance to nab it. Which goes to show: reaching your destination is only ever half the journey.

To continue on our launch journey, jump forwards to Week 4, where we’re asking: how, as a newly launched Insurtech, do you approach pricing? Paul Vinten, buzzvault’s Head of Pricing, will walk us through his week (and provide some answers!).


>>> Click here for Launching an Insurtech Week 4: Confessions of an Insurtech Pricing Guy

<<< Back to Launching an Insurtech Week 2: Into Insurance as an Out-Of-Industry Player


This diary piece was first published on Insurance Post. For more info on home and contents insurance, check out the buzzvault guide to contents insurance.