Congratulations Bensol, on 20 years of success, and being just plain nice

It’s hard to believe that 20 years have flown by since we first sat down with Michele Mactaggart to explore branding and marketing her new business.

Michele planned to combine her experience in group benefits insurance with her entrepreneurial spirit to promise a whole new level of service and expertise for a long under-served market in the employee benefits category: small businesses. This group was often ignored as offering little value to insurers, and she foresaw that they’d be clamouring for good benefit plans to help them compete and attract the best talent in the 2000s boom.

And so, several exploratory chats and creative design sessions later, we landed on Bensol Consulting (Bensol… that’s Benefit Solutions – get it? Michele gets all the credit, not us.) We got to work building the marketing materials they’d need to get this thing off the ground: plain-language, benefit-focused messaging to help explain the complicated and dry-as-cotton balls world of insurance. A bright, warm logo and visual identity that suggests partnership, motion and progress. We printed silky-to-the-touch brochures and presentation folders (remember those?) and made a dead-simple website because those new ‘digital brochures’ were unproven and honestly, would never replace a good old business card and handshake. (Little did we know.)

Thanks to good old-fashioned hustle, business came quickly for Michele. Bensol steadily grew in size and reputation, and we were grateful to walk alongside her on the journey. Occasionally, we continued to tweak the brand narrative and yes, a more robust website was essential before long. Direct mail postcards and ads in business magazines were replaced with sophisticated email marketing, SEO, and other modern tactics.

This month, we helped Michele launch her latest brand shift – they’re still focusing on smaller employee counts, and have been introducing a growing range of services and products to support them. What’s noteworthy now is, compared with two decades ago, they are reinforcing that good employee benefits are about more than dental and drug reimbursements. They’re about promoting and embedding wellness into a company’s fabric through policies, flexible programs like health spending accounts, providing access to mental health and financial literacy support, and quality communication that encourages employees to look after their whole life, not just the work part.

Group benefits aren’t about insurance, Bensol posits, they’re about people. It’s a refreshing point of view that has been good for business and, I’d wager, good for the soul for the folks who work there, and the small businesses (like us) who are lucky enough to work with them.

All that lines up with Michele’s Biggest Reason for Success and why we love being along for the ride: she cares about people. She hires folks who do, too. In Bensol’s 20 years in business, they still ensure a personal connection and human touch. No one should ever feel like a ball bearing in a big corporate insurance company’s machine, and Michele and her stellar team act as a stable, comfortable bridge between her client and the insurer.

Hearty congratulations, Michele and the Bensol team. Any business that survives 20 years deserves a gold medal, and one that does so without compromising values and staying humble and just plain nice along the way should raise a glass and celebrate.

That humility means Michele won’t be trumpeting this great achievement as much as we think she should. So, we’ll lend a hand: If you’d like to help Michele celebrate this milestone, do what we did and donate to her fundraiser supporting cancer research.

And thanks, Michele, for keeping us along for the ride. It continues to be a great adventure!

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