by Eric Stearley
After decades under the banner of Beauchamp McSpadden, Wabash’s premier insurance company is rebranding itself, changing its name to INGUARD. The new name combines the words “insurance” and “guard,” a change that CEO Parker Beauchamp hopes will make the firm more progressive and accessible.
The full story of how this local insurance agency came to be could fill a book. That book would encompass stories of a devastating city-wide fire, a civil war veteran, a one-legged patriarch, struggles through the great depression, client theft on the part of competing banks, and ultimately and emergence into prominence and prosperity. Its roots date all the way back to 1870. Fifty-seven years later, Parker’s great-grandfather Ward Beauchamp purchased the business, beginning a four-generation legacy of Beauchamp ownership.
This name change has been many years in the works, but it was far from the first. Over its 144 year history, the firm has existed as Ross and Peters Real Estate & Insurance Agents, Ross and Mote Fire and Life Insurance and Real Estate, J.P. Ross Real Estate and Insurance, Citizens Savings Bank, Ward Beauchamp Insurance Agency, Ward Beauchamp and Son, Beauchamp and Son Insurance, and eventually Beauchamp McSpadden, which has been the name since 1968. In 1980, they purchased a firm in Muncie, which insured the Ball entities, making the official title Beauchamp McSpadden | Morrison Galliher.
The eleven-syllable tongue twister isn’t one that most people would consider “catchy.” Just the first of the four names, pronounced “Beech-um,” can be confusing to clients.
“It’s a French name pronounced British in Indiana,” Parker Beauchamp said of his last name. “I mean, come on. Nobody wants that in an insurance company. [Beauchamp McSpadden] radiates around here…people can at least pronounce it. The thing is, for the last 20 years, we’ve had clients in all states, and we continue to grow our portfolio in those states. And Galliher, I mean Gallagher is the fourth-largest firm that does exactly what we do.”
It became clear over the last several years that a name change was something they wanted. The began the search for a new name in 2008 to no avail. In 2010, Parker was “hot after the thing,” as he put it.
“We went through probably 25 itterations of what our name could be,” said Beauchamp. “Contests where you win the prize if they pick your name, our own ideas, it was terrible. Nothing worked.”
The firm’s management met with their public relations firm with what Beauchamp described as a “failed conquest,” and the firm reminded them of a name they had pitched years before. That name was INGUARD.
“It combines the ideas of insurance and guard, which is really what we’re all about,” said Beauchamp. “A lot of people put “risk” in the name, and that’s what you’re working against, not what you’re representing.”
After thinking about if for a few days, Beauchamp and his team decided they like the name, and it has since grown on them. He also liked the “IN” part of it, because the firm is in Indiana, a convenient coincidence.
“It’s kind of like any kid’s name,” said Beauchamp. “The more it’s living and breathing, you start to appreciate it a lot more. Once we saw the logo concepts for it, I think we were all behind it. Once you’re committed to it, the more you love it.”
The new logo, a shield with a leaf at the bottom, is a big change from the tilted grid logo of the past.
“The shield I like, but the leaf I love. For one, I’m a nut environmentalist, and more or less, the leaf represents prosperity,” said Beauchamp. “We don’t want to be a vendor or a scare tactician talking about fires and silly stuff like tornadoes or lawsuits. It’s really a piece to get you where you want to go. It’s avoiding those things so your life comes out the way you want it to.”
He admits that the change is somewhat bittersweet, and that he’s sensitive to his father, to Virginia McSpadden, and to his great grandfather’s legacy a little bit. He’s also confident that it’s the right decision.
These old names to me are a little bit out of touch and self-serving,” said Beauchamp. “I know that it’s got to go. For me, it’s about clients. I think INGUARD is much more exclusive to clients than Beauchamp, and certainly Beauchamp McSpadden | Morrison Galliher. INGUARD is more professional, and the logo is certainly a lot better I think.
Beauchamp said he is looking forward to having his name off the building and hopes to further market through the new name as he continues to build the business.
“We hope that it resonates for a long, long time,” he said.