As The Hartford Insurance Company approached its bicentennial in 2010, there were few, if any, reasons for the iconic company to celebrate. Hit especially hard by the economic crisis and ensuing recession, the people at The Hartford had no time to think about celebrating 200 years in business — all focus was on the business and overcoming some of the most challenging obstacles in the company’s illustrious history.
After the worst of the crisis had passed, it was clear that The Hartford had to recognize its bicentennial. The rare milestone that relatively few American companies have achieved could serve as an important rallying cry and platform for communicating The Hartford’s heritage of resilience, stability and character. Just months before the bicentennial year began, The Hartford turned to The History Factory to develop and implement an appropriate program for a time like no other. Further complicating the already aggressive schedule were the restrictions of a company that had received TARP money, the launch of a new brand and a leadership transition that took place just weeks after we were engaged.