Voted by The Judging Panel Sponsored by Aascent Finance Company.

Established since 1992 and based in Leamington Spa, Heartland (Midlands) has a strong resource of more than 11 employees. This established broker has been a member of the Willis Commercial Network since December 2000.

Heartland takes a pro-active approach to marketing its services and took its first steps this year to establish a local brand image.

Working with a professional marketing agency and selected insurers, a direct marketing campaign coupled with a telemarketing resource was initiated.

The 'Apples and Pears - a fresh approach to business insurance' campaign generated increased income and raised brand awareness locally.

Heartland's Brian Weetman said: "Our aim was to establish a clear identity for Heartland, establishing the way we conduct business, so we could attract like-minded customers.

"Accepting that not all prospective customers are suitable for Heartland was the cornerstone of our thinking. And moving away from the traditional 'A4 canvassing letter' to a more powerful use of imagery, along with simple un-fussy language, helped to differentiate our offer.

"While reaching the finals was recognition enough for all employees who have contributed to the business, it was a real delight to win the award outright. It's particularly rewarding to know that as a small brokerage we can compete with larger national players on marketing strategy.

"But the greatest pleasure was that the success of the campaign allowed the employees to enjoy an all-expenses-paid trip to experience the delights of Paris."