Just purrfect - Britain's SMEs admit animal attraction

Article date: 16 April 2004

Business may be tough but it’s not a jungle out there.Research out today shows that Britain’s SMEs see themselvesas the domestic cats and dogs of the business world, rather thancorporate hunters.

The survey conducted by Holden Pearmain Research on behalf ofNorwich Union revealed that nearly one in five companies alignedthemselves with the British moggie – independent and shrewd,while a further 17% saw themselves as a reliable and resilientdog.

The research also showed that larger companies were more likelyto choose more dynamic animals - SMEs with between 200 – 249employees tended to describe themselves as a fast moving cheetah.Hard-hitting hunters are thin on the ground however - only 6% ofthe 500 SMEs surveyed thought of themselves as an aggressivetiger.

Of the 13% choosing a plodding elephant, the majority were inthe manufacturing sector, reflecting an enduring sense of pessimismabout the future. In contrast, the burgeoning services sector sawthemselves mostly as wise owls.

But British business is still proud to be innovative - only 1%of the 500 companies surveyed considered themselves to be acrowd-following sheep.

Debbie Heaney of Norwich Union commented: "Whilst almost half ofthe SMEs surveyed aligned themselves with cats or dogs, it’simportant to remember there are many types of cats and dogs –each business is different".


For further information, please contact:
Debbie Wells at Staniforth on 0161 274 0100 or
David Ross at Norwich Union on 08703 66 68 65/07786 526350.

Notes to editors:

  • The survey was conducted with 500 UK SMEs by HoldenPearmain.
  • Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer with a market shareof around 14%
  • With a focus on insurance for individuals and smallbusinesses, Norwich Union insures:
    • one in five households
    • one in seven motor vehicles
    • more than 800,000 businesses
  • Norwich Union products are available through a variety ofdistribution channels including brokers, corporate partners suchas banks and building societies and Norwich Union Direct.
  • Norwich Union’s news releases and a selection of imagesare available on the Aviva internet press centre at www.aviva.com/media.
  • An ISDN facility is available for studio quality broadcast.Call the press office on 08703 66 68 68
  • For all life & pensions media enquiries 08703 66 6873
  • For all other media enquiries 08703 66 68 68

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