Norwich Union has now re-branded its UK sites to its new worldwide brand Aviva. This is another step on the journey as it re-brands all its various worldwide brands under the single Aviva moniker. As part of this it is attempting to manage a common approach to managing all its online assets worldwide. This encompasses 28 countries and more than 50 million customers. The online re-brand is probably one of the most important parts of this re-brand due to the high use of the internet for insurance purposes from research to purchase.
The big problem Aviva will have is the change of domains. No doubt behind the scenes there will have been lots of people with Gant charts, visio drawings and scraps of paper trying to make sure every page has been migrated, the right re-directs all all in place and fingers crossed. I also suspect that to counter act any negative effect of changing the main domain with natural search Aviva will have considerably upped its PPC activity against core terms to negate any potential traffic loss.
Changes pages within a website, if you use the correct re-directs normally has a minimal impact on your natural rankings. However changing your domain can have serious implications if not thought through. The best example i have ever read regarding this is when econsultancy, a site targeted at digital marketeers especially search engine specialists, moved from e-consultancy.com to econsultancy.com as part of a major relaunch of its site. It took 10 weeks for all their positions to come back so i hope NU sorry Aviva do not suffer the same fate.
If you want to read about the econsulatcncy migration and SEO nightmare this is well worth a read: http://tinyurl.com/dznrvk