Get access to the exclusive HR Resources you need to succeed in 2018!
SHRM board member David Windley discusses how unconscious bias can derail workplace diversity efforts.
Is your employee handbook keeping up with the changing world of work? With SHRM's Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Build competencies, establish credibility and advance your career—while earning PDCs—at SHRM Seminars in 12 cities across the U.S. this spring.
#SHRM18 will expand your perspective – on your organization, on your career, and on the way you approach HR. Join us in Chicago June 17-20, 2018
Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.
NEW YORK--Creating a new corporate brand can bring opportunities and challenges, regardless of organization size. Experts say subtle strategic shifts can make a big difference.
Delta Air Lines is mid-flight through a re-branding campaign after emerging from bankruptcy. Their campaign includes new logos on aircraft with the slogan "Welcome change. Welcome to the new Delta."
"This isn't just about a graphic, but a whole sensory experience," said Connie Birdsall, creative director of Lippincott, a global brand management firm, at a Feb. 1 corporate identity conference here. "It's about design, and changing perceptions to something current."
Lippincott is one of many players working on the re-branding of Delta. But for employee benefits provider Unum, which has only a fraction of the marketing budget of insurance giants like Aflac or Geico, revitalizing a corporate identity means finding creative ways to get the word out, particularly with limited advertising dollars.
"Begin with a clear strategy and never waiver from that strategy in execution," said Peter S. Neiman, vice president of corporate brand and advertising for Unum, during the event.
In 1990, Portland, Maine-based Unum and Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Provident merged to become UnumProvident. But the following years were anything but smooth sailing.
In 2007, following years of restructuring and legal issues, Unum shortened its name and launched a process to move Unum from being perceived as an insurance company to being seen as an employee benefits partner.
"Insurance is something that's sold," Neiman explained. "Benefits are something people want."
To help make Unum more approachable, the company scrapped its patriotic flag-like logo and unveiled a contemporary logo with the tagline, "Better benefits at work." The new logo was selected from a mind-numbing field of hundreds. The dots above the name represent people -- "the people who work at Unum as well as the people we help," Neiman explained.
But to be successful, any branding campaign needs to go beyond the logo. That means continually "harping" on the points you want to make, Neiman said.
Unum created a calendar of events so that there is constant "news" about the Unum brand. Neiman said it's also critical to use creative concepts "so that "my management can 'see' the power of an idea."
Unum's aggressive marketing blitz includes
print and broadcast advertisements in local and national media.
Since Unum's benefit plans protect individuals and their livelihoods and help organizations attract and retain quality employees and reduce the cost of absenteeism, Neiman thought one way to convey that message was through sports. After all, entire cities can mourn if a key player is injured and a team can't make it to the playoffs, he said.
A 30-minute advertising spot during the Super Bowl costs an estimated $2.7 million. That's why Neiman decided to run his ad only in Portland. The price? Around $10,000, but "you're still perceived as a Super Bowl advertiser," he said.
In addition, Unum has a multi-million-dollar campaign with ESPN. In September 2007, it signed on as the sole sponsor for its "Injury Report," a summary of which players are hurt, the nature of their injuries, and their expected return dates, during "College Football Live." Unum began its partnership with ESPN in April 2007 as sponsor for the original Injury Report for "Baseball Tonight" during the regular Major League Baseball season.
Unum says the branding efforts through ESPN are resonating with target audiences and reinforce Unum's philosophy that, when disability strikes, helping the individual and the organization get back on their feet are equally important.
"Our work has been very well received by our sales force and our brokers and has helped solidify Unum as an important player in the benefits industry," Neiman said after the conference.
But Neiman said Unum isn't finished.
"This is just a beginning. We have plans to improve our website, our presentations, our brochures and materials, and even how our offices look."
Pamela Babcock is a freelance writer based in the New York City area.
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please sign in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
CA Resources at Your Fingertips
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 3,200 companies