Strong External Brand, Segmented Internal Brand
To build upon its success as a leading provider of life insurance, Minnesota Life decided to expand its product and service portfolio into the dynamic financial services marketplace. With this change it became apparent that a new corporate identity and a stronger brand was needed to move the organization beyond its association as a life insurance provider and make it a competitive financial services provider.
Market research had verified that Minnesota Life’s relationship with its independent agents and consumers was strong and backed by a well-earned reputation. However, internal employee research revealed significant differences in regard to overall understanding of the organization’s values and its focus to create long-term value for agents and consumers. This inconsistency caused the brand on the inside of Minnesota Life to be segmented rather than a single strong brand. The senior management team recognized this opportunity to use the power of internal brand building to engage and align its employees so that a “single voice” would be projected into the marketplace.
New Name. New Direction.
To begin the project, Brand Tool Box, Ltd. and Minnesota Life collaborated to decide on a new name for the organization. The name Securian was chosen and Brand Tool Box helped implement this change while working to develop a brand strategy. Executives from several business units along with financial advisors from the field were interviewed to determine their perceptions of the Securian brand. Then internal research was conducted to find out how employees felt the organization projected its brand with employees as well as with customers. Using this information, a brand strategy was developed to give Securian a robust definition of its brand that all business units and financial advisors could embrace as their own.
After working with the senior management team of Securian, a team of Brand Tool Box consultants designed a comprehensive organizational development initiative to be implemented across the entire company. It began with a six-month long internal communications program, which was followed by a series of internal brand-building Brand Tool Box® Brand Alignment workshops. Internal trainers within Securian were trained to facilitate the workshops, which help employees at all levels better understand their organization’s brand. To reinforce concepts learned through the workshops, a comprehensive set of departmental-level coaching sessions along with several follow-up programs were implemented.
One Brand Inside and Outside
Securian now has a brand that allows it to present a “single voice” into the marketplace, whether a customer deals directly with Securian or one of its financial advisors. Over 5,000 employees have been trained and are now engaged in the organization’s brand. With a stronger brand, Securian has been able to drive its growth plan with a higher level of employee engagement and by leveraging stronger relationships with its independent agents and direct customers. Securian has discovered how internal brand building not only leads to greater customer loyalty and profitability, but also how it positively impacts the culture of the organization.