Rebranding A Fortune 1000 Corporation, Part I
For many years DJP Design LLC founder Dale Pavlik held a mid-management position at a national financial services corporation with assets of $10+ billion. Here’s the first half of this major rebranding success story.
Phoenix Life Insurance Company hired me during a time of great change. We were best known at the time as a life insurance company but that image no longer fit. A big challenge was how quickly the corporation had grown and expanded in diverse ways. We had added two other major marketing branches. One was an annuity business. The other was an asset management business. The life, annuity, and asset management businesses all had distinct markets, products, and clients.
This Was Crazy
I was originally hired as the art director for the asset management side of the business. Back then, Phoenix had about five separate marketing groups — all acting independently. This was crazy. Everything I knew about effective marketing and communication screamed out the need for a uniform corporate voice and look.
Saving Costs & Building Effectiveness
Eventually Phoenix merged all five marketing groups into one centralized department of about 35 people. My title became Manager of Design Services and I had three graphic designers reporting to me. Our department wanted to create a new, unified look to clearly display the deep resources, products, and services Phoenix offered.
While we hired an international firm to create a new logo, I lobbied hard to keep all the other rebranding work within our department for three reasons: 1) to save lots of cash; 2) because we had the capacity and expertise; 3) our department could best build the new brand because we knew better than anyone the culture, needs, audiences, and goals of the company.
The unique thing about this rebranding campaign is that it didn’t happen top down. It didn’t happen bottom up either, Rather, the approach was center out. A team of mid-level officers, like me, in the marketing communications department did the bulk of the rebranding planning, creating, and implementation.
Success Through Prioritizing
Since the outside logo design firm did not know our culture, products or priorities, it was imperative that we steered the ship. Once the logo was approved, our team collaborated on the brand identity standards. We then created a hierarchy of priorities.
For two full years, my main focus was spearheading the execution of this rebranding initiative. That meant some 4,000 or so hours of time rebranding more than 200 items. We succeeded by identifying which uses of the brand were most critical to implement first. Item number one was the corporate capability brochure.
Then we were well on our way in creating a cohesive look and feel that fit the corporate initiatives and culture. This rebranding story will continue in our next blog post. Read below to find out what will be covered.
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In “Rebranding a Fortune 1000 Corporation, Part II” you’ll read about why this initiative worked and a major lesson this success story has for creating your own brand or rebranding your company.
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DJP Design LLC | Logo Design Orange, CT
My 20+ year journey has allowed me to lead critical graphic design projects, serve major corporations at small design agencies, and build my own successful freelance graphic design business in Fairfield County, CT. From large corporations to single person shops, I work with all types of businesses and nonprofits. I’ve won many graphic design awards but prefer winning more visibility or sales for a client. Our capabilities include: Logo Design, Graphic Design and Consulting Services. If you think you might want to work with us call us at 203.675.0430, or email us for a free 30-minute phone consultation.