“Lippincott helped us understand what branding is really about. Not just a logo or visual system but defining who you are as a company and amplifying the strongest elements of your culture with discipline and consistency.”Former CMO, Principal
Humanizing financial services
GDUSA American Graphic Design Awards: Identity Design
Transform Awards North America: Creative Strategy; Visual Identity, Financial Services
Despite a 137-year legacy of successfully protecting and helping its customers prosper, Principal, the global Iowa-based financial services company, was facing some challenges. It had to contend with low public trust of corporations, particularly financial companies, and it was feeling the drag and image burden of a 30-year-old logo and identity.
While the company enjoyed high marks from both existing customers and employees, prospective customers needed help to see Principal as an exception to public opinions about financial institutions and to see it as an expanded global business with a powerful direction.
Enter Lippincott, who, through leadership workshops, gained clarity on the vision and business objectives. We then conducted a global study of 1,200 employees to mine for perceived strengths and desired shifts in the brand evolution. Whether by geography, business unit or tenure, employees were calling for a strong signal about and recognition of the company’s next era — one that was already global, bolder, more collaborative, and more humanly and intellectually inclusive than ever before.
From the outset, the objective of the new Principal logo was to express what the company has always stood for — helping people make financial progress so they can live their best lives. In a radical departure from the sharp geometry of the company’s long-standing blue wedge, the new logo’s form is rounded, taking its inspiration from the most iconic of interactive human gestures: an embrace. The symbol’s movement evokes a clear path towards progress and the simpler, softer human form also tells the customer that working with Principal is a simple, uncomplicated experience.
The new look, voice and identity were unveiled to employees, with celebrations starting in Sydney, Australia, and continuing west around the globe. More than 15,000 employees took part in the launch-day celebrations. It marked the start of a larger transformation for the company. From the clarity of its communications to the renewed focus on the customer, Principal is poised to expand on its 137-year legacy as a financial services leader and a Human Era exemplar.