“Lippincott truly understood our values-driven culture, unique business strategy and exactly how we go to market; it was a combination critical to our success. This rebrand wasn’t simply a change of our positioning and expression, it was a strategic evolution in how we tell our story that will move us forward as a business.”EVP, Corporate Responsibility Strategy and Innovation, Protective
Breaking through with a values-driven brand
Protective Life Corporation (Protective), one of the top providers of life insurance in the U.S., was doing everything right. It had a strong industry reputation for operational and customer service excellence and an employee base that lived the company’s values every day. But despite succeeding along critical dimensions and being loved by those who knew it, it remained the industry’s best kept secret.
Enter Lippincott. We were tasked with crafting a more emotive and powerful brand story for Protective. Our goal? Break through in an industry saturated with well-known competitors, strengthen consumer awareness to drive growth and create cohesion across business units. We delivered on this with a new brand positioning, visual and verbal expression, activation plan and more.
When researching Protective’s strengths as a brand, we found a common thread: there’s a sea of sameness in the industry, with many brands seeming to market only to wealthier customers. Protective is values-driven, with a genuine commitment to doing the right thing for employees, customers, partners and their communities. Moreover, our Brand Aperture™ Engage research showed that 78 percent of Protective employees believed that the company lives its purpose, and that there was a shared drive to serve people. This presented a real opportunity to tap into that sense of connection and bring these internal values to life for external audiences.
We lit the way with a new brand purpose, Because we’re all Protectors, which asserts the brand’s aspiration to help all people achieve a sense of security and protection. It’s a people-centric take on what the brand does and who it is. We then strategically evolved the company’s values to reflect this purpose and act as a North Star for employees.
Protective’s brand expression needed to stand out in a saturated category that mostly follows convention, with bolder, more distinctive design that emphasizes humanity and connection. The brand already had a memorable and intuitive asset in its toolkit: its name, Protective. But its current identity elements, including its logo, weren’t working hard enough.
There were two distinct yet complementary ways in which we could break through: the creation of a unique symbol, to add dimension to its name, and color. The new symbol evokes a human story of the protection felt when someone is by and on your side, whether a family member, mentor or friend. Purple, a color that combines the stability of blue and the energy of red, sets the brand apart from competitors and injects the entire expression with memorable personality. Along with a brand voice that transforms all communications from a product mindset to a protector mindset, the entire expression demonstrates one thing: with drive and heart, Protective makes the most of every opportunity to help and protect people.
We then got to work on activating the brand, recommending six areas that would build momentum and excitement for Protective over the next 18 months. And, to support Protective’s sponsorship of the stadium in Birmingham and celebrate its commitment to its hometown community, we crafted branded environmental graphics and experience ideas, including augmented reality and interactive signage. Lastly, we partnered with Protective and its agencies to concept an advertising campaign that would reveal the new brand to the world.
Protective launched its new brand on September 8, 2021, ready to build on a 114-year commitment of putting people first.