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Why building your brand is more than a new logo

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Brands & Campaigns

As a financial-services company that sells annuities, Lincoln Financial Group is not necessarily known as a “fun” brand. So when the company’s marketing team set out to launch the “You’re in Charge” campaign, it took an all-inclusive approach with a focus on building a brand that is relevant and relatable.

The first step in the “You’re in Charge” campaign was introducing employees to the concept so that each employee could be an ambassador of the company. Employee “activation” is crucial, said Jamie DePeau, corporate chief marketing officer for Lincoln Financial, because employee engagement comes first in any campaign. Without buy-in from those supporting the organization, any campaign effort will ultimately fail.

According to DePeau, who discussed Lincoln Financial’s campaign while speaking at the What’s Next D.C. event, the team began with a pre-launch teaser campaign complete with posters and internal activities that encouraged employees to invest in the idea. They were given opportunities to fill in the blanks and develop their own version of the campaign’s “Chief Life Officer” titles, where ideas included Chief “Got Your Back” Officer and Chief “This is Awesome” Officer.

The second part of the equation, DePeau said, is ensuring a well-rounded customer experience that’s in line with the campaign’s messaging. It’s the most important element for any brand-building efforts, but it’s also the one that you have least control over. The best thing to do is make sure that every part of the customer experience — from call centers to points of sale to everyday communications — is consistent with your brand’s promise.

It’s not a good customer experience if your product isn’t easy to use or your service representatives are not pleasant to talk to. Make it your company’s ultimate mission to provide a better experience for people that’s consistent with what your brand campaign is promising — be it a friendlier, more relatable or easier-to-use service.