REBRANDING BEST PRACTICES


The primary objectives in establishing a fresh image for a profession may differ from that of a product or service, but the rebrand-ing process is largely universal, according to Society of Actuaries (SOA) director of communications, Lisamarie Lukas. Sure, the SOA and agency partner GolinHarris were faced with tackling centuries of stigma and an incomplete (if not inaccurate) public perception of the actuary. But Lukas says that regardless of industry, the goals and strategies must always be clearly demarcated and client-agency communication should be paramount. • Stay in Touch: “Organizations must have clearly identified and articulated staff responsibilities,” says Lukas. “Beyond the marketing and communication staff, rebranding should break down organizational silos, and have a well-informed and deep strategy to customize these practices to guide this work.” GolinHarris VP Patrick Gould says that in maintaining such a relationship, the client and agency must immerse themselves in one another’s challenges—and opportunities. “We are in daily contact, and that close partnership has provided us the opportunity to work seamlessly in developing strategic programming that has, indeed, helped increase the ‘hireability’ of actuaries,” he says. • Dig Deep: Rebranding isn’t simply an organizational facelift—the process must be accompanied by internal and external communications overhauls. “It is important that organizations understand that ‘rebranding’ does not solely mean launching a redesign, refreshing a look and feel or creating image identity and tagline,” says Lukas. “At its core, rebranding means applying integrated marketing communications principles holistically across your campaign through public and media relations, advertising and data-driven research.” Case in point: SOA and GolinHarris launched the “Risk is Opportunity” campaign at SOA’s annual meeting in 2006, ensuring that SOA’s new image was first internalized before it was branched out.

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