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Breathing New Life into a Healthy Brand

An empowering destination

Aetna, one of the nation’s leading diversified healthcare benefits companies, needed an evolution. In an environment crowded with options, Aetna wanted to be the destination of choice.

Not exactly an easy proposition for the 160-year-old company, which serves approximately 36.3 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their healthcare.

Companies like Aetna face a dizzying array of challenges—from globalization of offerings to escalating costs and unpredictable shifts in healthcare reform. Collectively, they’ve taken their toll on stakeholder trust and understanding.

Against this backdrop of heightened uncertainty—with consumers searching for more control, dependability, support and value as well as access—Aetna hoped to bring its brand to life in a simple, compelling fashion, with its vision “to be the global leader in empowering people to live healthier lives.”

Evolving meant building a distinctive brand promise with relevance and credibility.

Knowing that the focus for healthcare benefit companies had shifted from a business-to-business orientation to a business-to-consumer mindset—with diversified portfolios, a greater emphasis on health and wellness tools and innovative product development—Siegel+Gale tapped into the emotions, needs and expectations of the target audiences who ultimately determine Aetna’s success.

Finding focus

To understand perceptions and needs, Siegel+Gale conducted qualitative and quantitative research with key internal and external audiences, including current and prospective members, plan sponsors, brokers and providers.

Insights from this research informed the development of a clear, credible and captivating brand platform that reflected the organization’s promise, values and voice. We also reframed Aetna’s full suite of offerings into a revitalized architecture that delivered the simplicity and clarity target audiences required.

The evolution begins

Our findings now live in a refocused brand promise: “With Aetna, the power of health is in your hands.” We brought this strategy front and center with a vibrant new logo and identity, one that is both contemporary and optimistic, that signals innovation, game-changing technologies and collaborative relationships with all audiences. The new logo also celebrates the tradition of the Aetna name, returning to the original ligature of the brand, linking the “a” and the “e,” further underscoring the link between the brand and its customers.

Aetna’s brand evolution can also be seen in the four simple, benefit-oriented categories for its offerings: quality health plans and benefits (promoting individual, family and employee health); healthier living (with information and resources to help individuals, families and communities thrive); financial well-being (plans, products, services, programs and tools that help manage healthcare spending and deliver financial peace of mind); and intelligent solutions (offering insights and expertise to enhance productivity or business results).

Siegel+Gale continues to partner with Aetna on implementation and rollout, providing multimedia tools and resources as well as training and support on brand architecture.

With streamlined access, clear, simple and benefit-oriented communications, Aetna is now moving in a new and healthier direction.

As a testament to Siegel+Gale and Aetna's work together, "Breathing New Life into a Healthy Brand" has won the prestigious Business Marketing Association's 2012 Ace Awards first prize for Brand Identity – Brand Design.

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