Sun Life Financial is a fairly unknown insurance company that has been around for 144 years. They have recently launched a campaign to expand their exposure, using humor to try to build relevancy with consumers. There are some very funny ads about “the Sun Life guys,” two company advocates who are traveling the country to try to convince various people to change their names to somehow include “Sun Life.” It’s a really fun campaign that executes on some very strong branding principles: You can check out their ads here.
The campaign is creating relevancy where none existed before. Among other things, the two guys try to convince the Florida tourism board to change its name from the “Sunshine State” to the “Sun Life State” and to convince KC and the Sunshine Band to “KC and the Sun Life Band.”
Humor works well here, because insurance is boring and an unbelievably low-interest category. By aligning themselves with something totally random they are building relevancy with their audience. It doesn’t matter that they are not talking about how stable the company is or how secure their holdings are (although they do manage to weave those solid points in to the commercials in the end). Their strategy is to build awareness, and that’s what this campaign does.
There is also a social media campaign that is closely tied to the commercials which shows more places where the they have tried to convince others to alter their names. They are very consistent in the execution of this campaign, which has video, digital and print that is all reinforcing their primary strategic messages. You can check out the campaign particulars at the Get To Know Sun Life website.
Last week, I conducted a training session for their employees to inspire them to think differently about their personal brands. This is a company that is in the process of strengthening its corporate brand and felt that it is important invest in its people, to help them strengthen their personal brands. There was a wide range of titles, responsibilities and experience levels in the room, but everyone walked away thinking more clearly about how they can express their brands more fully in their jobs.
So in looking at your personal brand, how are you creating brand relevance with your desired audience? Look for ways that may, at face value, be totally random and impossible, but may in fact make strong strategic sense. Build rapport and commonalities to help further a desired relationship with a desired client.
And don’t think for a moment that if you are in a corporate staff position that you do not need to think about this! We all have clients. They may be internal clients, a boss or another department that we serve. Look to build relevancy and points of commonality in order to strethen your brand!