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Segal Benz January 22, 2019 3 min read

Harness the Power of Your Brand to Drive Benefits Engagement

Your organization’s brand isn’t simply the logo, color scheme, and tone used in your communications—it’s all that and more. A brand provides a competitive advantage for any organization trying to promote its benefits.

In today’s world, you’re competing with an ever-growing array of sophisticated marketing tactics and communications. How can you ensure yours stand out? Build a solid brand that is consistently applied, catches people’s attention, and helps them prioritize what you have to say. It’s an easy way for employees and other participants in your benefits programs to quickly distinguish your organization’s communications from the masses of others they receive.

That’s why Brand is key #2 in our ebook series, Unlocking Successful Benefits Communication: A 10-Key Framework Every Organization Needs to Get Results.

How Brand-Driven Communications More than Doubled Enrollment

Your benefits can be the cornerstone of creating an unforgettable user experience for your people—especially when your benefits communications come to life through your brand. Here’s an example.

A leading manufacturer of greeting cards, party favors, and more—famous for evoking emotions and actions with just the right words and images—needed a dose of its own medicine to help associates and their families understand and use its benefits programs.

Big changes to benefits were coming, and benefits materials needed a wow factor so that associates and their families would sit up and take notice. The company sought to double enrollment in consumer-driven health plans in a single enrollment cycle.

Just as no single greeting card can truly explain love, a one-size-fits-all approach to benefits communication wouldn’t get the job done here. Diving deep into demographics and plan usage data, Benz built an integrated, multi-year communication strategy to educate families about their benefits.

But what really distinguished this project was the dazzling visual campaign that brought the content to life. Until this point, the company hadn’t fully embraced using its external brand for internal communications. But extending the brand internally—with warm photography and simple graphics and messaging—made a huge difference to employees. The benefits campaign conveyed the same care and connection the company was known for among its external customers. It demonstrated that employees were equally valued.  

And it was a hit. Enrollment in consumer-driven health plans more than doubled, jumping from 20% to 47%. This new approach to benefits became the standard for applying the company brand internally.

Why We’re Wired to Respond to Branded Communications

We apply proven techniques from behavioral economics to drive results for our clients. Here’s the science behind the success of this campaign.

Novelty captures attention. When you notice something new in your environment, your natural response is to focus on it. This helps to explain why you can walk into a room with a specific purpose, only to promptly forget what that purpose was as soon as you arrive. You’re distracted by the many new stimuli in the room, and you focus your attention on them—instead of on the thing you were originally planning to do. In the example above, the brand was so fresh and the visuals so unexpected that the campaign materials disproportionately captured employees’ attention.

The power of first impressions. Research varies on just how long it takes to forge a first impression when we encounter something or someone new. It could be as little as just a few seconds. That’s why the communications we designed for our client had to stand out and make a positive first impression. When your benefits communications do that, you can then leverage the halo effect they’ll have. That’s where your people are more likely to view all your benefits and benefits communication in a positive light because of that initial positive interaction.

Leveraging a trusted brand. A brand has a personality just like your people do, which means the way they interact with your branded communications is extremely personal. If your people trust your brand—which they did in our example—they’ll be more likely to buy into the messages you send. In fact, one study found that adding a logo increased engagement by 300%!1

Learn more about the importance of brand, and read other case studies like this in our ebook series. Brand is part of Book I: Foundation. You can also read the other books in the series that show you how to market your benefits like a pro and how to get the right resources in place.


1 Pizarro and Wendel, Randomized Control Study, 2014.