MassMutual Executes Digitally Focused Rebrand

The insurer made heavy use of its data science, social media and web development capabilities to provide new messages and tools for engagement to address changing demographics and a digital way of life.

(Screenshot from MassMutual’s new “Live Mutual” advertising campaign.) 

An insurance company rebranding could be limited to the creation of a new logo or advertising campaign, along with internal messaging. MassMutual’s new branding, launched on its 166th anniversary, May 15, 2017, dug deep into the company’s data science resources and technology capabilities to identify customer segments to reach and tailor messages to, through a variety of channels digital and traditional, including a complete redesign of the carrier’s website.

Gareth Ross, Chief Digital and Customer Experience Officer, MassMutual.

Gareth Ross, Chief Digital and Customer Experience Officer, MassMutual.

MassMutual’s new brand emphasis is encapsulated in its new logo and mark. In its animated form, which appears in the company’s new “Live Mutual” advertising campaign, five dots move around, musical chairs fashion, to fall into the shape of an “M.” The dots represent the community of people that MassMutual is helping to connect, according to a MassMutual statement. “We know people are inherently reliant on one another, whether that’s at home, in the workplace or in the community, comments Gareth Ross, Chief Digital and Customer Experience Officer, MassMutual. “Our new positioning celebrates these relationships, underscoring that when we depend on each other, we are not only more secure—but life is also happier and more fulfilling.”

The rebranding comprises what the insurer calls a broad and comprehensive multi-channel advertising campaign that includes prominent TV, radio, print, outdoor, digital and social advertising across the nation. MassMutual says it has updated its visual identity to focus on its policyholders and customers. The rebrand also includes a complete redesign of the company’s website, MassMutual.com, to reflect the refreshed brand, improve the user experience and deliver new features. The website relaunch yesterday marks the first refresh since 2007.

The rebrand took a technological and approach in part to leverage technologies to better identify customers and prospects, and how best to reach them with tools and educational capabilities, according to Jennifer Halloran, MassMutual’s head of Brand and Advertising. Those insights were combined with a focus on how people live differently today, particularly with regard to the digital dimension of their social lives.

“Much has changed in the past decade—we live our lives differently, connecting on social media and depending on each other at all stages of life,” Halloran elaborates. “As we took a close look at the key attributes that distinguish us from our competitors, we saw this as not only an opportunity to communicate who we are, but to also help more Americans with holistic financial solutions at a time they need the help the most.”

A More Digital Concept of Branding

Halloran, who also manages MassMutual’s Social Media team, affirms that the new branding not only acknowledges the importance of digital communications and service channels but, through its use of technology, embodies a new, more digital concept of relationship with clients and prospects. “At any given time during this initiative, we have had nearly half of the data science team working with us,” she says.

Jennifer Halloran, MassMutual’s head of Brand and Advertising.

Jennifer Halloran, MassMutual’s head of Brand and Advertising.

The rebranding effort made ample use of technology to identify and predict patterns of activity on the part of customers and prospects interacting with MassMutual and using its tools and educational resources. “Through modeling and predictive analytics, we explored what products they were likely to seek, and what digital experiences could get them to that engagement more quickly,” Halloran relates. “We made end-to-end measurements to understand how to bring people in with different tools and messaging.”

MassMutual has overhauled all its digital properties, including mobile, according to Halloran. Improvements to the company’s website include calculators for products addressing insurance and financial planning and future needs in general. In the development of these and other tools and materials, MassMutual is working to understand different demographics and age cohorts, and how best to shape digital assets to maximize engagement and utility of tools, Halloran affirms.

Addressing Social Change Through Improved Engagement

In fact, the company says that social changes are at the core of the refresh of the site and the brand in general. “American expectations about interdependence continue to evolve,” states the MassMutual statement on the rebranding.  “Nearly one-third (32 percent) of young adults 18-34 now live at home with their parents, and only one-third of baby boomers are confident they will have enough money to last through their retirement.  Add to this that some generations, like Gen X, may be taking care of both parents and children, and it’s clear that Americans are turning to their loved ones for support throughout their lives.”

The need for holistic financial solutions in rapidly growing and underserved communities is also very apparent, according to the statement.  “Millennials, the middle class and Latinos are the industry’s fastest growing customer base, but many are financially unprepared,” the statement asserts. “Millennials are the largest living generation and the biggest group in the workforce, but they are burdened with more than $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. Furthermore, median middle class income fell four percent in the past decade5 and although Latinos are the fastest growing demographic in the U.S., more than half say they are financially unprepared.”

Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For over a decade he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

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