Say goodbye to the orange lion.
As part of its plan to become an independent company, the stateside division of Dutch multinational ING Group is getting a new identity. Going forward, it will be known as Voya and will drop its iconic logo.
ING U.S --which is the U.S. retirement, insurance and investment management arm of its parent-- filed for an initial public offering in November, one of several divestitures of overseas operations by its Amsterdam-based parent, ING Group. In February 2012, ING Group sold online bank ING Direct USA to Capital One, which was rebranded Capital One 360.
So what does Voya mean? Nothing in particular, though it does sort of sound like the word "voyage".
"The new name is an abstract name," said Ann Glover, chief marketing officer at ING U.S. "We want to help people on their journey to and through retirement and when you see the new name, the message comes through loud and clear." She feels confident the new name and the new brand will support its mission to be known as America's retirement company.
The company started soliciting names from employees and key customers almost two years ago. It initially gathered a whopping 5,200 names, then streamlined the list of potential choices through consumer tests and distributor tests, and with the help of Omnicom Group-owned branding agency Interbrand. "We were familiar with Interbrand and they had done some very good work for us in the past," Ms. Glover said.
The new look and feel will replace the orange lion, which will remain with ING Group. For customers here in the U.S., it will be a bit of a shock to the system. ING has long had the same logo, and the use of the orange lion goes way back to ING's Dutch roots. Orange is the national color of the Netherlands, and the lion the country's national symbol.
Still the changes won't be visible to the outside world for some time. Once the IPO is completed, the operational rebranding will start but the new name and the new logo won't be used commercially until the rebranding is fully completed, a process that will take 18 to 30 months. Until then, it will continue to do business under the ING U.S. name, although the new identity will be first reflected in the company's new ticker symbol once the company goes public. The New York City marathon will continue to be the ING NYC Marathon this year, for example.
"The rebranding process in our industry is very complicated and it takes time," Ms. Glover said, noting that the company will need to get approvals from all regulators, including federal and state insurance regulators.
Advertising agency BBDO Atlanta, which worked on ING U.S.'s past two ad campaigns, also participated in the rebranding efforts.
Last month, the agency and ING U.S. launched a new creative campaign called Orange Money, which focuses on the importance of carefully managing retirement money. The Orange Money represents the money that needs to be set aside to prepare for one's retirement goals. "The Orange Money campaign is really the first step on our path to rebranding."