BCBSND Brand Strategy

Bolder Shades of Blue builds a new level of trust with North Dakotans.

After a period marked by health care reform and insurance industry angst, BCBSND faced a decrease in brand perception. We came in to help reinvigorate their image with a new way forward.

MEMBER INSIGHTS OFFER A NEW DIRECTION FOR THE BRAND

Insight from primary qualitative research showed that the brand left members wanting more advocacy and solutions. Most importantly, they wanted BCBSND to work with and for them. A primary communication objective was to restore trust and repair the brand’s reputation.

OUR THREE-STEP SOLUTION

BCBSND partnered with us to develop and execute a multi-year integrated communications plan to repair the brand and create engagement based on a three-tiered strategic approach: listen, educate, demonstrate.

Specific communication objectives and strategies mapped back to corporate initiatives of brand reputation, affordability, excellence and maintaining market share. Overriding key messages built on the organization’s long history of commitment to North Dakotans as a not-for-profit and as an advocate for members.

The plan integrated both existing and new communication channels, both internal and external, with a $2.5M annual budget for all research, planning and execution, including paid advertising.

PERCEPTIONS SHIFT TO STABILITY AND SECURITY

As a result of our efforts, brand perception soared. While the initial research indicated BCBSND had a 76% negative image association, results within two years showed a 52% positive image association – a 128% shift.

  • Over the course of four years, news coverage went from mostly negative to 90% positive.
  • Research indicated a vast majority viewed Bolder Shade of Blue as credible, relevant and compelling.
  • To date, BCBSND has reached over 200,000 Facebook users and 8,000 Twitter users in a state of around 700,000.

Using the strategy of listening, educating and demonstrating, Bolder Shade of Blue came to represent the many levels in which BCBSND supports and advocates for members offline, online and personally in communities across the state, thus reinforcing the national brand’s focus on stability and security.

The project’s success earned recognition from the Public Relations Society of American (PRSA) in the form of a Silver Anvil Award, symbolizing skill and creativity in addressing publicity challenges.