ING Group, the Amsterdam-based parent of ING U.S., had previously announced plans to divest most of its worldwide holdings. As part of that plan, ING U.S. will start operational rebranding following a proposed IPO.
Until the rebranding is complete, ING U.S. will operate “business as usual” with its current “ING U.S.” name and brand assets. ING U.S. said it would not use its new name and logo commercially until the rebranding is complete, a process the company expects will take 24 months from start to finish. The Voya Financial identity will, however, be reflected in the company’s new ticker symbol (NYSE: VOYA) upon completion of the IPO. The IPO is expected to fetch more than $600 million.
The selection of a new brand for ING U.S. took months of extensive research and testing. In 2011, the company began an extensive process to source a new name and logo, soliciting ideas from employees, key customers and several design firms. With the help of branding consultancy Interbrand, ING U.S. sifted through more than 5,200 name suggestions before deciding on Voya. Advertising agency BBDO Atlanta, which worked on ING U.S.’s past two ad campaigns, also participated in the rebranding efforts.
After narrowing thousands of concepts down to the best creative ideas, ING U.S. says it identified a name that aptly reflects the company’s mission, values and personality. It was also important for the new brand to associate with more than just products and services, it had to “connect with the concepts of financial empowerment, taking control and getting organized.”
According to USPTO records, it looks like some of the other names they considered include Brightwise and Latis.
“The Voya name reminds us that a secure financial future is about more than just reaching a destination. Preparing for it should be like taking a voyage and having positive experiences along the way,” explained Ann Glover, CMO of ING U.S. “Our new identity supports the idea of envisioning the future while closely aligning with what the ING U.S. brand is already known for — proactively and optimistically guiding Americans on their journeys to and through retirement.”
Company representatives also said the name evokes bright, vivid colors. The new brand will continue to rely heavily on orange hues.
“We are partial to the color orange. It’s differentiating, optimistic and associated with ING in the U.S.,” added Glover. “While we’ll grow into a new shade of orange, the memorable, distinctive color will remain.”
Although ING has operated in the United States for decades, the ING brand was not introduced through advertising in this country until 2001. Since then, the company’s branding efforts have received national awards for creativity and effectiveness. They have included the trademark ING “Bench” campaign, as well as an integrated marketing effort that calls attention to knowing and planning for your retirement “Number.”
For a look at the future logo and colors, a brief informational web page can be accessed at www.voya.com. This site will direct individuals back to ING U.S. until the time when the new brand goes into commercial use.