How the NN Group Brand & Innovation Portal embodies the Brand Concierge mindset

The Challenge: Establish NN as the “You Matter” company

The NN Group, a European spin-off of ING, is one of the world’s largest insurance and asset management companies with $6.1 billion in revenue.

Headquartered in The Hague, wants to be known as the “You Matter” company: a people-oriented, relatable and authentic service provider in the long-term financial planning industry. How do you get people to create an emotional connection with an insurance company? Marketers have been wrestling with this question for decades. NN realized the role they had to play was more influencer than enforcer.

Create a brand engagement platform that helps employees and partners understand how to use the NN brand and express it consistently.

14,000 employees across 18 regions need to understand how to use the NN . A constant flow of new employees, combined with natural brand evolution, necessitated a user-friendly and engaging central resource.

The previous solution wasn’t sufficiently sophisticated when it came to the evolving needs of the brand, especially for innovation, a strategic focus area for the business. Content spread across different platforms was cumbersome to navigate. It made the whole process and inefficient and challenging to deliver on the brand promise. NN needed a way to seamlessly integrate brand into every employee’s day-to-day activities.

“At first we didn’t emphasize the cultural differences between the countries. Then we realized these differences were really important. Now every country has their own portal with local customized elements.”

How to communicate the brand experience through a single platform

The NN Brand & Innovation Portal needed to be more than just brand management software. That’s why they chose BEAM, a unified, interactive platform that drives adoption and deeper brand engagement. The unique combination of brand management technology, digital asset management, communications strategy and long-term support was essential for the NN’s success.

BEAM is robust enough to accommodate webpage brand guidelines and rich media assets in a dynamic, tailor-made environment, while also being intuitive enough for employees and partners across the organization to navigate with ease.

One of the reasons BEAM was the best solution for NN was because it combined brand expertise and best-in-class technology. Monigle demonstrated a clear understanding of brand challenges and had a team of experts standing by. Selecting an enterprise, tailor-able tool was essential, but what made the solution and adoption successful were the embedded strategic services.

Building the NN Brand Portal with technology and brand strategy

The new partnership kicked off with an in-depth discovery workshop to map NN’s business goals to BEAM functionality, review use cases and define KPIs.

Next, through an iterative design-meets-strategy process that included collaborating on a sitemap and wireframes, Monigle layered on NN’s visual identity to bring the site to life. NN’s vision was coming into focus; the Brand Portal looked and felt like a natural extension of the NN brand.

Monigle handled the heavy lifting of platform development which included content migration, translating PDFs to web-based pages and uploading assets, helping the NN team immensely. As a result, users experienced a content-rich site at launch as opposed to a work in progress.

Key features & content included
  • Tailored homepage content by audience
  • Brand Training Videos
  • Downloadable, filterable assets including audio & video libraries
  • Interactive Briefing Generator
  • Innovation Portal
  • Best Practice Showcase
  • Brand Helpdesk
  • E-Newsletter Generator
  • Dynamic Brand Guidelines
  • File Transfer

“My ideal situation would be even if you don’t work with the brand on a daily basis, you go daily to the brand center to see if there is something new…”

The Brand Portal’s features and functionality deliver engagement, efficiency and ease-of-use

At launch, NN needed to communicate the importance of the brand experience and help every employee understand how their actions play a part in the way people perceive the concept of “You matter.”

The Brand Portal fosters engagement and increases consistency, efficiency and ease of use. In short, it’s a place to gain a shared understanding of the brand story and how to bring it to life.

Creating engagement, efficiency and easy-of-use
“About our brand” tells the NN brand story with immersive webpages, interactive quizzes and on-demand videos. It features a training series on why the concept of “brand” matters, an inspiration gallery showcasing best practices and dynamic tools to initiate new projects, like the briefing generator.
The portal also includes brand standards in interactive web guidelines and downloadable assets (images, templates, logos and more like a Mp3 music library) to help employees apply the brand consistently.
The Brand team wanted to give every NN associate the opportunity to become a brand champion through content focused on the brand story, individual engagement and easy access.

"Make sure you continuously advertise and promote the brand and brand portal. If you don’t, people won’t find it and won’t use it.”

Launch communication strategy was critical to a successful rollout.

With the new Brand Center ready to go, the NN team wanted to ensure employees knew when and why to log in. Monigle was also tapped to create a new communications strategy to announce the new tool to employees and partners, explaining how it will help them.

Launch Communications
Launch ads featured the tagline “Got it!”, cleverly speaking to user adoption on three levels: “I found what I need!”

 “I understand it!”

“I’m on top of my job!”

Tactical communications focused on high-impact touchpoints across three personas that emphasized these key objectives: Engagement: Get people to visit and engage with the Brand Portal regularly—make it a cultural habit.

Education: Help people understand that, in order to do their job to the best of their ability, they need to know the brand (and how to use it); the Brand Portal helps you get the job done.

Application: As a result of engagement and education from the Brand Portal, overall brand consistency will improve.

Ultimately NN met the goal of getting employees and partners to quickly understand the message: “From tools and information, to empowerment and inspiration—Brand Portal has everything you need to succeed.”

An immediate success!

Within two days of launch, there were over 1,000 logins, instantly surpassing the total number of users on the old tool. Initial feedback was extremely positive, with employees and partners sharing their excitement:

“I love the improvements! It’s so easy to use and find what I need.”

“The design is clean, fresh and high quality.”

“I learned so much in my first time here – what a wealth of information!”

A critical KPI reviewing repeat visits to gauge ongoing usage and engagement. Metrics showed the average user logs in once a month! Additional metrics include showcase submissions, logins, page views, downloads and training access. Open-ended searches (518) and helpdesk requests (19 in first 2 months) provide a key feedback loop to understand brand priorities from additional and training needs to new guidance and assets.

Results show the Brand Portal has been successfully adopted both internally and externally. The brand team is seeing an uptick in consistent brand expression through fewer errors and user questions. The Brand Portal will continue to evolve, adapting to best deliver an understanding of “You matter.”

“…branding never stops and you have to continuously work hard to help people understand what it is”

What’s next?

Frank and his team are working to combine brand and innovation more often. He believes they are the two most important assets a company can use to stay relevant in our fast-paced society.

Ready to take your next step towards becoming a Brand Concierge?