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Battle of the Brands: Cigna vs. Aetna

December 28th, 2011

Cigna Corp., a Connecticut-based health services company, recently introduced a $25 million rebrand of its company and logo. The costly rebrand includes changes to television and print advertising, a new social media presence, and a revitalized logo.

Changes are taking place in light of a shift in employees’ increased involvement in determining their health insurance coverage.  Now, individual workers are being tasked with finding their own insurance providers instead of receiving predetermined coverage from their employers.

“Because personalization is so important to today’s consumers, we offer tailored solutions to meet their evolving health and well-being needs. We seek to provide peace of mind every step of the way,” said Cigna CEO David Cordani. “Health and wellness is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Connecting people to better health is the value we deliver as a global health services company.”

As a result, Cigna has decided to change its logo to a more personable GO YOU logo to distinguish from the company’s stoic corporate past. The change is the first since 1993 when the “Tree of Life” logo, with its traditional typeface and a basic leafy tree, was put into place.  Cigna’s newest logo, GO YOU, replaces all upper-case letters with lower-case, uses a more informal font called “Myriad Pro semi-bold” to spell out the company’s name in all lowercase letters, and has a person figure bearing resemblance to the former “Tree of Life.”   These changes are part of an adaptation to new market trends where personalized attention will be paramount.

“If you think about the Cigna logo today, you know it has a tree, which represents the sturdiness of this organization in many ways,” said Bertram “Bert” Scott, president of U.S. Commercial Markets at Cigna and the community campaign chair this year for the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. “So, we wanted to continue to capture that heritage in the new logo . . . The person represents the individual.”

But, is the rebranding authentic? Aetna Inc., another industry giant, made changes to its corporate logo in 2001 from an all capitalized, red AETNA, to a livelier and more inviting logo that includes an individual with arms stretched out to the sky. Get where this is going? Cigna’s recent rebranding shows a striking resemblance.  With Aetna racking up accolades such as best business turnaround in 2004, and most admired company in 2008, it’s no wonder that Cigna would take note.

Branding Pros: Although it is said that imitation is the highest form of flattery, do similar branding strategies between competing companies help or hurt the end results?

Posted Under: Advertising, Branding
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