SureCircle is a 3rd party administrator of employer self-funded dental benefits.
A warm & protective brand: Feeling safe within a (sure) circle
We took the name of the company “SureCircle”, and created a logo that is the visual translation of that name: We used human icons (which could be interpreted as a family or as a group of employees, or yet an employee and its family – all desirable interpretations for the message we’re trying to convey) in a circle that gives a feeling that these people are protected, that they are safe, a very positive association. We also used rounded shapes, fonts, and orange as the main brand color to convey warmth, human touch, and “easy”.
Differentiating the brand with fresh imagery
One of the first things the marketing team asked us was if we could innovate on the imagery, and use something else than smiley colorful people pictures which are prevalent in the dental industry, and other industries for that matter (e.g. the financial industry). They wanted something fresh and contemporary, not the same old that would make their customers view them as just another service provider. So we came up with photos that illustrate service features in a metaphorical way, and we made them black & white to offer the differentiation that the company was looking for.
The circle: Strengthening the brand
We then reinforced the brand by taking the protective circle of the logo, and included it in a pertinent way on each picture to illustrate the benefit of that feature further. Here are some examples of the meaning that the circle took on from one image to another:
- It is used as money that goes into a piggy jar to illustrate the savings benefit of using the service
- It is used to select a crayon out of many to illustrate the freedom of choice feature
- It is used on a ruler to illustrate the plan customization feature
- It is used as a wheel on training wheels to illustrate how easy it is to use SureCircle
So now, the circle is not just a safe protective circle but it took on all the positive meanings of these benefits.
We took that circle, and gave it a bold color that would stand out from the black & white imagery, but also complement it, and give it some punch to generate visual interest.
The circle shape is also used extensively in the many infographics we created for the brand.
The human touch: Extending the brand
We took the human icons from the logo and made a brand extension out of them. They are used extensively in infographics, notably in an infographic that describes how SureCircle works. We also used those icons to make an orange-on-orange tonal pattern that is a warm and interesting visual element used on the inner cover of the brochure, as well as the back of the business cards, letterheads, etc. to further reinforce the human touch of the brand.
Using color-coding to communicate
SureCircle caters to 4 different types of personas within the eco-system, and to make the service easy to understand, we color-coded those personas with variations on the primary colors to further convey simplicity:
- Employers are hot pink
- Members (the employees and their dependents) are sunflower yellow
- Providers (the dentists) are apple green
- Brokers are turquoise
We also used color-coding for the following:
- SureCircle is orange (the main brand color)
- Neutral stuff is different shades of gray (refer to the “How SureCircle works” infographic)
We then used those colors in all infographics, and kept reinforcing the color-coding by never veering off of it, for ex. we used yellow only for the member stuff (yellow human icon to show the member, yellow slice of pie to show member share, etc.), and we never ever used yellow for anything else. If you start veering off of the color-coding and say, decided to use yellow just because you think it’s pretty, then you risk the potential of really confusing your audience, and you are effectively muddying up your brand, and your color-coding is not worth much anymore. Think of it as a language. A word has a meaning. An apple is an apple. You can’t call a bicycle an apple.
4 websites in 1: Customizing the experience for 4 different buyer personas
We created a website to communicate with the 4 different buyer personas (mentioned above), each one with different needs from the other. It is effectively one umbrella site with 4 different websites in it, all a variation of the same template. Each website had different color-coding (according to the above), and different content, including:
- Different sections
- Different page content
- Different benefits & processes highlighted in infographics & other imagery
The extensive branding system we created really came in handy at this stage as most of the heavy lifting had been done. All we needed to do is apply it to the website, and extend the iconography and imagery as needed.
This project received an A+ at SureCircle, and was an official honoree of the Webby Awards, aka the Oscars of the Internet. Moreover, our client wrote a testimonial that describes what marketing-minded design is to a tee.
When I first heard about Splenium’s ability to deliver “marketing-minded design”, I was a bit skeptical, after all, I’m in marketing, was it just another marketing term? By the time my branding project wrapped up, I knew why it was called “marketing-minded design”.
Clean, crisp, not over designed, pleasing to the eye,
and beautifully marrying function and form. Every line, every image, every color not only serves a purpose aesthetically, but works at creating and reinforcing the marketing message. Beyond the design, I loved how attentive they were to my project; always accessible, and genuinely interested in giving me the best website, best brochure, best logo, and ultimately the best overall brand.