Division A - Public Relations Programs
Category 3 - Institutional
CCCS Brand Launch
Award of Distinction
In recent years, consumer skepticism regarding debt management and
credit counseling has substantially increased. Such perceptions are a
result of the deceptive and unethical tactics used by many of the
category's players to attract consumers. However, Consumer Credit
Counseling Service (CCCS) of Central Florida and the Florida Gulf
Coast, Inc., the original debt management company, has always adhered
to upholding principled standards and practices, operating in the best
interest of its clients. Unlike CCCS, some companies have neglected to
disburse funds collected from consumers and have then shut down or
disappeared. These practices have been investigated by Congress, the
Federal Trade Commission and the Internal Revenue Service and widely
reported on by the media. CCCS needed to differentiate itself to avoid
being lumped into this category. In launching a competitive analysis of
existing materials from other CCCS locations and competitor's
collateral, Web sites, etc., PUSH noticed a lot of homogony in the
credit counseling industry. Logos looked almost identical with a
composition of letters as the focus. PUSH found the design to be
generic, overly corporate and emotionless. Primary research conducted
suggested that people did not want counselors acting as financial
mangers; they wanted credit counselors to be on their side such as a
coach, partner, and human being who will offer honest advice and
guidance. PUSH sought to create a brand that sets CCCS apart from the
monotony that plagued the market, uniquely represent CCCS and its
mission and values, explain the services they provide, and evoke a
positive emotive response from the target audiences including the CCCS
internal staff, business partners, and the CCCS consumers.
Objectives: * Transition new brand identity into all CCCS communications within 30 days from the brand launch.
* Ensure all employees in all 16 Florida locations understand and can articulate the brand within 30 days from brand launch.
* Educate business partners, clients, prospective clients, and media on CCCS' new look and mission.
* Secure coverage of the new brand in three key Florida DMAs.
* Increase Web site visitation by 20 percent in the first 60 days of the brand launch.
Implementation: To implement this new brand identity, PUSH executed the following:
/ Visual Elements: PUSH developed a brand identity package for all CCCS
employees that included: an electronic brand identity manual, updated
brochures, business cards, stationary materials and a newly formatted
newsletter. All new collateral featured a new CCCS logo and tagline.
The new logo features a man holding a protective umbrella over the
words "Consumer Credit Counseling Service" and the agency's year of
inception, symbolizing how CCCS provides clients with the resources,
tools, and historical staying power they need to confidently walk
through any financial storm. The tagline, "Encouragement, Empowerment,
Success," represents CCCS' overall commitment to helping customers
achieve financial wellness and the tactics CCCS employs on a daily
basis to ensure their long-term success. The CCCS Web site was updated
to include the new brand identity. The Web Site, www.cccsfl.org, is now
equipped with added functionality to assist clients in a variety of
ways, never before available to them through CCCS. Displaying the
latest, up-to-date company information, available services, schedules
and locations, the new Web site also provides customers with features
to help CCCS provide better service. Once all internal documents were
created and distributed, PUSH sent an informational letter to the
Better Business Bureau and other industry partners announcing the new
CCCS brand identity. PUSH also sent a letter to all CCCS clients to
reinforce the brand promise and reassure them of CCCS' commitment to
their success. Finally, CCCS' headquarters was remodeled to fit the new
Media Relations: PUSH developed a news release
that clearly articulated the industry overview, new logo, tagline, and
Web site to get a "sneak peek" of images and collateral.
Evaluation: All objectives were met or exceeded.
* All new materials were rolled out and employees were educated on the new brand within the first 30 days of the brand launch.
Employees in all locations received a branded polo shirt, new business
cards, and an electronic Brand Toolkit within the first 30 days of the
* PUSH secured coverage in the Orlando Business Journal, Tampa Bay Business Journal and the St. Petersburg Times.
* Web trend reports showed an increase of 77 percent to the CCCS Web site within the first 60 days of the brand launch.
Budget included agency time valued at $17,656.00. Expenses included
$11,399.00 for corporate T-shirts, business cards and lobby branding in