Division A - Public Relations Programs
Category 3 - Institutional
CCCS Brand Launch
PUSH, Inc.

Award of Distinction

Research/Situation Analysis: 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:
Written / 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 brand identity.
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 brand launch.
* 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: Budget included agency time valued at $17,656.00. Expenses included $11,399.00 for corporate T-shirts, business cards and lobby branding in CCCS' headquarters.