20 enero 2006

ING Launches New Brand Promise: 'Your future. Made easier.'

ATLANTA, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- After creating a name for itself in the U.S. financial services marketplace in a remarkably short period, ING today introduced its new brand promise -- "Your future. Made easier."

"In listening to our customers and through extensive consumer research, we've heard one message loud and clear: Americans want the process of managing their money to be easier," said Toby Hoden, Chief Marketing Officer of ING U.S. Financial Services. "The concept of 'Your future. Made easier.' defines the next phase of ING's brand development in the U.S., and is a direct outgrowth of consumers' needs."

Hoden said that in terms of brand awareness and favorability, ING -- a global financial institution of Dutch origin which only began establishing itself as brand in the U.S. in 2001 -- is now close on the heels of companies that have built their brands over decades.

"Five years ago, ING had just begun building its brand in the U.S.," he said. "Since then, we've seen consumer awareness of ING skyrocket from approximately eight percent to around 80 percent. Because of the tremendously high favorability that ING enjoys among key audiences, the company is extremely well positioned to evolve the brand."

The next phase of brand-building focuses squarely on ING's key stakeholders, including customers and financial advisors.

The new brand campaign reflects the key findings of the ING Financial Planning and Investment Study, a survey of more than 1,000 American consumers conducted by Roper GfK that found consumers wish financial services firms were easier to deal with, and 73 percent said they would switch to a financial services firm with a reputation for making the financial planning process easier.

"Our brand message is clear: We want to make it easier for our customers to save, invest, protect and manage their money," he said. "We are making changes in everything we do and in all aspects of the organization to make this happen."

Key changes include:
- Product development: Creating products that are easier to understand.

- Communication: Developing new ways to provide consumers and financial
professionals with information and resources to help them better
understand how to manage their money, as well as better explain the

- Continuous process improvements: Instituting ongoing enhancements,
each designed to make customers' financial services experiences easier,
at all business levels.

To unveil and support its new brand initiative, ING is launching an extensive national advertising campaign, according to Tricia Conahan, Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing.

"With each ad, ING recognizes that although many things in life are getting increasingly more complicated, life on the ING Bench is easier," said Tricia Conahan. "Our 'ING Bench' advertising became an iconic marketing campaign that was key to establishing the ING brand in the U.S. ING became known as the humorous, offbeat company that liberally used the color orange and clearly did things differently than competitors. Our new advertising campaign stays true to the brand's orange color, humorous approach and trademark benches, with a focus on how ING is dedicating itself to eliminating consumer frustration with financial planning.

In one of the new spots, a worker joins a fellow employee on the ING Bench and presses a button to order coffee. The two watch the long, complicated process of making the cup of Joe until a small door finally opens with the steaming beverage.

"The main point of the ads is that the financial world can be complicated, and ING can make it easier," Conahan said. "With innovative products, tools and programs, ING is helping to take the difficulty out of managing your money for the future."

ING's new advertising campaign will air on a variety of cable and TV networks, including ABC, NBC, CBS, CNBC, Fox Sports, ESPN and TNT, among many others. ING developed the advertising campaign in partnership with BBDO Atlanta. The TV spots were directed by the award-winning commercial and film director Kinka Usher.

ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, insurance and asset management to over 60 million private, corporate and institutional clients in 50 countries. With a diverse workforce of over 113,000 people, ING comprises a broad spectrum of prominent companies that increasingly serve their clients under the ING brand.

In the U.S., ING offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients that includes retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, life insurance, employee benefits, financial planning, and reinsurance. Currently, ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves more than 14 million customers across the nation.

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