In January 2011, the association introduced its new tagline,
United in service and financial security; its secondary name,
Alliance; its logo; and its user-friendly website with a different URL, www.fraternalalliance.org.
The new brand supports other changes at the Alliance:
Training programs for member societies to improve their governance structures, webinars that enable more members to
access education programs at an affordable price, members-only online networking opportunities, and a new class of
membership that includes foreign-headquartered fraternal
groups, fraternal organizations that don’t sell insurance and
organizations that conduct regular business with fraternal
groups, such as actuarial firms. And as the association relies
more heavily on sponsors and its “associate membership”
class rather than dues revenue to sustain itself, the new,
more modern, business-like brand will help secure new revenue streams, says Allison Koppel, the Alliance’s executive
The new name and logo already have been used to influence members of Congress, state regulators and state legislators. At the federal level, more than 40 member society CEOs
traveled this spring to Washington, D.C., for the association’s
inaugural “Day on the Hill” to meet with legislators and their
staffs, and the event will occur biannually. Alliance members
also are hosting meetings with key congressional members
and their staffs throughout the year in their home districts. In
addition, the Alliance is working through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to boost state insurance
regulators’ knowledge of fraternal organizations.
“The new brand gives us a great excuse to ‘reintroduce’
ourselves to public policymakers,” Theisen says. “It puts a
fresh face on an old — but still viable — concept, and gives
us the opportunity to tell our story to public policymakers
in new and more relevant manner. Folks that may have had
a general knowledge of fraternals now have a much better
understanding of who we are and what we do, and how impor-
tant our tax-exempt status is for preserving our ability to carry
out our unique financial and community services missions.”
The brand rollout is a two-step process, Annotti explains.
“Year one was focused on communicating the new name
to our members, federal lawmakers and state regulators who
provide oversight and rules for life insurance operations,” he
says. “Year two will be to try to get members to adopt the
brand in their own communications.”
To that end, a new style guide instructs individual mem-
ber societies how to use the new logo and name to align
themselves with the brand, such as updating the association’s
logo on their collateral and websites.
The Alliance, which is the only national fraternal trade asso-
ciation, also is working with the 32 state fraternal congresses
— independent state-level counterparts to the Alliance — to
change their names to state fraternal alliances. If a state fraternal congress is incorporated, then it has to make a legal filing
to change its name. The Alliance will provide legal assistance
to state fraternal congresses that want to change their names,
all in the spirit of furthering fraternalism.
Furthering fraternalism also means focusing on the future.
Therefore, the Alliance conducted its first consumer focus
groups and national public opinion survey to better understand its potential member base and how to make the fraternal concept relevant for future generations.
“Research shows a lack of awareness of fraternal societ-
ies, but once made aware, people embrace the concept. The
question is, how do we make them aware?” Annotti says.
“This is a broader strategy that needs to be worked on. The
good news is that the fraternal concept is so positive.”
For that reason, making the fraternal concept more rel-
evant does not mean changing its core mission.
“Preserving, protecting, and enhancing the fraternal charter will always be the core mission of the Alliance,” Rasmussen says. “The strategies and tactics used to fulfill this
mission — including its efforts to establish a more recognizable and respected brand with public policymakers — must
continually evolve for the benefit of the system.”
Heather Ryndak Swink, CAE, is executive editor of FORUM. She may be
reached at (312) 924-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 SIGNATURE STORY features the fraud-fighting National Insurance Crime Bureau, which celebrates its centennial
in 2012. NICB performs investigations and provides data analysis, training,
legislative advocacy and public awareness regarding the detection and deterrence of insurance fraud and vehicle theft. It serves more than 1,000 property/
casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations, and employees
300 staff. NICB’s 2011 forecasted revenue is 42. 6 million, derived from
membership assessments based on members’ direct-earned premiums. In
addition to its Des Plaines, Ill.-corporate headquarters, NICB has field offices
in Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Hartford, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego,
Seattle, Tampa and Washington, D.C. Visit www.nicb.com to learn more.