Find the Right Way
More than just a new name.
Oregon Dental Services, an insurance provider, has deep roots in the Pacific Northwest, but a half-century of growth and adaptation left ODS’s identity misaligned with its core offerings. The company provides more than just dental insurance, and operates far beyond Oregon. ODS asked Ziba to create a new brand strategy to reflect the company’s expansion and prepare for legislative changes that will require them to be more consumer-facing. In the process, ODS got a new name – Moda Health – but that was only the beginning.
Remaining true to the company’s established sense of self and clearly articulating what made Moda different from other health insurance providers were top priorities. The new strategy also presented the opportunity to precisely express the brand’s essential – and expanding – mission. As CEO Robert Gootee said, their goal was not “to be the best known, but the best regarded.” To accomplish this, Ziba’s team started with an understanding of the larger landscape of health insurance, then delved deeply into Moda’s organization, to discern their authentic promise and who they were best suited to connect with.
Targeting the Betterists.
Research made it clear that people often saw HMOs as barriers to health care. Collaborative work sessions and informational interviews proved ODS was different, as Moda would continue to be. The company’s mission is strengthening human well-being, acting as an experienced partner to find the right way to better health. Moda’s target members were identified as Betterists: people interested in sharing their goal of better health, regardless of where they might be starting from. The new brand strategy needed to speak to these people directly, while still remaining relevant to existing members.
Moda’s new brand needed to be activated internally, as well, so Ziba designers led a series of work sessions with employees to convey the implications of strategic changes that cut deeper than the application of a new identity. Addressing individual consumers directly in today’s changing market for health insurance means a switch to a service-oriented approach for every member of the organization, for example, and this required training for managers and human resource personnel.
The name “Moda” wasn’t chosen to be future-proof, but rather future-oriented, a supportive platform for a complex organization, with resilience and room to grow. With promise and audience defined, Ziba chose an iconic character reference to personify Moda’s brand: the Altruistic Scout. Imagine a seasoned mountain guide, partnering with travellers of all levels to successfully navigate unfamiliar, potentially dangerous landscapes, with a clear goal in sight. The Scout would be key to leveraging Ziba’s work strategically.
ODS’s new name, Moda, means “the way.” Each graphic element of its new identity supports a larger vision of the company’s mission and feels contemporary. The Momentum Arrow used above the wordmark, for example, functions as a standalone branding device, directing attention; it literally “leads the way.” Redesigned print and digital communications capture the Scout’s promise visually, delivering the new brand to Betterists and the wider public. From a guidebook for employees to a new website, every Moda touchpoint utilizes graphics and imagery that emphasize foresight, clarity and vision. Tactical applications for the new brand – in marketing, advertising and sponsorships – were also considered. Moda recently announced a ten-year partnership with Portland’s Rose Garden, home of the NBA Trail Blazers, renaming the arena Moda Center.
An aligned brand strategy captures Moda’s leadership position, broadcasts optimism, and provides permission to extend new services and value.
Success: Identity expanded, aligned, solved.
In December 2012, Moda announced their new identity internally, with a brand guide and the Be Better Manifesto. The alignment captures Moda’s leadership position and broadcasts optimism, as well as providing permission to extend services and value that didn’t necessarily feel right, with the old brand. Moda stakeholders from all levels of the organization invested at every stage in the process, so they trusted Ziba’s results, making for a total solution that transcends a traditional corporate identity system. Ensuring every touchpoint expresses their unique brand promise does more than clear the road for Moda Health to connect with new consumers, going forward – it strengthens communication with existing members as well.
These results led to more collaboration between Ziba and Moda. New work innovates Moda’s offerings and extends the new brand’s equity. William Johnson, President of Moda Health, said “Our new identity helps us tell the powerful and compelling story that we are a new kind of health company, one bridging the value gap, reaching out to patients, to healthcare organizations and to employers. Moda Health designs, implements and builds upon collaborative quality-driven solutions … throughout the communities we serve.”