Personal GroupTechnology

Developing new ways to work happy.

Personal Group has been at the forefront of employee benefits and financial services (insurance, cash plans, rewards and salary sacrifice) for over thirty years. Over that time, their personal approach to tailoring benefits for individuals based on face-to-face advice (hence their name) has been the secret to their success.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, if people are happy, they are more productive at work. But now there’s research to prove it: Economists at the University of Warwick have concluded this in their 2014 report: ‘Happiness and Productivity, Oswald, Proto, Sgroi, University of Warwick, UK, and IZA Bonn, Germany’.

Today Personal Group services employees digitally as well as face-to-face.

Using Personal Group’s employee engagement platform Hapi, employees can track, tailor and use their benefits from their mobiles. Employers can now have a closer relationship with each of their employees, using the platform as a direct channel to manage everything from comms to payslips to HR.

For large-scale, geographically spread organisations like the NHS or OCS, this technology is becoming increasing valuable.

So people feel more valued (and more happy) if benefits are clearly explained through personal interaction and tailored to things they like and that they can redeem easily (through digital delivery).

Employee benefits are too often seen as complicated and of no real value to the individual. The actual percentage of people who make active use of their benefits is a staggeringly low 20%, so Personal Group see it as their mission to redress that balance.

From this, SomeOne developed a brand strategy focussed around ‘Work Happy’ – a mantra that neatly distils the core idea.

As for the identity, a completely fresh approach was needed not only to refocus the group around one thought, but also to align the various sub-brands, platforms and divisions that the group worked with.

When you look at the sector as a whole, it feels very sales-led. Lots of bright colours and faces of young people having lots of fun — in a nutshell, not very customer led. Personal Group’s identity needed to be a bold statement for the industry but also simple, clear and accessible to land the idea of ‘Work Happy’ with employers and employees across the UK.

David LawEXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR, SOMEONE

SomeOne developed branding based on a smiling face together with a positive golden yellow palette. Yellow is not only the most attention grabbing colour, but is also the colour most associated with happiness.

We knew that if we were going to recommend a smiling face, it had to be something a bit special. When we pointed out how a nose is formed from the lower case ‘g’, no one on the client side had spotted it straight away — much like the hidden arrow in the FedEx wordmark — so it was an added and pleasant surprise. It gives the ‘PG’ a more personal face.

Lee DaviesDesign Director, SomeOne

The smile becomes an integral part of the brand world for PG, appearing also in the word mark for Hapi, PG’s engagement platform and as an ownable element in the extensive icon library for the different services.

SomeOne also created a series of branded images for use in communications focussing on the ‘Work Happy’ theme, all of which include found smiles.

We had all seen the hashtag ‘I see faces’ on social networks, where people had captured images of everyday items that reminded them of peoples faces. So we set out to find our own and recreated them from scratch in the studio.

Emma EnglishLead Designer, SomeOne

The online platform was re-imagined alongside the brand repositioning by Experience Design Consultancy – ELSE. The digital overhaul includes the design of Hapi, Personal group’s app that will be released later this year.

The website is aimed primarily at HR Directors and Reward professionals – those in a commissioning role for employee benefits within their company. As part of the redesign, a huge consolidation of content was undertaken to make it easy for those audiences to understand what Personal Group offer in a succinct and easy to understand way.

In addition to this, Personal Group’s new digital engagement platform – Hapi was given centre stage. Hapi provides easy access for employees’ services and is Personal Group’s main interface for employees to draw value wherever they are.

ELSE reworked the Hapi interaction language into an app that would drive more and repeat usage. A roller nav allowed easy access to each key area of service and in app notifications enable better surfacing of the latest offers and vouchers. This means that when employees come and check their payslip through the app, they can also see what discounts and offers are available to them that weekend.

ReedWords were also part of the collaboration helping to create a ‘happy’ tone of voice for PG and branded imagery was photographed by Sorted.

The perfect balance between creativity and our business imperatives that SomeOne brought to bear was their single greatest attribute. They understood our needs and diligently worked to these whilst very carefully and thoughtfully adding a refreshing creativity which I believe appropriately reflects what we are for the first time.

Mark ScanlonChief Executive, Personal Group