Over our 117 year history, Western Fraternal Life has been known by many names. To some members we are ZCBJ, to other members we are WBFA or WFLA. Those who don’t know us are surprised to learn that WFLA is not a radio station! It’s time to have a consistent identity, one clear message that says who we are and what we do.
We wanted to make sure that while we honored and celebrated our heritage, especially the Czech and Slovak ancestry, we have a consistent message for who we are today. Our goal in re-branding is twofold: to clarify who we are to those who know us, and to create a positive identity for those who do not. Our branding initiative sought to take elements from our past and tie them to our future. Below explains the process of our branding, our new look, and what it means for members.
What went into the branding?
The branding initiative began in early 2014 with a small committee of Home Office employees from both the Fraternal and Marketing Departments. This committee used the Board of Directors strategic plan to develop a branding strategy and timeline to implement the needed changes. The committee created a proposal to get feedback from members. This stage of planning included an online survey, speaking with members in person at some state and local meetings, and having board members reach out to their constituents for feedback.
The feedback from members was positive, with a large majority feeling we were on the right track with the tagline and mission we had created. From there, the branding committee worked with a member who runs a local, graphic design business to design a logo that captures the meaning of Western Fraternal Life.
The branding committee decided to focus on several aspects of defining who we are to our loyal members and potential members. We wanted to clarify our mission, tagline, logo, and name, while incorporating this into a newly designed website.
Legally, our name hasn’t changed, but we are shortening it to better fit our new image. We will now be saying “Western Fraternal Life” and “Western” when talking about ourselves, as many of our members and agents already do! Both of those names are a clear and concise way to introduce ourselves to others.
The Association purpose and motto have not been changed.
We have been using the letters wfla as our logo for over 40 years. It has served us well, but the letters are often confused with a radio station and does not reflect our heritage. The new logo, inspired by the Charles Bridge in the Czech Republic, represents the dual nature of our organization. The bridge symbolizes several ways of “bridging” Czech and American heritage, past and future, fraternal and insurance, and today and tomorrow. It also symbolizes when becoming a member of Western, we help you get from point A to point B, and bridge the gap that often exists between your current financial status and future security.
One of the most iconic images of Western is the shield. The shield has great historical significance for many of our long time members and is how many lodges are known in their communities. The shield can still be used as it has in many ways in the past- festivals, parades, lodge anniversaries, etc. Over time, you will see the new bridge logo on all of our materials and website. We will continue to use the old logo on things like brochures, envelopes, and letterhead until they run out.
Prior to this branding initiative, the mission of Western was not widely used or known. The branding committee took this opportunity to create a new mission for Western Fraternal Life. Our mission focuses on what sets us apart in the insurance industry; our not-for-profit status and our commitment to members and their communities. Our mission:
Western Fraternal Life is a not-for-profit financial services organization that gives back to the communities where members live and work.
Similarly, as with our mission, we have used several taglines over the years, but not consistently throughout our materials. A tagline is a phrase or sentence that accompanies the logo and is a simple way to define us. Our new tagline is:
Enriching Today, Insuring Tomorrow.
This captures how Western can enrich your life through member benefits, volunteer activities, and social events today, and help to secure your family’s financial futures with our products for tomorrow.
Finally, the branding initiative also includes revamping our website. Our goal is to have a professional and informative, yet user-friendly website for members and potential members. While the look and layout of the website has changed, the web address has not. Check out our website at http://www.wflains.org.