Voya creates a Chinese brand name for use in US

Although Voya has stopped issuing annuities, it continues to position itself as 'America's retirement company.'

Voya Financial, as part of an effort to cater to the Chinese community in the U.S. has created a Chinese-language version of its brand name and a “bilingual brand signature” with the help of the New York office Labbrand, a global brand strategy firm.

The Voya Financial brand itself is less than four years, having been the U.S. unit of ING until 2014. Since then, Voya has tried to position itself as “America’s retirement company,” although it is not the only financial services company vying to establish that kind of identity.

Voya’s Chinese brand name is [wò yǎ]. It is intended to be “optimistic, approachable, and relatable.” Labbrand created it after conducting “linguistic tests in major Chinese dialects” spoken in the U.S., Mandarin, Cantonese and Minnanhua. The two characters chosen for the name are readable in both traditional and simplified Chinese characters.

“The Chinese brand name [wò yǎ] envisions a rich and happy journey towards and through retirement, while maintaining similar pronunciation in Chinese to the original name “Voya,” said Voya’s press release. “[wò] stands for richness, implying an aspirational life full of joy. [yǎ] means elegance and peace, reflecting peace of mind and assurance for the future and life during retirement.”

The name has an optimistic and trustworthy tone, resonating with Voya’s brand image and customers’ expectations. This name was linguistically tested among speakers of Mandarin and two major Chinese dialects spoken in the U.S. – Cantonese and Minnanhua.

Voya plans to use the Chinese brand name and visual identity for marketing efforts through its website, social media, TV ad, print media, video, and other collateral.
Labbrand has regional operations in Shanghai, Singapore, Paris, New York and Vancouver, B.C.

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