Using Local Pride: How Principal Financial Group built a sponsorship strategy

Geoffrey Precourt

The Principal Financial Group is a relatively quiet heartland-of-America financial services company. It's a strong, steady performer-number 268 on the Fortune 500 list in 2011, 266 in 2010 - with a more powerful presence on Wall Street than in the branding community on Madison Avenue.

It is proud of its 130-year-heritage and its deep roots in the Des Moines, Iowa, business community. And that pride manifests itself in civic sponsorship programs with such local programs as the Iowan Asian Heritage Festival, the Des Moines Arts Festival, the I'll Make Me a World in Iowa cultural assembly, and WineFest Des Moines.

Such programs are in line with what The Principal lists as its goals for sponsorship:

  • Promote our brand.
  • Build awareness, familiarity, favorability and interest in purchasing our products/services among those experiencing the sponsorship.
  • Create connections with target audiences.
  • Create relationship marketing opportunities for our sales, service and marketing teams.
  • Drive leads for sales.
  • Support our corporate citizenship role.