It was only a matter of time, but following its buyout by Symantec almost two years ago, Verisign has finished re-brading under the Norton banner.
The new brand, known as the Norton Secured Seal, has now become the face of Symantec’s SSL certificate business.
According to Symantec identity and authentication VP, Fran Rosch, Verisign’s branding has always played an integral part in the company’s success.
“While Verisign has been leading in the SSL space for many years, we found that customers came to us and said that they need some kind of symbol to place on their site to demonstrate that they have SSL encryption in place and that they have been authenticated, so customers can really trust the site,” he said.
Thus, the original Verisign seal has built up a high consumer recognition and trust over the years to be displayed on over 500 million times a day in 170 countries. A browser plug-in also ensures the certification is used by 150 million desktops.
“It provides a very simple cue that the site is safe and can be trusted,” Rosch said.
“It has been a big part of our value proposition, as we sell SSL certificates in a competitive market.”
He said companies operating online do not only look at the security of Symantec’s infrastructure, the “broad” route distribution that they have, and the security and technology behind it, but also the ability to leverage the recognisable checkmark logo.
“They want to be able to put that on their site to be able to communicate that kind of trust and safety, which benefits them from a business standpoint because it drives increased ecommerce and transactional uplifts on their site,” Rosch said.
Following Verisign’s acquisition by Symantec about 20 months ago, Rosch knew that eventually Verisgn would need to migrate to a Symantec brand.
Since Symantec had two already strong brands, itself and Norton, it became clear that there was no need for a third one.
“Symantec also didn’t acquire all of the Verisign business but just the security parts of it,” Rosch said.
“So there is still a Verisign corporation out there that focuses on domain names and DNS resolution.”
After the acquisition, Verisign set itself a deadline of four years to continue to use the name, and eventually the company decided to develop a migration path.
To that end, the company carried out research, focus groups, online surveys, and tried to develop different types of seals, but in the end it found that doing minimal changes to the seal was the best choice, because it was “already well recognised”.
“So all we did was change the colour from red to yellow, kept the outline, and changed the name from Verisign to Norton, but left ‘powered by Verisign’ underneath that,” Rosch said.
“The seal is a consumer brand with consumer recognition, and Norton being the stronger consumer brand, we went with Norton and kept the same design.”
According to Rosch, all of the company’s partners have been informed about the change well in advance, as it made the re-branding decision over a year ago.
Emails were sent to all partners alerting them of the change, and a webinar was held which several hundred partners attended. Video of that webinar was then sent out to other partners to look at.
News of the re-branding was featured heavily in the partner newsletter and at a partner forum, though Rosch admits that this event was generally aimed at larger partners.
“We have done a lot of communication and definitely to our partners,” he said.