When It’s Time for a Rebrand

Nov. 26, 2018

The marriage of purpose and mission

As a lot of you know, my daughter got married this past summer. It was beautiful and sad at the same time. I had to keep reminding myself that we weren’t losing a daughter, that she would always be our little girl, no matter what else changed. The dust has now settled, the bills have been paid, and the thank you notes have been sent. I’m pleased to report the happy couple is doing great and come to visit often. My daughter is the same person we’ve always known: she’s just changed her last name. In a way, she underwent her own “rebrand,” leaving single life behind and starting new as a half of a couple.

This got me thinking: the rebranding process that we at Legato Healthcare Marketing do every day are a lot like starting a marriage. Like marriage, a rebrand is a big commitment, it’s not just about appearances, and it takes a whole lot of teamwork for it to be successful. The tips that follow are for rebranding efforts—but may actually apply to marriage, too. 

First things first, know who you are.

Without a strong brand identity, your organization will suffer. Knowing “who you are” isn’t just about where your facility is or how long it’s been operational; it’s about knowing your inner brand, the things that make your origination unique.

We worked with a facility that had long been a behavioral health clinic, but who was looking to expand into primary care as well. It turns out that this was not an inconsistent move given the ethos of the brand. The new Edgewater Health was as committed as ever to providing whole person care to the patients they treat. What made it new and better—the addition of primary care—complemented that commitment perfectly.

For our work with Horizon Health, we held community focus groups and facility-wide thought exercises to help define what their brand meant to them. We sought answers to both how things are and how they wanted things to be.

As we know, brands relate so much to a patient’s experience. The right branding, along with the right care, are major factors of your audience’s perception of your facility. A solid knowledge of what your brand represents will help your facility—like a person’s sense of self in a marriage—remain true to itself and be a guiding light for decision making down the line.

Another element to a successful rebrand is identifying your goals.

Our work with the new Syracuse Area Health stemmed from the organization’s desire to communicate to the people of the community that they were an inclusive, full service facility. It wasn’t just for a certain population or demographic. The team at SAH knew what they wanted to achieve with their rebrand, which was as helpful to them as it was for us.

Likewise, our work with Horizon Health revealed similar goals. Like many rural hospitals, Horizon Health needed to compete with larger systems and “big city” options. Both of these carried with them the sense of “bigger is better,” which takes careful maneuvering on the part of the underdog. Luckily, with the help of a rebrand—including its name—we were able to help position Horizon Health as high quality, personalized experience for patients, a far cry from the cold unfeeling machines of larger systems and cities.

Is rebranding a big investment?

It is—at least in terms of the thought all parties must put into the process. A new website, logo, name, etc, are all elements that need to be addressed as well. But this investment has the potential to pay for itself in a short time. The renewed sense of optimism it brings to your community, the brand awareness, and the increase in patient volumes, these things offset the mental and financial cost of a strong rebrand. For one example, the work we did with Horizon Health’s rebranding contributed to a 15% average increase in patient volumes across all service lines.

Our rebranding process involves a lot of “homework” and frequent check-ins to ensure we are all on the same page. It’s work, but it’s worth it, because, at the end of the day, relationships are everything, and Legato Healthcare Marketing is here to make sure your organization’s relationship with the people it severs stays happy and harmonious for all of their days.

Learn more about our rebranding of Horizon Health by downloading our case study here.

Mike Milligan, President, Legato Healthcare Marketing

Website by: Craig Erskine

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