healthcare rebranding

Healthcare Rebranding: An Opportunity to Revitalize More Than Just a Logo

As with many other industries, organizations in the healthcare space are on the move with numerous entities undergoing healthcare rebranding efforts.

Since the start of this year alone, a number of healthcare organizations have been acquired, have merged with other entities, or have opted to rebrand themselves for various purposes. With increased reliance on healthcare systems over the past two years due to the ongoing pandemic, these moves make sense. Increased demand for services and care means greater attention from communities and an ideal opportunity for healthcare systems to reaffirm their commitments, demonstrate their increased capabilities, and revitalize their image for the road ahead.

Additionally, the need for greater brand modernization has been an often-cited need for organizations that have undergone or will be undergoing these healthcare rebranding programs. While there is strategic value in an established and tenured brand, there are scenarios in which refreshes — light yet meaningful graphical updates to brand elements like logos, typefaces, color palettes, etc. — can leverage that value and propel it forward for even greater success.

Whatever the reasoning behind today’s growing healthcare rebranding efforts, any update to an organization’s brand creates the need to implement that brand throughout its footprint. Healthcare systems are vast. According to the 2022 Fast Facts on American Hospitals report from the American Hospital Association (AHA), there are nearly 3,500 hospitals in a system, which is defined as two or more hospitals under a central organization (this also includes freestanding hospitals with some additional criteria). And this doesn’t include an additional 2,600 non-system hospitals across the country.

Whether your organization has a few facilities, a few hundred, or even a few thousand (such as non-clinical, administrative, and IT locations), consistency is essential when managing all of the various brand assets that will need to be updated. Here are several considerations to help you turn an effort of this magnitude into a brand win.

Work with Experts in Brand Implementation

Once you take stock of the various brand assets that need to be updated or replaced, you’ll quickly realize that this is, in most cases, far beyond the capabilities of an in-house team to manage. Healthcare rebranding must be completed fairly efficiently — to do otherwise sends the wrong message about the program and makes the organization look like this isn’t a priority (when all of the messaging around it will suggest otherwise). If you were to keep this program in-house, it could take many months or even longer to execute.

With a brand implementation team managing all of the details and execution of the program on your behalf, you can focus on other strategic priorities such as customer communications, community and investor relations, employee training, and more. Your brand implementation partner will handle all of the physical brand assets, such as getting signage and graphics produced and installed, coordinating with vendors and suppliers throughout your footprint, managing the storage and distribution of assets, and overseeing their final installation at each of your sites in a timely fashion.

Leverage Opportunities for Greater Sustainability and Image

Often, healthcare rebranding programs focus only on the immediate assets that need to be updated — with the most significant being interior signage, exterior signage, and wayfinding signage. This is understandable as they’re the most immediately visible elements of your brand on your facilities. If they stay outdated for too long, it could cause confusion for the community and your employees. However, a healthcare rebranding program is the ideal opportunity to consider your spaces themselves to see what message they’re sending to the patients, guests, and employees experiencing them every day.

Consider elements like fixtures, kiosks, wall graphics, digital signage, flooring, counters, and other physical aspects of your interior spaces that people see and use. Are they as modernized as your new brand? Remember that your hospital is a pillar in the community, but it must still provide a welcoming, pleasant brand experience. Outdated, worn-down, or damaged physical elements immediately make an unwanted impact on customers’ perceptions of your brand. Invest in refreshing these core aspects of your brand alongside or closely after your signage brand implementation.

Additionally, lighting plays a significant role in how people experience your brand — both outside of the buildings and inside them. Imagine driving to a hospital to visit a relative or to get non-emergency medical care, only to pull into one of the darkest, most uncomfortable parking lots you’ve ever experienced — or a dim and dingy parking garage. Now imagine walking through hallways with lighting that strains your eyes. Nope — there is nothing pleasant about any of this! You can see the impact that lighting makes on your brand here. Relying on outdated lighting systems is also far more costly long-term than upgrading them to more efficient and brighter LEDs. An LED retrofit is a great opportunity to provide a better, safer experience at your facilities while also reducing energy costs.

Support Long-Term Success with Preventive Maintenance

With the above brand elements refreshed and implemented, it’ll be time to commit to protecting them. Signage, refresh & remodel construction, and updated energy programs are no small investment, which is why it’s important to maintain them proactively and consistently over time. While brand-new assets are unlikely to experience a catastrophic failure, preventive maintenance helps to identify minor issues that are likely to cause problems down the road. Additionally, periodic maintenance is a great way to identify and resolve issues that might not be immediately addressable.

For example, healthcare systems typically have separate locations for data centers, IT teams, administrative and finance offices, facilities management, and so on. Some of these facilities are just as prevalent in the community as clinical locations with large street and building signage, extensive lighting systems across the properties, and interior brand elements. While you might prioritize clinical locations, preventive maintenance programs that send crews to visit non-clinical locations on a monthly or quarterly basis can identify less critical needs like sign letters that aren’t illuminating properly or parking lot lights that are flickering. Ultimately, an investment in preventive maintenance programs helps preserve the power of a healthcare rebranding effort long term.

Work with the Healthcare Rebranding Experts

If your organization is considering a healthcare rebranding program in the coming months, the Stratus team is here to support your success. We’ve worked with numerous healthcare organizations, bringing a 150-year legacy of excellence in brand implementation to their programs. Our portfolio of capabilities covers all of the physical aspects of your branding explored here, and thanks to our unmatched program management team, we’ll expertly plan and execute your program from start to finish while keeping you informed at all times. Our proven network of field partners operates flexibly to support your operating needs, and our logistics and installation capabilities mean you’re working with fewer middlemen.

Ready to experience the Stratus difference? Connect with us today.