A company’s brand is the foundation of its entire marketing strategy. It’s not simply the organization’s name, color scheme and logo design. The brand should be embedded into every facet of your organization and connect back to the mission statement. Think of some of the most notable brands worldwide. Nike’s mission statement is “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” The company’s view is that if you have a body then you are an athlete. This core philosophy is supported by Nike’s famous “Just Do It” tagline, which is still relevant and inspirational more than 25 years after its debut. Its brand doesn’t just target elite athletes. It targets everyone whether you are running your fifth marathon or just hit the walking trail for the first time. The company supports its brand by offering innovative products that meet every consumer’s needs. For example, the Nike+ app allows people to track their activities (including GPS maps of runs), set personal goals and receive training tips.
When you are building your brand, its imperative to think about the entire customer experience with every touch point of your organization from your logo, website and social media platforms to the way staff answer the phone and the types of products and services offered. Ultimately, your brand is how customers perceive your organization. Identifying your core philosophy is the first step to building a strong brand. For example, is your organization trustworthy, cutting edge, compassionate or innovative? Next, you have to connect that philosophy to the customer’s experience.
Apple Inc. has one of the most valuable brands today. Its brand promise to “think different” is not just a call to action for the company, but for everyone. The company strives to be innovative, accessible and user friendly. Every aspect of the organization reinforces that brand—from the design of its interfaces to the setup of its retail stores to the packaging of its products. Apple’s brand applauds people who see things differently, as well. One of its most famous ad campaigns, “Here’s to the Crazy Ones,” showed images of Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jim Henson, and others—people who thought differently and were crazy enough to think they could change the world.
Recently, Quaintise completed a rebranding campaign for COPE Health Solutions, a Los Angeles-based healthcare management consulting company. COPE was struggling to effectively communicate its values, services and expertise on complex healthcare issues. Its logo, website and newsletter were outdated, not user friendly and didn’t clearly convey the organization’s mission. Here is quick look at how we updated COPE’s brand to better reflect its mission, scope of services and expertise.
COPE’s mission is to improve quality, access and value for all patients by partnering with organizations to develop innovative and transformative health care solutions that will position its clients as leaders in the healthcare industry. Its core philosophy is to be a visionary thought leader. It has the industry expertise and services to help clients realize those goals. But nothing about its look, description of services and communications efforts truly supported that philosophy. It’s easy in healthcare to get bogged down in the complexity of the issues. Quaintise needed to cut through those complex healthcare topics, acronyms and jargon to showcase COPE as the visionary organization it is.
The first step was conducting an in-depth brand audit. Based on those results, Quaintise recommended some of the following actions:
- A redesigned logo and a new brand style guide
- A new website with a user friendly mobile version
- Updated company messaging, including case studies, monthly briefings and newsletters
- A focus on PR article placements and media coverage
- Improved social media and SEO strategies
Everything Quaintise designed was focused on promoting COPE as a visionary thought leader. Its new logo features a fresh and modern design. Its new company tagline is “Thought Leadership. Visionary Transformation.” Its website reinforces that core philosophy by prominently including the words vision, expertise, success and innovative. The website directs consumers to its experts and offers a clear description of what COPE does on its homepage. The website also includes SEO-friendly copy, a modern framework and design, as well as compelling testimonials from high-profile clients. Its monthly newsletter boasts the taglines “Visionary, market relevant healthcare solutions” and “How COPE Health Solutions is Transforming Health Care.” Again the message is focused on positioning COPE as a brand that is visionary and transformative.
When building a brand, focus on the core mission and purpose of the organization and then connect that philosophy into everything you do. Organizations should completely embody their brand promise.
To read more about COPE’s rebranding campaign and to see before and after images, go to the case study, “Strategic Marketing and Rebranding Initiative Drives Growth at Healthcare Consulting Firm.”