Rebranding is not for the weak. Done right it is an expensive and time-consuming process, fraught with drama, difficult decisions and a lot work. However, done right, rebranding is also an agent for growth and a catalyst for positive change. Robin Stawasz, LMSW

Your brand is short-hand for everything your organization stands for. It’s a promise of what you say you’ll deliver to patients, families, referrers and your community. Your brand should be distinctive, memorable and set you apart from your competitors. Yet so often, the components that build a hospice brand have been created piecemeal, on an as-needed basis and can vary widely.

It can be difficult to make the time to step back, focus on key elements and develop solid brand standards that tell your story and set you apart from your competition. The rebranding process, as mentioned in the quote above, is not for the faint of heart but, when done right, provides powerful benefits for your entire organization.

Serenity HospiceCare, of Park Hills, Missouri, can attest to these benefits. In an article for the summer 2015 issue of NHPCO’s NewsLine, Tammy Bracken, Serenity’s former Director of Public Relations and Volunteers, writes candidly about the multi-step rebranding process her organization worked through. As she explains, the motivations to embark into the world of rebranding vary depending on the organization. In her organization’s case, the factors included having a generic name, many area competitors and a declining census. They recognized they needed to take action. It was time to consider rebranding.

“This was not an easy sell to our board of directors, and we all understood why,” writes Bracken. “For some, the idea of marketing such a private, emotion-filled service like hospice was taboo. Others felt marketing was needed but doubted it could be done in a tasteful, professional manner.” Yet, despite the riesistance Serenity HospiceCare embarked on the rebranding process, partnering with Transcend Hospice Marketing Group for the initial research, market analysis, strategic plan and subsequent name change, logo development and creation of supporting marketing materials.

Tammy Bracken’s article details the process from the first meetings and conversations to the introduction of the new name, logo and taglines to the board of directors, staff and surrounding community. Her article cites seven valuable lessons learned:

  • You must figure out exactly who you are as an organization before you make any changes
  • Spend as much (if not more) time doing your homework than rolling out the changes
  • Keep your staff well informed and involved in the entire process
  • If your management isn’t excited about the changes, your staff won’t be either
  • Have ONE consistent message to explain the “whys” behind the changes
  • Changing the way people think about your organization takes time
  • Rebranding, much like motherhood and aging, is NOT for sissies!

This story has a very happy ending. “To our delight, all the media tools we had created were very well received and generated some wonderful feedback – even from some of our competitors! Our new logo won a national award and, better still, according to a second phone survey completed 14 months after its introduction, it was more recognizable than our old logo had been (after being around for 20 years!).”
To read the entire article by Tammy Bracken, click here.

Does your organization need help with rebranding? Give us a call at 419-241-2247. We’re happy to help and we’re able to demonstrate fantastic results for our clients.

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