Name of the Game: How Revere Health successfully rebranded
Rebranding is much more than a name change or a flashy new logo. It’s an evolutionary process that changes how your company is perceived. As a business grows, a brand that worked 20, 15 or even five years ago might not work today. But the task of rebranding can be daunting.
Central Utah Clinic was facing that very problem. Because of the geographic limitation of its name, patients in other parts of the state would get confused when they received a bill. It was hard to identify the unity of the clinic’s system, which had expanded from one office in the ‘60s to dozens of clinics throughout Utah in 2016.
“We’d outgrown our name and it wasn’t an accurate representation of the communities we service,” says Justin Ellingford, Revere Health marketing director. “We had too many names and logos connected to the system. [Rebranding] gave us an opportunity to bring everyone together and decide who we wanted to be when we grew up.”
Choosing the right name
When Ellingford was hired in July 2014, he was asked to revive a rebranding project that had started several months earlier. Working with a marketing firm, Ellingford did research into the communities, patients and physicians who would be affected by the change. Surveys were sent out. Focus groups were held. He wanted to know what made the company unique and how they could make an expressive connection to so many groups across the state.
Ellingford discovered that although Central Utah Clinic was successful, the company didn’t have brand recognition. A list of names or words was created to find a new name that represented the clinic’s ideals and values. They weren’t looking for a name that was functional or descriptive. They wanted a name that evoked emotion.
The words were narrowed down through several cycles of elimination, and a focus group was given the final selections. “They strongly recommended the name Revere Health. It aligned internally with our brand. It represented putting our patients’ health above all—that we truly revere our patients.”
At the moment of selection, Ellingford says it’s crucial to get
definitive support from decision makers before moving forward. You don’t want to be surprised by negative reactions, so be sure to get internal feedback from the people on the frontlines. But once everyone’s on board, proceed with confidence. This isn’t something you want to change again in a couple of years because it didn’t work out.
Unveiling the new brand – part 1
Getting employees on board with the new brand is a crucial step. Ellingford says to be proactive in broadcasting not just the new name and logo, but the message and mission behind the process. He didn’t want patients asking why the name was changed, only to be told by an employee, “I don’t know.”
To sell the new name and branding to the organization’s 1,500 employees, Revere Health rented out theaters and invited employees to a movie. Before the movie, they were shown a three-minute video about the new brand and how it embodied the value of the company. They were told why the brand was changed and what it meant to move forward as Revere Health.
Unveiling the new brand – part 2
Externally, the company invested in a robust billboard campaign and TV spots to promote the new brand. A new website was launched to demonstrate the clinic’s commitment to the rebranding strategy. Letters were sent to vendors, payers, insurance companies and patients explaining the change.
“The new name had mixed reviews from patients. People aren’t always open to change,” says Ellingford. “One of our biggest challenges was with long-time patients who were concerned that their healthcare provider had been bought by a different company, and it wasn’t the same customer-oriented clinic they’d used for so many years, but a heartless corporation.”
Another daunting task was the big internal change-out that included updating all the documents, forms, brochures, promotional items and signage. Ellingford says they are still finding documents that need to be rebranded.
A rebranding effort takes time and consistency. It’s important that the people leading the charge don’t get discouraged. Surrounding yourself with people who can provide insightful feedback is invaluable.
“Don’t give up. There were parts that went so much better than expected. But other issues, that I thought would be a slam-dunk, actually became big discussions,” Ellingford says. “Partner with a marketing firm. You need a good third-party partner you can trust who is not emotionally involved with the company.”
Overall, Ellingford feels the clinic’s rebranding has gone very well. The new brand has created a cohesion in the company that it never had before. Going forward as Revere Health, the expectation is high that people will understand the company’s mission and dedication to serving its patients with the same high quality of service.
Ellingford’s final counsel is to find the narrative for your company that allows everyone involved, from employees to clients, to feel unified and loyal to the new brand. “Telling the story is challenging and you need to find the right avenue to get the word out. … You need to put thought into your identity because it will represent everything you do.”