Brand alignment for the South African region of leading private healthcare group owing 53 hospitals, Mediclinic, as they prepared for the Hirslanden Group merger. The two-year interim brand alignment project culminated in the handoff to Landor for the global rebrand program.
The visual brand had fragmented to a critical point, and communications undermined the company's credibility. The audit revealed that to achieve true success for the brand, new processes were needed throughout the organisation to manage the use of brand assets, messaging, costs and timeframes, which became the focus of the project.
To identify the scope and depth of the challenge, my process started with leading the nationwide audit of branded material produced by 53 hospitals, consultants, agencies, doctors, specialists and a range of departments within the corporate head offices. This helped with segmenting messaging needs and analysing stakeholders, creating the brand architecture managing all partnerships, professional alliances and industry networks, sponsorship and all co-branding relationships.
This in-depth phase revealed the extent of the need for centralised brand management, a briefing process and an easily accessible design system with clear guidelines. The scope grew beyond a design focus to that of internal process and service design as no briefing or approval process had been implemented thus far, so this became my priority once we had created these processes, which involved the new brand guidelines and design system. This process also helped us identify priorities and filter what should and should not be included in the scope of work, given that a global rebrand program was imminent within a few years.
I set the brand architecture governing all brand divisions, sub-entities, partnerships, co-branding and endorsement systems across all 53 hospitals and many partners, specialists, institutions and sponsors.
A broad range of new styles and graphic elements had crept in, fragmenting and undermining the brand beyond recognition. During the brand and design phase, I set up matrices and frameworks of all brand assets and messaging according to communication type, stakeholder, and audience segment. Through workshops with the C-suite, we identified which assets were critical and simply needed usage guidelines and which should be removed.
I established a new design system using the critical assets and designed the new brand design and corporate communications templates and guidelines to demonstrate the newly aligned brand across each communication type and audience segment. I set principles and guidelines for these templates across strategic, marketing, PR, campaign and corporate communications.
Once I had stakeholder and C-suite approval on the new system, I tackled the service design phase to improve the in-house design studio process and manage external agencies. Working with the stakeholders, we established a new, efficient studio process that reduced time and costs in producing branded material and centralised the briefing, approval and production process for all hospitals and stakeholders producing branded material across the country. I directed and mentored the in-house design teams in rolling out the interim style and provided mentorship in corporate identity systems design principles and practices. I worked with Medicliniic in ongoing consultation and as an expert panellist on advertising, marketing and branding agency selection and reviews.