After two years of internal discussion and planning, Delaware's largest private employer has tweaked its nationally recognized name to signal the launch of an updated brand identity.
ChristianaCare, formerly Christiana Care Health System, is a new spin on a trusted name that is designed to reflect the organization's values of "love and excellence," said President and CEO Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, as she greeted hospital staff and posed for pictures outside a newly branded community outreach bus featuring the new logo, name, and mission statement called "For the Love of Health."
"We are reimagining how we deliver care - to deliver health, not just health care, to the people we serve," Nevin said during her first stop on a day-long tour of ChristianaCare campuses in Delaware and Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.
Nevin said nearly half of ChristianaCare's revenue now comes from outside the hospital system. She said the decision to only tweak the name was based on research that indicated the Christiana Care name had strong brand equity locally but was also nationally known.
"This is a brand refresh," Chief Communications and Experience Officer Drew Fennell agreed, adding that the ChristianaCare name helps with recruiting talent, among other things. "It was never intended to be a name change. We're no longer just a hospital. We deliver health, not just health care."
Both Nevin and Fennell declined comment on the cost of the brand refresh or the optics of a brand refresh at a time when a great deal of public attention is being focused on hospital and health-care costs.
Branding experts say the cost of rebranding efforts often run at 10% to 20% of an organization's marketing budget, which in 2017 was about $3 million, according to the nonprofit's most recent 990.
Fennell said that the spending mandate was to "use resources wisely and inside our budget," with a focus on "displacing budget dollars or delaying expenditures," such as reprinting of forms, purchasing of branded supplies and equipment, or the repurposing of an outdated shuttle bus as the "brand bus."
ChristianaCare worked with Miami, FL-based Wax Communications, which bills itself as a "monster in health care marketing" on its website.
""The goal of this brand refresh is to increase our level of engagement with the community, and to do it in ways that are fresh and attractive," Fennell said. "We wanted to modernize our brand. We feel that we have an incredible story to share that goes beyond what we're doing in the hospital and we wanted to create a platform to tell that story."
ChristianaCare officials said its approach will expand to include "non-medical needs that affect people's health," including food security, housing, public safety, education, and economic opportunity. It will also focus more attention on primary care and virtual technologies and on leveraging artificial intelligence.
As hospital employees gathered early in the morning outside the John H. Ammon Medical Education Center on the Newark campus, there was a lot of oohing and ahhing over the new colors (a vibrant pink flower and a logo of green, teal, and blue).
The new logo is based on Delaware's state flower, the peach blossom, and is meant to symbolize ChristianaCare's deep roots in the state. "For the Love of Health" is designed to encourage "everyone to reflect on the 'why' behind the health-related choices we make every day. In fact, the nonprofit organization has been quietly previewing the change in direction with non-branded ads in local publications with headlines such as "Why Go for a Walk?" and "Why Sleep 8 Hours a Night?" along with the Oct. 3 launch date.
- By Peter Osborne