Meg Beckum, Executive Creative Director at Elmwood Brand Consultancy, on positioning Summit Health, the newly formed organisation from Summit Medical Group and CityMD.
This article originally appeared in Little Black Book Online.
We created a comprehensive brand platform for the holding company formed by the merger of Summit Medical Group and CityMD. We named the new organisation Summit Health and built a go to market branding platform encompassing all elements of the combined organisation that positions the 8,000-person organisation as the healthcare company of the future, focused on delivering connected care throughout a patient’s journey. All elements of how a patient experiences the Summit brand were reimagined with the goal of creating a seamless healthcare experience – from the logo, the colours, the signage in the offices, to the look and feel of the website and app. The design was orchestrated to provide an easy to navigate process for patients, staff and providers linking care across offices and specialties.
The merger of Summit Medical Group, a growing New Jersey health network, with CityMD, a leading urban network of urgent care practices, led to the need for a new brand identity for the resulting holding company – Summit Health. The new branding system needed to assure patients that with two large healthcare systems coming together, they would receive an even higher quality of healthcare, enabled by a connected network that works fluidly and seamlessly.
Complexity is a common theme in the healthcare marketplace and our challenge was to reassure patients that even though the network was getting bigger, the patient would not get lost. Elmwood decided to flip the narrative and turn a potentially challenging proposition, that the network would become more complex, into a positive: that the new network was going to be more comprehensive and the standard of care better, because everyone will be working in sync with each other.
To build a future-focused brand we asked, how do you communicate the breadth and comprehensiveness of Summit’s offering in a simple, more human expression?
The creative tension we steered toward was the challenging divide between conveying clarity and rolling out a complex system. We wanted to communicate the fact that even though the organisation may be growing and becoming more complicated, the experience does not need to feel that way.
Prototype & Design
The creative idea was to illustrate seamless connections: between the two partner organisations, their diverse set of services, their digital and physical interactions and between the patient and the provider.
We started to think about how you show connection in a seamless way. We considered ways to bring this to life through such visual concepts as the coordinated movements of a kaleidoscope, a prism, or synchronised swimmers.
We brought four designs to Summit leaders, each dialing up a different part of what we identified as the Summit Health personality: dynamic, smart and kind. One logo design was based on a retro-inspired design with a nod to the ’70s, showing two hands coming together. Another featured the letter S with a dot at the top of the curve. The dot represented the patient and the curves of the letter, the healthcare journey they were taking with Summit. In the end, Summit chose to go with a treatment that shows the top and bottom of the letter S as separate parts coming together.
The idea shows coordinated movement that demonstrates how the two organisations come together to create something new. The logo depicts how the new entity formed is not only better but is responsive and offers coordinated care. The typeface, Buenos Aires, was chosen for its modern look and welcoming feel. Coral was chosen for the colour of the logo for its warmth and navy was selected for the type to convey the seriousness of the category. This new branding plays a vital role in elevating the patient experience and establishes a truly aligned internal organisation.
To bring our ideas to life and deliver them to Summit’s vast footprint as fast as possible, we brought in our longtime activation partner TenTen. They produced a full array of materials for launch and implementation planning, signage, collateral, templates, stationery and media testing. Their partnership enabled us to deliver our new work quickly to put the new identity and brand in market.
The new identity program began rolling out in the Spring and will continue into the summer. Additional communications include a new app, an advertising campaign, animated digital communications, as well as signage, graphics, original iconography and other elements.
“The emergence of the Summit Health brand is about more than just a new name or logo. It brings unity and focus to our operations, while also delivering an enlightening, compassionate, and connected experience that is orchestrated around the patient,” said Matt Gove, chief marketing officer, Summit Health. “The fresh, modern logo and brand identity evoke the feeling of connection on many meaningful levels.”