How To: Manage A Health System Rebranding


A health system rebranding (or even a hospital or medical practice rebranding) is a major milestone event where everything is evolving: strategically, creatively, internally and externally. Typical reasons for a health system rebrand may include:

  • health provider mergers or acquisitions
  • a health care organization’s goals shifting in a new direction
  • updating a health system brand that no longer resonates in an evolving (e.g. consumer-driven) marketplace
  • an organization name no longer reflecting the depth and breadth of its health care offerings


Since 1999, Trajectory has worked alongside many healthcare leadership, board and marketing teams across the country on these major brand initiatives. Here are eight tips to keep in mind to ensure you realize the returns of a rebranding.


For a health system rebranding effort to have any chance of success, organization Board and leadership must be aligned around three tenets: the objective business case for the effort, the financial commitment it will take and the operational commitment of aligning the organization.


One major reason to rebrand the health system is to maintain the relevancy of the organization. While it’s beneficial to have a legacy to genuinely build upon, it’s dangerous to cling too tightly to it when so much in the surrounding healthcare marketplace is changing.


A health system rebranding affects the entire organization. As such, there should be a senior cross-functional team of flag-bearers for the initiative outside of the formal leadership hierarchy. This team approach will help in decision-making and being able to reach consensus when required.


As the outward face of your organization, the names and relationships among your facilities, services and other offerings need to reflect the strategic intent of your rebranding. Be sure to align the organization’s brand portfolio to make sure that it reflects the vision, mission, positioning and promises of your newly rebranded organization.


Done right, a rebranding must pass through three deliberate internal phases: launch (where employees hear it/feel it), post-launch (where employees learn it/engage in it) and ongoing (where employees live it). Keep in mind that a health system rebranding is akin to a marathon, not a sprint.


The only one way to ensure that your rebranding has the power to unite your internal teams is if your brand is center stage, guiding the everyday actions of those who drive your business performance. Be sure your brand ideas (positioning, promises, messaging) are guiding your efforts.


Prior to, and during launch, there’s anticipation, excitement and action. But after the launch, momentum needs to be sustained if the effort is truly going to carry the organization forward into the future.

Health system (and even hospital and medical practice) rebranding’s are infrequent events that require discipline, patience and precision. And the business rewards should be great for years to come.

Founded in 1999, Trajectory is the specialist branding and marketing agency partnering with clients across the health + wellness continuum to grow better business. Reach us at 973-292-1400. trajectory4brands.com.