Bringing a House of Brands Under One Roof: Greenville Health System Case Study

Greenville (S.C.) Hospital System University Medical Center, now Greenville Health System, a system with five campuses and multiple physician offices, has long operated as an integrated system, but it didn't always look like one.

"We were a house of brands with 30 to 40 logos. Consumers were confused and didn't know who was affiliated with whom. The overall brand equity in our system was being chipped away," says Sally Foister, the system's director of marketing services.

Each physician office had its own logo, and people in the community were confused by the "University" portion of the old name, since there is no university on any of the system's campuses — the word referred to the training of third- and fourth-year medical students that  took place on the campus.

So, the system started down a journey to rebrand late in 2010. It partnered with BrandEquity, a branding firm based in Newton, Mass., and the system's branding advisory committee and BrandEquity went to work on developing a new name and logo to be applied in every location.

"This commitment — and the willingness of senior administrative and clinical management to back it up — greatly facilitated the branding process," says Donald Giller, the project director from BrandEquity, of the system's goal to move to a "branded house" with one logo and name throughout.old logo

Together, BrandEquity and the system simplified the name to Greenville Health System. They also simplified the complicated old logo (picturenew logod right) to a new, more sleek version (pictured left), that still retains the palmetto tree design in the original logo.

"This [new] logo offers a streamlined version of the seal that is more unique and memorable," says Steve Smith, creative director at BrandEquity. "It creates a seamless transition rather than a jarring change. It also integrates the system's new name and keeps the GHS acronym."

"Everyone loves the new name and logo," says Ms. Foister. She says Greenville Health System has updated the name and branding on its 57 web sites, 50 social media sites, 15,000 employee ID badges and letterhead. Magazines, brochures and uniforms, along with other collateral, will be updated throughout the year. Key campus signs were installed at the time of the public launch in April. All exterior signage will be updated in the next 18 months, according to the system.

Ted Selame, president and CEO of BrandEquity, said this evolutionary brand identity and name for GHS builds on the past and will enhance the organization's total image for many years to come.

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