Geisinger

A brand built to thrive in the new normal

Introduction

Founded more than a century ago to serve a post-Civil War Pennsylvania community, Geisinger today is nationally known for its innovative programs and approach to patient care. As a fully integrated system, Geisinger’s primary care and specialists, hospitals and trauma centres, insurance, medical education and research work together to improve health and share innovation. And at the heart of this robust community are their patients, members, employees, medical students and neighbours.

Challenge

Geisinger’s nationally celebrated reputation didn’t have the impact locally that leadership hoped — in part because the brand had not found a meaningful way to reconcile its innovative profile with the very real health challenges of the communities it serves, like opioid use and rising levels of diabetes. And while the organisation’s start was very much in keeping with a local by-your-bootstraps attitude, times had changed, and the proud working-class region needed more from its healthcare organisation: residents needed a partner in their own health.

At the same time, rapid growth across the region and the acquisition of struggling yet beloved community hospitals left many asking if Geisinger really was for the community. Within these facilities, community members found comfort in the familiar faces of their childhood doctors or long-time neighbors. But the brand itself did not reflect the personal and powerful nature of healthcare in this region.

The Geisinger brand needed to do exactly what each of its practitioners, administrators, custodians, and volunteers were already doing: take on the health of the community as a personal responsibility, neighbor to neighbor.

Solution

Geisinger engaged FutureBrand to define and express a brand that felt true to its local aspirations, while positioning the organisation’s national reputation in service of its community.

FutureBrand started with assessing the brand’s current state. Internal and external research ultimately uncovered an opportunity to elevate the connection between community members and caregivers, and have that connection inform every element of the brand. The idea of empowerment made its way into every aspect of the brand, allowing Geisinger to clarify their offering in a way that made sense to their community.

The new visual identity is literally a lens into the local community. A flexible system allows for the brand to show up consistently and credibly across a variety of media and communicate in a warm, authentic way. Geisinger needed the freedom to dial up or down certain elements for different audiences: the sensibility, values and voice of the local community needed room to come through the brand.

Results

Geisinger’s new brand debuted through a new brand campaign and revamped website, demonstrating their new expressive design system in action. Adopted enthusiastically internally, the brand has also measured meaningful increases in both awareness and loyalty. However, the brand truly came to life during the COVID-19 crisis when the campaign pivoted from its “Long live everyone” theme to focus on Geisinger caregivers and other staff with the theme “Long live heroes.”

Geisinger’s Chief Marketing Officer Don Stanziano shared, “We have been so thrilled that our brand positioning is so applicable in this unprecedented situation. We didn’t have to take down our brand advertising and have been able to extend it to truly meet the moment. Having the playbook in place has allowed our internal team to spin up all the necessary materials for this situation (new wayfinding, new patient and employee education materials, infographics for consumers) with much more ease. The brand expression platform we have in place made it easy for us to ramp up quickly, at a moment when we didn’t have a second to waste.”