Hospice of Washington County's New Logo Offers New Outlook
September 5, 2018
From Starbucks to Pepsi to AT&T, companies that want to make a difference start with in-house changes. Just this year, HighRock had that opportunity as we helped Hospice of Washington County (HWC) with a logo rebrand. What’s more appealing than sharing in the evolution of a brand? Whether it’s through the colors or the graphics themselves, seeing an iconic shape become modernized is a favorite of ours here at HighRock. The company and logo were established in 1980. Since then HWC has been “…committed to serving the community by empowering patients and families by providing quality end of life care and grief support for those coping with a life-changing loss.”
Always looking for additional ways to serve the community, HWC opened Doey's House, an alternative hospice choice for those with advanced illnesses. The multidisciplinary team in the state of the art facility offers everything from serene spaces to private suites for visiting guests. They also have on-site meals, counselors, spiritual guidance, and outdoor access to improve the experience of their patients.
It was after the launch of this beautiful and groundbreaking inpatient hospice unit that HWC wanted to reestablish their core principles. They wanted to ensure that the community knew that the origin of Doey’s House began with the heartwarming, people-centric efforts of HWC that have been serving the community for decades. That’s where we came in.
First Look at the Logo
Most people think of their logo as something that doesn’t change. It is one of the first identifiers of a company and its brand, therefore, most people assume that it is timeless. However, when you look at a website, an outdated logo is often one of the first signs you can see that the brand is aging. Often clients are quick to update their products and web pages but are hesitant to do the same with their logo. HighRock’s experience with HWC was a pleasant one because they were entirely eager for a new look.
Their readiness for a new look was based on three key factors:
- Their new CEO, Ernesto Lopez. Having someone different at the helm often offers a fresh perspective.
- They just had had a very successful 2018 campaign for Doey’s House, their first standalone inpatient facility.
- Subsequently, they needed to draw attention to HWC, the reason that Doey’s House was successful to begin with.
When we updated the HWC logo, we did so very strategically. With any rebrand, you don’t want to go in an entirely new direction. At HighRock, we call this stepping stones; it’s keeping some of what’s most familiar to people. We found that the biggest connection the community had with HWC was the dove – and that remains the most prominent piece of their new logo.
Logos are such a fun part of marketing because it’s a chance to dive into the start of a company; it’s asking them “Why do you do what you do?” It’s figuring out why an organization exists and how to demonstrate that in a symbol that people will immediately recognize. Those are the challenges we tackle.
Out with the Old
HWC’s willingness to collaborate and their openness to change made this project an exciting one. During the logo process, we usually present several options:
- One that’s relatively conservative – not too far of a stretch from the current logo but has a modern update
- One that is way out of the box to encourage the possibility of going in a new direction
Another HighRock motto we design by is, “logos need to be simple enough that they can be read on a pencil and be seen on a billboard.” Logos need to be versatile and easily converted to black and white.
There are many challenges for a job with a team the size of HWC and for a change of this magnitude. To see such a long-established logo be transformed is hopefully exciting for everyone. One of the things we recommend with all of our clients, including HWC, is that when the logos are presented, to have a dedicated group of people to choose the final product before showcasing it to the committee or other members of your company.
We find this helps speed up the deliberation process and focuses on the company’s needs over people’s individual wants. A focus group is a great way to find out what your new logo needs to accomplish. Sometimes it even leads to discovering what the old logo was missing.
Once the logo was approved, we felt it essential to tell its story to the entire company. HWC rented the Leitersburg Cinema for a morning and hosted an event just for the HWC team featuring the logo.
We showcased the old logo first, demonstrating the need for a rebrand:
- It was done years ago
- It’s hard to print
- Standards have changed
- It’s less relatable
It’s one thing to see a logo, but to understand how every detail came to be helped the audience better understand its deeper meaning and how it would be incorporated in the future – how it would stand against the test of time. Naturally, with any change in a company of this size, there are questions about how will this impact employees, but this presentation also lessened the questions for why we did what we did.
The Next Chapter
Ideally, everything with the old branding (signs, uniforms, business cards, website banners, etc) undergoes a change all at once. However, we understand that is often unrealistic. It is an investment often requiring major renovation, but a good marketing plan can help you do it in phases.
When HWC came to HighRock, they knew they were asking us for more than a rebranded logo. They wanted to unveil it to the community. Not only did they budget and plan for a new logo, but also for a marketing strategy:
- Step one: “New” logo
- Step two: Website update
- Step three: Significant marketing campaign
Step three included buy-in from the staff who would be wearing this fresh logo, which included an extensive team of nurses, doctors, and administrative staff. One of the biggest reasons we asked for buy-in from them was because we knew the sooner we connected with them, the sooner they could fall in love with the new logo.
Ready to go out with the old and fall in love with the new? HighRock’s expert team has the skills to set you up for success. From design to marketing, we are ready to rebrand your business!