Unified Branding is Tougher Than You Think

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media , March 27, 2013

Carolinas HealthCare System's "One" Logo
The 39-hospital Carolinas HealthCare System is also strengthening its unified brand identity with a new logo featured on in an integrated ad campaign. The icon is the word "ONE" in large letters with the health system's blue tree of life filling the inside of the O.


Some of the ads also feature a dandelion with seeds blowing in the wind. A hospital spokesperson clarified that the flower is meant as a metaphor: many seeds originating from one bloom. The ads themselves don't give any inkling to the significance of the logo, but when asked, a hospital spokesperson said "It's about who we are.... One integrated system."

The campaign website clarifies the intention of the logo.

"We believe in the power of one, which is why we work together as one," the copy reads. "In one system where patients are partners, where sharing best practices is common practice and where thousands of minds serve millions of people."

This sentiment is important and certainly deserving of a brand-strengthening ad campaign, but it should be clearer on all elements of campaign collateral. You can't expect patients to log onto your campaign microsite to seek out the meaning behind your logo.

Presenting an integrated brand across all facilities, service lines, and affiliates is critical for the success of any health system. It seems the industry as a whole is still trying to figure it out, but many organizations are taking great strides. And remember, when it doubt you can always look to Apple—just stick a metaphorical "i" in front of everything.

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1 comments on "Unified Branding is Tougher Than You Think"

Anthony (4/3/2013 at 4:51 PM)
Living in this market I can tell you the local press skewered both campaigns. The sad fact is if you have to clarify and explain what these logos and symbols mean, you have missed the mark. Period. One only wonders how much $ they spent on the rebranding.




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