But having multiple logos for one hospital or health system isn't unusual, especially if an organization is growing rapidly, like GHS did, or if corporate communications are left unchecked. That was the case at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. It rebranded in 2012, and in the process found 50 different logos in use. The reasons for having various logos are different, but the effect was the same at both Children's and GHS: a watered-down brand identity.
Foister says research in GHS's service area showed its market share was decreasing. The data also echoed what Foister was hearing internally and from the community.
"National Research Corp data showed that consumers didn't know who was part of us and who wasn't," she says. "Our brand was so fragmented."
An organization does not have to go through a rebranding process to understand the differences between marketing, advertising, and public relations, but being able to step back and take a broad view of where an organization wants to go helps put those terms in their correct context.
"When we deep dive into the differences, it really is an "ah ha" from most people because even marketing folks don't always get the concept of branding as an all encompassing strategy, and tend to think of it tactically in the form of an identity, tagline, name, etc.," says Rob Rosenberg, president of Springboard Brand and Strategy.