Does a hospital need to be a brand?

RUH Bath hospital branding real world

With the problems facing the UK healthcare system, from staff absence and exhaustion, unprecedented backlogs and recruitment difficulties – is a brand really what a hospital needs?

This is a question we had to ask ourselves when approached by the RUH Bath about reviving their branding. The hospital felt they had outgrown their current branding and what they had was no longer serving them and their people effectively. They had already worked on brand strategy with friend of Leap, Steve Fuller from fellow B Corp agency The House.

The House worked with the RUH team to develop a refreshed purpose, vision and strategy. In doing so it soon became clear that there was real value in updating the hospital’s brand messages and visual assets. I acted as the Creative Lead on the project and introduced LEAP to the RUH Communications Team.

– Steve Fuller, Creative Head at The House

Before taking on any new project we always question the need for the proposed work. We challenge and ask questions – ultimately, is this work important?

Through open and honest conversation, working together with Steve and his team, we wanted to get to the bottom of what the function of a brand is for an organisation like a hospital. To ensure that what was created was a user-friendly tool that can be meaningful and serve all those using it – rather than a vanity exercise. The brand strategy developed with The House made it clear that the deciding factor here was – will this work be of benefit to the people involved?

Re-Brand Evolution

A brand is a form of distilled shorthand for all the complexities of an organisation, their goals, values – what they stand for. And as such, the RUH Bath already had a brand. What was needed was a brand evolution to make sure that their brand worked for them in all the different forms, settings and organisations within the hospital. Be it on signage, uniform or digitally in PowerPoints or internal newsletters.

We wanted to provide useful solutions for the team as they continue to do their extra extraordinary work. For their brand to be a galvanising symbol of their collective competence and values – for staff, patients and anyone interacting with RUH. But a brand is more than a logo. Borrowing thinking from the hospitality sector’s focus on the experience of a brand we considered at every step how we could serve the day to day work of the RUH people.

“I think first of all I wanted to thank Steve at The House and RUH Bath for the opportunity to help the best and most important service we have in the UK.

I could go into the details on the meaning behind the curves in a shape or the shape of an “a” but from a headline perspective we approached the design with people at the centre. Accessibility, adaptability and empowerment.

Working within the internal NHS team was vital in making sure that the design was not simply aesthetically appealing but more importantly usable for them to continue with and solve the internal design issues they were coming across. A case of designing to empower a team rather than simply impress with overly complex and difficult to work with creative.

– Nathan Lance – Leap Creative Director

You Matter

At the heart of the brand is the fact that – You matter. 

Everyone matters. Creating a future where everyone’s health matters. Everyone means the people being cared for, the people working within the hospital and the people in the community.

We created brand assets and a toolkit. Templates that allows for creativity while being useful and easy-to-use for everyone, whatever the application.

RUH Bath hospital branding, You Matter

Our key shape – the lozenge – is versatile and flexible to use. We also created custom illustrations and icons, as well as producing guidelines on photography.

RUH Bath branding the lozenge and photography

All elements of the brand come to life and bring consistency across the different applications within the hospital. Digital and real world – internal and public facing.

RUH Bath hospital branding public facing RUH Bath hospital branding real world RUH Bath brand templates internal RUH Bath hospital brand consistency RUH Bath branding quote from Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller from The House:

“I knew that LEAP had the creative credentials and the ability to develop a brand into something experiential. I’d seen their event work first hand as well as admiring their portfolio of inspiring design work. The RUH team and I were hugely impressed by LEAPs ability to get the brief right first time. They were brave and intelligent enough to recognise that the current brand provided enough scope for evolution. LEAP put ego to one side to create a design approach that would appeal to existing and new audiences. The research groups we ran were unanimous in their reaction to the work, something very rare indeed. LEAP have developed a template that is both striking and highly flexible, this is a brand refresh that is fit for today and for many years to come.”

The House is a purpose driven business, culture and brand consultancy. And a (fellow) B Corp since 2017.

Want to discuss developing your meaningful brand? Reach out to [email protected]