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Rebranding a children’s specialty hospital

Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare was unique from its beginning. Founded in 1897, it cares for children with rare and complex musculoskeletal and neurological conditions, including cerebral palsy. Families tend to arrive at Gillette Children’s after long searches for a diagnosis and appropriate care for their child. And when they do, it is with relief that at last they have found the right place, that they have come home. From that day forward, they are part of a larger family as their children grow up supported by Gillette Children’s teams of clinical specialists in diagnosis, therapeutics, and supportive technologies.

Identifying the challenge

Our focus on diversity, equity and inclusion at Gillette Children’s is hidden in plain sight. As an independent specialty hospital for rare conditions that few clinicians diagnose and treat, Gillette Children’s should be top of mind for referring physicians who may encounter these patients a handful of times in their careers. And yet it wasn’t widely known, referrals weren’t timely, and volume was flat. A dated brand identity didn’t match the innovation, research and expertise of the organization, and Gillette wasn’t getting the credit it deserved for its impact on the lives of children and their families.

Gillette Children’s is hidden in plain sight. As an independent specialty hospital for rare conditions that few clinicians diagnose and treat, Gillette Children’s should be top of mind for referring physicians who may encounter these patients a handful of times in their careers. And yet it wasn’t widely known, referrals weren’t timely, and volume was flat. A dated brand identity didn’t match the innovation, research and expertise of the organization, and Gillette wasn’t getting the credit it deserved for its impact on the lives of children and their families.

Raising awareness of Gillette Children’s among pediatric specialists across the country and globally would enable children to get the specialized healthcare and their families the support they need more quickly. With a dynamic new CEO at the helm, Gillette was ready to grow its volume and help more children living with severe disabling conditions.

Highlighting the strengths

What sets Gillette Children’s apart? Staff and leadership have a visible passion to be change agents for a population too often overlooked by healthcare—children whose conditions cannot be “cured.” And, Gillette Children’s distinctly rare clinical expertise puts that passion into motion through care. Revive leapt to help Gillette Children’s by creating a new brand strategy, vision, mission, and values statements that would be as distinct and compelling as the organization itself.

Following dozens of interviews with family, staff, donors and leadership, we arrived at a central insight, a phrase we coined as the brand purpose: Every body has value. Interviews and focus groups with families, staff and leadership inspired a new vision, one grounded in the wish of all children to live fully without barriers: A world in which every child is able to create their own story. The brand would position Gillette Children’s as a global beacon for patients, families and physicians everywhere—and a force for justice and opportunity for all children living with complex disorders.

Aligned with the brand’s purpose, we modernized their name from Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare to Gillette Children’s, along with a plain-language descriptor: For children who have brain, bone and movement conditions. The new logo represents this message, as the three graphics that make up the logo represent brain, bone, and movement. The hospital’s new name, logo, and brand look are as approachable and welcoming as the experience it provides patients and parents.

Embodying the new brand

With the brand strategy and vision in place, Revive created a brand embodiment program to enable staff and leadership to “live” the brand, using it to guide strategy, operations and all business decisions. Living the brand was also supported by new and distinct values statements, which were created and quickly embraced by the hospital’s clinicians and staff as true to their culture: Act first from love. Be a dream accomplice. Build a better world. Embrace the bigger picture.

Revive then developed branded materials and a creative campaign platform to support Gillette Children’s as they launched the brand internally and externally.

Impact of new brand

 Revive’s own purpose was to put Gillette Children’s top of mind for referring providers nationally and to position it as a global leader in the cause to celebrate and support children living with complex brain, bone and movement conditions. That brand position now drives the hospital’s reputation, influence—and growing volume of referrals—as it enters its second century of world-class research, care and empowerment for children and their families. The momentum is in place for the globe to recognize Gillette Children’s as a force for good, and to come to its doors.