Behind every great brand
is a great story and a great client
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Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
Creating a Continuum of Care
In October 2016, with the goal of creating one of Canada’s largest pediatric care centres, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre (OCTC) announced their amalgamation. The move made sense: the two organizations were co-located on the same campus and most children who received support at OCTC were also in the care of CHEO.
Not only would the amalgamation provide a more seamless experience for families, it would also expand CHEO’s mandate, from a critical care hospital to a centre for integrated pediatric care, providing a continuum of services for children, youth and families in Eastern and Northern Ontario, Western Quebec and Nunavut.
Equals Seeking Common Ground
The leadership of both CHEO and OCTC recognized early that the amalgamation meant more than simply new signs or integrated processes. The coming together of these two organizations also meant that internal culture, terminology, values and purpose needed to be shared.
Finding the common ground between equals meant determining a common purpose that all staff could feel passionate about and that spoke directly to the hopes of families. Uncovering that core purpose needed to start with intensive listening, so we began with extensive engagement that involved the medical and non-medical staff, physicians, leaders, families, volunteers, donors, the Foundations of both and the broad Ottawa community.
Asking the Right People the Right Questions
Perceptive listening is to hear with both your ears and your heart. It’s in the combined voices that insights reveal themselves.
Fundamental was a real difference in how the two organizations perceived their mandate. CHEO — like all acute-care hospitals — thought in terms of healing ill patients, while OCTC thought in terms of supporting children to overcome barriers. This contrast manifested itself in language, culture, approach, processes and a range of other elements, while the disparity was a concern to their leaderships, who felt that finding a common purpose would be difficult as a result. At the same time, staff and volunteers at both CHEO and OCTC were excited by visions of combined facilities, integrated programs, shared processes and records and a focus on giving children, youth and families the best possible experiences and outcomes. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that the amalgamation was the right thing to do.
In fact, people inside and outside the two organizations saw the amalgamation as the first step in building an integrated end-to-end pediatric care system, an expectation that demanded a core purpose that would continue to be relevant as the new combined entity evolved.
Not surprisingly, the research also revealed the depth of the community’s love for CHEO and its brand, as well as the strong belief that CHEO had a direct, positive effect on the health of all children in the region. This belief in turn drove a strong sense of optimism for the future, a conviction that every child could have a better life because of CHEO.
The insight that tied it all together was the realization that both CHEO and OCTC shared that passionate belief that every child, all children, should have the best life possible. The new core purpose and vision reflected that heart-felt common ground: “The best life for every child and youth.” The hashtag #bestlife became the mantra and rallying call for stakeholders across the organization, encapsulating a full brand framework, brand architecture and brand story that could fully support and inform future strategic planning as well as organizational decisions and actions.
The equity in the CHEO name was too great to change. In fact, the name of the new organization became simply CHEO with a simplified and modernized wordmark that maintained the innocent charm of the original.
A Healthy Prognosis
Approved by the Board of Directors in early 2018, the core purpose, brand and corporate identity have rolled out with the full support of staff, physicians, families and all stakeholders. Everyone who touches and is touched by CHEO knows in their hearts that ensuring the best life possible for children and youth is the only outcome that matters.
Lakehead University: Discovering an Exceptional and Unconventional Brand
Faced with growing challenges and greater choices in the education market—and tired of being perceived as a “last chance” regional university—Lakehead took a bold branding step to break out of the “me too” communication mode, resulting in a laser-focused message that differentiated its value, compelled attention, engaged emotion and won preference. Partnered with Fifty Strategy + Creative, we delved into Lakehead’s culture and students to create a brand that crystallized the essence of this exceptional and unconventional school.
Cloud 9 by VOIP Networks: Creating a breakaway IT brand
VoIP Networks, a Mitel partner, is a leading provider of voice-over-IP telephony services to large and small companies across the United States. In a crowded marketplace serviced by many VoIP telephony providers, VoIP Networks moved to establish a high benchmark in bundled services, but needed a brand that would support the value and innovation they were offering. Through our partner Creative Niche, Brand Clarity worked with VoIP and Mitel to develop a breakaway brand in a nuts-and-bolts industry for a service that took all the worry away.
KW Habilitation: Building capital and Achievability
KW Habilitation needed to move to move on. A new facility meant raising capital—and profile. Armed with a compelling and clear brand developed by Brand Clarity and creative partner Rick Denomme, and an aligned fundraising campaign theme, the organization increased their “AchievAbility” quotient, fundraising levels and awareness – and while constructing a new building, built on its ability to provide vital services to the community.
Kanata North BIA: A compelling brand for an atypical BIA
As fallout from the Ottawa-area tech boom and bust, Silicon Valley North had grown colder and The Golden Mile wasn’t quite as shiny. Area business leaders recognized the need to formalize a BIA to sell Kanata North’s uniqueness and solidify its competitive differentiator. Brand Clarity’s creation of a vibrant brand in partnership with Rick Denomme empowered the KNBIA to move proudly forward with a revitalized agenda and strategic plan.
Georgetown Hospital Foundation: A Brand to Unlock Giving
Georgetown Hospital in the Greater Toronto Area is the jewel in the crown of the Town of Halton Hills. The Foundation had just completed a very successful fundraising campaign and the leadership recognized that it was time to capitalize on the success and tell their special story through a brand that was intuitive and exciting with the help of Brand Clarity and creative partner Rick Denomme. The hospital is also part of a larger multi-community healthcare group, and as a result the Foundation’s brand is also becoming a rallying point for the entire hospital and the community it serves.
KRP Properties: More Than Just Space
As the major property developer and manager in Kanata North, Kanata Research Park played an important role growing the area’s high-technology reputation with a tenant-centric approach. But with two different corporate divisions and the physical park itself, the company’s brand had been become muddy, a problem made worse when they acquired a new park some distance away. Brand Clarity worked with creative partner Rick Denomme and KRP’s senior management team to dig down to understand the core of the company and what made them unique. We spoke with tenants, property brokers and even competitors to clarify their difference, realign their internal structure to deliver on the brand, develop a new name and tell their story through actions, visuals and words.
Canadian Taxi Association: A Brand to Drive an Industry Forward
The taxi industry has come under heavy pressure recently as new ridesharing models have upset old ways and as customers have demanded more choice, more technology and better service. The Canadian Taxi Association turned to Brand Clarity to rejuvenate their brand, positioning it as a leader ready to respond to the new challenges as opportunities for positive change. With a new, purposeful mandate and a clear value proposition, the Canadian Taxi Association is ready to win new members and be the voice of Canada’s taxi industry as it prepares for a successful and exciting future. Creative developed by Charlton & Co. Web produced by Aborg.
City of Ottawa: Bike to Work Month
Ottawa is one of the world’s most livable cities, and the city’s commitment to biking is part of that. The city celebrates May as Bike to Work month, encouraging residents to saddle up and peddle to the office. After five years of steady but small growth, the City decided to kick it up and asked Brand Clarity to run the 2015 campaign. Fresh creative developed by Fifty Strategy + Creative, a focus on social media engagement handled by Brand Clarity and a purely emotional message resulted in a campaign that far exceeded expectations, doubling participation over last year and creating buzz for 2016.
Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC): The Greenest Workforce
FPAC is the national voice of Canada’s forest products industry, an industry that makes a major contribution to Canada’s economy but that needs to find 10,000 qualified permanent employees by 2020. A daunting challenge. FPAC and Brand Clarity repositioned the industry’s employer brand by making it more personal for job seekers and then developed a targeted content strategy to tell longer stories that would engage and compel. Creative developed by Charlton + Co. Web and digital properties produced by Aborg.
Theatre Ontario: Staging the Future of Theatre in Ontario.
Live theatre may be the antidote to our electronic impersonal lives, poised to bring real human connection back into our shared experiences. Theatre Ontario represents Ontario’s theatre industry, promoting live theatre and providing support to both the business and artistic side of the stage. Their brand over the years had become blurred. While its mandate was to be the voice of Ontario’s theatre industry, it was known as a provider of funding and programs. At the same time, the entire industry needed a leader to help build a sustainable future for an art form under threat. Brand Clarity together with creative partner Rick Denomme worked closely with Theatre Ontario and the larger theatre community to re-articulate the organization’s broader mandate, repositioning them as Ontario’s theatre champion and the touchstone for collaboration, sharing and lobbying. A brand framework, audience-specific messaging and a rich new look all combined with a program review to ensure that the brand was actually delivered through actions and behaviours.