Guest Post: Rebranding a healthcare IT organization, a company-wide initiative

By Chowning Johnson on September 15th, 2009

This Q&A is from our conversation with Jim Riley, vice president sales and marketing at Capario. We asked him to share his thoughts on the healthcare company’s recent rebranding initiative, which spanned everything from a new corporate name, logo and tagline to a new Web site, collateral materials and a comprehensive public relations campaign.Q: Why did you select the name Capario? What brand attributes did you want to represent?A: When we started the rebranding process, we viewed it as more than a marketing strategy – it was a company-wide, fundamental change in the way we did business. A brand personality of fresh, contemporary, innovative and unique accurately portrayed the image we wanted to reflect and the new direction we were taking.

With this in mind, we chose Capario. It had a ring to it, was free of connotation, stood out from our competitors, enabled us to purchase an easy-to-remember URL and was different than the other healthcare IT names out there.By selecting Capario, we avoided descriptive names that would pigeonhole us into one product offering and knew our selection would allow us to evolve as the healthcare industry’s needs changed.Q: What was the most important lesson you learned throughout the project?A: Rebranding has a trickledown effect on every aspect of your business. It’s important to look closely at each internal piece of paper and electronic document as well as software interfaces and other client-facing items because you can be assured there is a name or a logo on everything. For example, payroll checks, 401K accounts, lobby signage, HR manuals and client enrollment forms all have to be updated. To meet deadlines and successfully re-launch your organization, it requires company-wide buy in. Every department must work with marketing to orchestrate this great effort.Another important consideration is the legal process involved in re-naming your company. Ensuring your new name does not have trademark issues or resemble other company names in your space is vital. It’s a far larger process than you may imagine that requires patience, time and a good trademark lawyer.Q: How did you prepare internal staff for the launch?A: Constant internal communication was imperative as we rebranded. We wanted staff to feel like they were part of the process, promote buy in and ensure that they had the opportunity to contribute to the decisions we were making to reshape the company. Effective communication at each step of the way helped us generate a feeling of excitement and gave staff ownership of the changes we implemented from the name to collateral.To prepare staff for external communications, we developed FAQs, talking points and other support materials for each department. We also held informational sessions with client-facing teams to prepare them for the changes and questions they might encounter from clients and prospects. Overall, our efforts seemed to pay off and made the transition as smooth as possible.Q: How has the market responded to the new brand?A: We feel our new brand has been well accepted in the market and that it’s a positive reflection on our approach to the way we do business.