The first big brand for which I developed strategy was the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, affectionately known as NSLIJHS (just kidding). It was indeed a doggy’s dinner of words. But if you knew North Shore University Hospital or Long Island Jewish Medical Center, you understood their deep roots in the community. The initial logo was a combination of the two marks – evidence that there was no one in power at the branding helm. It took a few years to get the name to North Shore-LIJ Health System, which is how employees referred to it. And today it’s called Northwell Health. The latest name is kind of growing on me but was a mistake. Heritage is important.
When first introduced to the system I thought healthcare would be a poor marketing battlefield. I was quite wrong. The human psyche what it is, and man’s will to live being so powerful, it turned out to be a spectacular brand planning laboratory.
Bariatric surgery. Women’s health. Obstetrics. Cancer. And the gestalt of a healthcare brand sitting atop of everything – more chances to grow than the Fertile Crescent.
The fact is, all branding categories are fertile if you dig in. Why? Because people have feelings. Sure, toothpaste decision aren’t life and death but they can be important. It’s our jobs to make them important. Small and midsize companies don’t always see it that way. They should. People make this job interesting.