Our brand is what our internal and external audiences think, feel and respond to when they experience us or hear UF Health mentioned. If we’re living out our brand, then we’re inspiring hope in all that we do and say, and we’re providing the best and most compassionate care possible. The strength of our brand depends on us.
As UF Health continues to grow with unstoppable momentum across an evolving health care landscape, this document will be vital in ensuring that the look and feel of the UF Health brand are all presented consistently, cohesively and effectively.
Why Brand Basics are Important
Everyone — from the President of UF Health to an information desk volunteer to a researcher in a lab — has a responsibility to ensure that he or she communicates the essence of our brand, whether on the pages of our letters, advertisements and educational materials, or our speeches, public comments and interpersonal interactions. Our verbal, written and visual communication should reinforce our brand and strengthen our reputation for quality, excellence and world-class outcomes. This document will help you understand better how to do that.
A brand’s job is to support and strengthen its organization. To do that job well, ours needs to do a number of things:
- Clarify what we offer
- Distinguish us from our competitors
- Extend our reach regionally and nationally
Of course that brand, which will increasingly make us the best choice for patients across all kinds of health needs, doesn’t live in identity standards. It’s built every day through our decisions, actions and interactions with patients. But it should always be represented by the language and imagery you see in our identity standards: the specific, consistent ways we get our messages across.
After all, the mission and benefits of an academic health center aren’t always clear to an outsider. If our brand can clarify what we’ve got to offer, it will be doing its job — well, jobs: helping patients understand why to choose us for their health care needs and helping us achieve our goals as an organization.
For an organization that does everything from leading-edge research to urgent MRIs — on horses, no less — it’s essential to unify our teaching, research and clinical care efforts under a single heading.
The unified UF Health brand provides the foundation we need to secure our place in the market as the premier academic health center throughout the nation.
In addition, we continue to be known as the place to go for specialized care. Patients who are in a critical moment in their lives turn to UF Health, and most agree that we lead the way in research and medical technology. And most know that as a teaching hospital, we’re training future physicians. All this comes together to make us a leader in the market — and creates a real opportunity to form our brand identity from these points of strength.
Through its clear connection to a premier university and focus on outcomes, this brand helps us continue to become more trusted and preferred in all moments of need — beyond just highly specialized care.
In 2013, we established a basic “look and feel” for our publicly communicated messages and products. Our goal now is to update that look and feel, but maintain as much consistency as possible.
When building a brand, cohesion is also key, which is where marketers and designers are crucial. However, it should be noted that cohesion and consistency are not the same thing. By definition, consistency is doing the same thing predictably, whereas cohesion is doing things in a way that create unity. You can be successful in positioning your brand by having cohesion between your message and your appearance, but if you aren’t consistent your brand won’t last. Cohesion establishes your brand, but consistency builds it up. If you keep changing your message, people won’t be able to keep up with who you are and they will lose interest or forget about you.
Therefore, it is important to find a look and feel and stick with it. And the more you repeat a message, the more space it takes up in a person’s mind. Consistency is key!