“Lippincott has been a true partner, helping us deconstruct, connect and rebuild two brands that mean so much to our teammates, patients and communities. We simply couldn't have done it without them.”CMO, Summit Health and CityMD
Connecting two brands as one care team
How do you seamlessly connect two consumer healthcare brands, with distinct legacies and care services? And how do you showcase their full power, to their people and patients, as one care team?
In 2019, Summit Health, a leading New Jersey-born primary and specialty care provider, merged with CityMD, New York’s go-to urgent care provider. It was a move that would offer patients unique access to a connected care network; specialty care meets urgent care. But before the brands could fully integrate and communicate the value of their connection, COVID-19 radically changed the healthcare narrative.
While both CityMD and Summit Health served evolving patient needs in new ways, playing a central role in pandemic care delivery, patients and internal audiences were unclear on how the brands worked together. And, even as Summit Health and CityMD provided essential care to communities across New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Central Oregon, patients were unclear on how they would benefit from the connection.
To address this opportunity, we partnered with Summit Health and CityMD to build distinct but linked brands. The goal? Highlight both their individual equities, and the value of working as one care team across primary, specialty and urgent care.
To succeed, we needed to eliminate confusion about the roles of Summit Health and CityMD, tell their stories powerfully, and connect them via an intuitive brand architecture and identity. Through research with key stakeholders including patients, we confirmed two key things. First, that each brand played a unique part in care delivery and in the lives of its audience. Second, that as the business grew, Summit Health should continue to be the primary and specialty care brand, and CityMD the urgent care brand that patients know and trust. We created brand platforms that highlighted what makes each brand special—Summit Health supporting patients for a lifetime, and CityMD serving patients in the moment. Together, they embody the true power of the combined entity: providing quality care and a great experience when and how they’re needed.
To reinforce the connection between the brands and their distinct roles in patient care, we then set to work reimagining their visual and verbal identities. We developed a shared symbol that represents a “beacon of care,” telling a story of patient-centricity. The accompanying visual system infuses shared humanity and optimism into Summit Health and CityMD, while introducing color variation that retains existing equities and allows each brand to stand on its own. To reinforce Summit Health’s approachable expertise and CityMD’s local savvy, we created brand voices and messaging that deepened the relationship each brand has with its audiences. And to support practitioners in bringing the brands to life, we developed a robust brand center including signage, design and communication guidelines and core assets for Summit Health and CityMD.
The refreshed brands were revealed to the world on September 29, 2022 with a comprehensive launch plan, including a drumbeat of internal and external communications created to engage care teams and patients. And we brought the new stories and identities for Summit Health and CityMD—celebrating their equities and their connection—to life in a brand manifesto video and multichannel ad campaign. With their complementary brand platforms, visual and verbal identities, and marketing and communications strategies, Summit Health and CityMD are poised to powerfully meet the needs of the patients they care for, together.