Houston Methodist Unified Identity Strengthens Brand

Houston Methodist

The Situation

Recent growth, acquisitions, and a name change left Houston Methodist—the top ranked hospital in Texas—needing new, consistent, and simplified signage across all its facilities. Houston Methodist comprises an academic medical center, six community hospitals, one major research institute, a foundation, and their Specialty Physician Group.

To further complicate matters, its flagship teaching hospital lies in the midst of the world’s largest medical complex, Texas Medical Center—a 1,345 acre mini-city of 54 leading, competing medical institutions. Houston Methodist recognized its need for a distinctive, easily recognizable brand presence and reached out to BrandActive for help.

The Challenge

The project’s biggest challenge, and BrandActive’s primary concern, was minimizing the possible negative impact a major signage transition could have on operations. Houston Methodist has thousands of healthcare workers and volunteers covering all shifts, and hundreds of patients who would need to find their way without trouble during the signage conversion.

Diligent planning and clear, continuous communication would be key to successfully coordinate such a sensitive change occurring over a long timeframe. The brand transition would take several years to complete, and would need to be carefully managed over that time. The budget also needed to be validated with an eye toward lowering costs.

There was also a significant branding issue that had to be thoughtfully addressed. Houston Methodist lacked a sign family that reflected who it was.

The Solution

After several meetings with the client to help determine the look and feel that would be right for the brand, we created a simple but high-impact signage family that captures the true personality of Houston Methodist. Our teams then surveyed all client locations to create signage recommendation plans for each site.

We also held detailed installation, planning and coordination meetings to minimize patient and operational disruption from equipment and signage installers on site. Next, our subject matter experts and project delivery consultants fully supported the Houston Methodist facilities team to help facilitate a smooth transition.

While budget validation was underway, we issued an RFP for the selection of a signage vendor and then managed the chosen vendor across all phases: signage selection, manufacturing, and final installation. Finally, we conducted a post-implementation audit of all signage to ensure the system met Houston Methodist’s high standards for quality.

The Results

Our diligence throughout the process minimized interruption to hospital operations, and the patient experience, as we managed the seamless transition of the old signage system to the new. After three years of working together, Houston Methodist displays a unified identity across its many facilities. The change has had a positive effect on the entire organization. This nationally recognized brand now stands out in a crowd, and the signage helps cement their well-earned reputation for high performance. Houston Methodist was awarded a place on the “Best Hospitals Honor Roll for 2016-17” by U.S. News & World Report.

BrandActive immersed themselves in the history and culture of our organization and used that knowledge to inform their solution. Ours was a true collaboration. Our feedback was sought and incorporated. BrandActive has unrelenting quality standards, approaching each project with a view toward continuous improvement. I highly recommend them to superbly develop and execute a signage solution project. BrandActive stands above all other firms I have worked with in the industry in the past 20 years.

Project Director, Houston Methodist
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