Over the past 6 years we have played a key strategic role for athenahealth helping them to establish their branding, messaging architecture and points of differentiation. In addition to the strategic work we also redesigned their logo, developed certain key pieces of marketing collateral and built their online style guide.
As a tech-driven organization, athenahealth had gone far on its product and service story alone, but it also had a very strong culture and a strong mission. The challenge was putting this culture and mission into a concise, consistent brand positioning and message architecture that truly resonated with customers and prospects alike.
Brought in by athenahealth’s CMO we dove into the project, meeting with key stakeholders from all areas of the company to understand how employees viewed the company. We also met with physicians and practice managers to gain an outside perspective. With this base-line understanding in place we set to work developing positioning statements, and core values and leading senior leadership work sessions to arrive at a core positioning. We leveraged this knowledge of the brand and the organization to redesign the athenahealth logo, and key pieces of collateral. A final piece in the new brand roll-out was for us to develop a web-based style guide in 2009-10 – a central resource of visual and copy guidelines and templates that employees and contractors could pull from. We have continued over the years to work with athena on research and consumer insight projects, most recently running a research project at the annual MGMA conference in San Antonio Texas in fall 2012.
There is no substitute for a well defined, rigorously developed brand that enables an organization to speak coherently about itself both internally and externally.