Company mergers are notoriously complex transitions. So, when we were asked to help bring eight different healthcare companies together under a single brand – Simplyhealth – we knew it was going to be a delicate operation.
Most of the healthcare companies in question had their origins in the pre-NHS days, when many people accessed healthcare through savings funds. Our task was to create a brand for a powerful modern mutual, fit for the next generation, while retaining the ethical values that were at the companies’ core.
Whereas previously, most of the original eight healthcare companies were only known regionally, we needed to create a national brand for Simplyhealth that would reflect a forward-looking organisation, relevant to all people in all parts of the country.
Our starting point, as always, was total immersion. We knew that if we were going to help bring eight different companies together, under the new Simplyhealth brand, we needed to get under the skin of the companies in question. So, we spoke to people across the country in a wide range of roles – from the security guard to the CEO – as well as to external customers.
Based on these insights, and understanding of the different cultures that existed, we were then able to start defining the foundations of the new brand. One thing that came across very strongly, was the tremendous energy exuding from everyone we spoke to and the positive way they connected with their customers.
This positive energy provided the inspiration for the new brand identity, created from the words ‘Drop of Sunshine’ – the perfect metaphor to describe the warm feeling you get when engaging with Simplyhealth. We went on to create comprehensive brand guidelines and to establish the visual and verbal language that would unify the message and streamline communications. We then rolled out the new brand across a range of different media and audiences.
Mergers can cause uncertainty – for employees and customers alike. Our work in bringing together eight companies under a new Simplyhealth brand helped smooth the transition, ensuring that everyone felt confident and involved. Not only did we inspire confidence, we inspired loyalty – helping those working within the newly branded organisation to feel united and excited about the future together.
Following the brand launch there was great brand recall – nationally rather than just regionally. So, by helping them to adapt, our work with Simplyhealth made them stronger – ensuring they remain the UK’s leading provider of health and dental cash plans and pet health plans, helping over three million people across the UK. And by keeping the customer firmly at the heart of the business, they can respond rapidly to changing customer needs – needs that are continually evolving as healthcare continues to evolve.
We reviewed and created a sustainable approach for our Annual Report and Accounts with Fable - it was a winner with both our voting members, 85% of whom expressed their approval across a range of criteria, and also the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. We entered their PRide Awards and were delighted to be awarded gold, with the judges describing it as a ‘highly polished piece of literature’. Thank you.