With the new strategy in place, Vituity now has a dynamic, focused brand to channel marketing investment and fulfill its ambition of improving the patient experience.
Creating a brand that brings joy back to the practice of medicine.
Vituity is one of the largest independent physician-owned partnerships in the nation and was, until recently, one of the best kept secrets in healthcare.
The company, which contracts with hospitals and health systems to provide clinical, staffing, and administrative management of acute care departments and patients, is dedicated to improving clinical quality and the patient experience.
Since its founding in 1975 as California Emergency Physicians (CEP), the company grew steadily and astutely. It created a practice management division named MedAmerica and in 2005 it changed its name to CEP America to reflect its growth beyond California.
It now comprises 3,150 clinicians working in urgent, emergent, inpatient, critical care, perioperative, post-acute care, and telehealth settings across the country. It serves more than 6.3 million patients annually at over 250 practice locations in 14 states.
When it came to BrandingBusiness it had reached a strategic crossroads.
It had ambitious growth objectives in a highly competitive market for physicians, but awareness and brand recognition were low and narrow. And if it was known at all it was for the emergency medicine practice.
The mandate was threefold:
Increase brand awareness
Differentiate the brand from competitors
Support new business and recruitment goals
Working closely with the executive team of physicians, we undertook focused brand research measured against the company’s strategic objectives.
Research revealed that the CEP America name meant very little to customers. Few understood what CEP meant, and for those that did, it was limiting. Further, there was little understanding of MedAmerica and its billing arm, MBSI and their relationship to CEP America. The brand fragmentation was diluting marketing investment and splintering the culture of the organization.
A key point of differentiation, however, is its business model.
In a very competitive market, the company offers an appealing alternative to the small independent groups and the large multi-specialty groups which are publicly-traded or backed by private equity.
Each physician is an owner and has a say in how their practice and the overall organization is run. Leaders are all practicing physicians in touch with the daily concerns of their colleagues and patients. They are supported with a full suite of in-house practice management services, from billing and contract negotiation to recruiting and credentialing. The structure enables physicians to focus on what they do best – practice medicine with the freedom and joy that first inspired them.
While the name CEP America did not reflect the warmth and passion of the organization, a name change is a major undertaking for any organization. With the brand positioned on the physician-centered ethos of the company BrandingBusiness guided and counseled the executive team through a renaming exercise.
The objective was a singular brand name, concise and memorable, and distinctive in the market. The finalist name – Vituity – is an amalgam of two foundational words – vitality (the power giving continuance of life) and acuity (sharpness or keenness of thought, vision, or hearing). With the Masterbrand in place, the two support divisions – MedAmerica and MBSI – were integrated into a unified architecture to focus marketing investment and increase cross-selling opportunities and, internally, to unify and inspire the entire organization round a sense of common purpose.
To underpin the new name and provide a more explicit statement of the organization’s business competence and emotional core, we developed the brandline – “At the heart of better care.” It achieves several things at once apart from providing an explanatory dimension to the name.
Building on the brand strategy and the name, the BrandingBusiness design team created an exuberant visual expression to bring the new brand to life.
“Exuberance, collaboration and joy: The Vituity symbol design is an expressive form that emotes the vitality of life and the passion behind Vituity’s commitment to being at the heart of better care.”
BrandingBusiness was honored to receive a Gold Award as part of the 36th Annual Healthcare Ad Awards for its work on the Vituity brand advertising. Utilizing the concept of the “selfie,” the ad series brought the lives of Vituity providers to readers in a genuine and unique manner—elevating the brand promise and celebrating the joy of practicing medicine.
“It's incredibly clear the work done by BrandingBusiness is enabling us to do a lot of things we weren't able to before. They were able to synthesize the information about us and repackage it in a way that has invigorated everyone in the organization, getting to the heart of who we are and what we stand for. And it was all backed by data that ensured buy-in from leadership throughout the process.”