Northwell Health's name change raises brand awareness

hospital sign
North Shore-LIJ Health System transformed into Northwell Health after finding its long name didn't connect with its patient population.

North Shore-LIJ Health System’s long name wasn’t resonating with its patient base, so the New York system decided to rebrand and reconnect with the communities it serves..

Northwell Health logo

Ramon Soto was hired by the system as senior vice president and chief marketing officer to lead the initiative, which kicked off in 2015, according to an article in Advertising Age. The system, which includes 21 hospitals and more than 60,000 employees, whittled down a list of 600 names to one, Northwell Health, which was chosen for its “approachability and common language,” according to the article. It invested $17 million in the launch.

"You can't be silent—if you are, you're defined by silence," Soto told the publication. "I need to package the definition of who I am and build a destination healthcare brand so that before the injury or illness, you know you're coming to me."

After debuting the new name at the beginning of 2016, Northwell Health launched a series of advertisements that showed off new programs and even the first babies born under the new name as a symbol of the “birth” of the new system, according to the article. The initiative paid off. Within nine months, the hospital had a 68% percent awareness level in the Long Island, New York, market and online appointments were up 80% compared to the year before. One of the videos included in Northwell Health’s efforts is embedded below:

Rebranding initiatives have led other hospitals to push the envelope encompassing video, text, and print advertising in their efforts. Many hospitals and health networks also turn to “brand czars” to navigate their branding efforts. Brand czars can shepherd branding efforts and bring clear ideas to executives and boards. 

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