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The Challenge

Recognizing MCW's Impact

The role of the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) as a key driver of health and well-being was not widely recognized or appreciated by the communities it impacted most. Put simply, MCW lacked brand salience among local communities and throughout the national field of academic medicine. After an extensive agency review process, MCW selected HD to rebrand the organization. Our charge was to change perceptions and drive awareness of the brand by telling a more compelling MCW story to internal and external constituents.

Key Insight

A Hidden Jewel

People in the region knew MCW as a Milwaukee-based medical school. But most were unaware that MCW makes invaluable contributions to the region and state by conducting advanced medical research, providing physicians to partner organizations like Froedtert and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and educating 50 percent of the doctors practicing throughout Wisconsin. In a sense, MCW is the “Intel Inside” powering better health and economic vitality across the region and state.

The Solution

A Powerful Brand Defining Idea

After ten months of research and nearly 4000 touchpoints with MCW constituents, HD arrived at a powerful new Brand Defining Idea (BDI) for MCW: “The essential engine powering better health.” This BDI provided new internal clarity regarding MCW’s value proposition, and inspired HD’s creative teams to bring the brand to life in a new, more compelling manner.

Creative Strategy

Knowledge Changing Life

Inspired by the “essential engine” Brand Defining Idea, HD developed an integrated creative campaign that launched from a new brand tagline: “Knowledge changing life.” The campaign included an emotionally resonant brand anthem video that demonstrates how MCW is continuously producing knowledge that changes people’s futures for the better. HD also developed a companion documentary content series under the banner of “Stories Rewritten,” to share poignant examples of how MCW knowledge has transformed people’s lives.

The campaign was founded on an "inside-out" strategy. Brand Guidelines were created to set the groundwork for communications, and the organization launched the new brand with a comprehensive internal rollout to build internal understanding and alignment prior to the launch of public-facing communications.

The "Stories Rewritten" content series demonstrates the profound impact that MCW knowledge has on the lives of patients, students, and others in the community. 

To ensure brand continuity across all MCW communications, HD reskinned MCW's legacy website in time for the launch of the new brand. As a parallel path to the website reskin, HD created a new digital storytelling platform on Sitecore that served as a content hub in support of the “Knowledge Changing Life” brand campaign.

Website Reskin

Knowledge Changing Life Microsite

Since the brand’s launch in September of 2017, this platform has enabled MCW to share an ever-expanding set of stories that illustrate the organization’s impact on transforming the health of people and the community.
Since the brand’s launch in September of 2017, this platform has enabled MCW to share an ever-expanding set of stories that illustrate the organization’s impact on transforming the health of people and the community.

Internal Launch Collateral

The Results

The new brand has been enthusiastically embraced by MCW employees, students, faculty, donors and partners. Leaders from across MCW have adopted the brand story as their own, taking care to use “Knowledge changing life” to frame their conversations with people inside and outside the organization. Faculty, students and staff report having a renewed sense of pride about being part of an entity that makes such a profound contribution to improving health for individuals and communities.

Early returns from Year 1 of the “Knowledge changing life” campaign showed significant increases in brand reach, earned media, employee and partner engagement, donor affinity, and visibility for MCW in scientific and peer communities.