Core Exchange: How a Rebrand can Realign an Organization

A new name can serve as a re-set button inside and out

What does a rebrand mean for an organization from an operational standpoint? This is part 2 of Core Creative’s conversation with Janet Schulz, Chief Operating Officer at ORP Management.

You can listen to the episode using the player embedded above, or you can read a full transcript below. Be sure to subscribe to Core Exchange on iTunes.

  • Core Exchange | How a rebrand can realign an organization

Episode Transcript:

Stephanie: Hello. I'm Stephanie Burton, Director of Healthcare Marketing at Core Creative. This is the Core Exchange with Janet Schulz, Chief Operating Officer of Longterm Services and Supports at ORP Management. Welcome, Janet. It's great to have you here.

Janet Schulz: Thanks, Stephanie. It's great to be here.

Stephanie: So, we had so much fun with you the first time around, we were talking about brand, brand alignment and naming, that we wanted to invite you back for a second go at the mic. Thanks for joining us.

Janet Schulz: Well, I appreciate it.

Stephanie: You have a big title at this organization, just as you did at ProHealth Care, Chief Operating Officer. And so, I know that you, with your partners, are taking a look, and along with us, are taking a look at how you can rollout this brand and what that looks like. Tell us a little bit about what you've gone through previously, how you "operationalize" a brand, and what considerations you have in mind now.

Janet Schulz: Yep. So, first of all, one of the early conversations that we had with Core is one of the reason that we're appreciating working with you on it and it is your own tagline of, say it and live it, right? That is something that I fundamentally experienced in the prior rollout of making sure that the ProHealth name meant something to the organization, and carried through in terms of values and behaviors, and it's the same thing here at ORP. As we look at the rollout, we are looking at, not only the name, but what does the name mean in terms of commitments to the organization, and what commitments the organization is making. In this case, we're using the name first and foremost for employment branding, what commitments we're making to new people choosing to join the organization in terms of finding their place and finding opportunity within our company.

Janet Schulz: Part of the rollout is that this isn't just about a name. It is not just about a visual identity. It is about, essentially, we'll be reframing our recruiting process to be more warm and welcoming, to send a consistent message with our name and what we want our employment experience to be. We'll be retooling our orientation and onboarding processes. We will be updating our employee communication tools, and techniques, and tactics, all so, that what we're promising in the name, is what people experience when they join us.

Stephanie: Great. It's a lot of work, and it doesn't happen overnight.

Janet Schulz: No.

Stephanie: So, one of the things that I've appreciated about you is, and this is what we've talked about, our chatter in the office here at Core Creative is, you have said that you, you get it. We talk about that. ORP gets it. Because you understand that there's a lot of elbow grease that's involved in this. This isn't something that you can pass off to an agency and say, "Okay, well, we'll see you in 18 months, and everything's going to be operationalized." It requires a lot of hard work from the people who are on the inside who can make that change that your agency may not necessarily be able to influence. I think that you gave an equation of 25/75, and it may change, depending on where you're at in the process.

That understanding, though, I think is what has really sat ORP up for success when you go through this name change. You all are turning over every stone and saying, "Does that, are we able to fulfill this promise that we're making to people and what do we need to change? Because it's not just a name. It's how we behave as an organization." And, hey, that's your brand. That's your brand. So, really, really great, great learnings. Tell us what is keeping you awake tonight or today, tonight? What will keep you awake tonight? And, how you're rectifying that, when we speak about name change?

Janet Schulz: I was smiling at you, Stephanie, because I literally was awake a lot last night. My dogs woke me up at 12:30, and I couldn't fall back asleep. My brain kicked into gear. And, part of the reason it kicked into gear was, we had just had our communications work group meeting yesterday afternoon, as a matter of fact. And, we were starting to talk about ways to describe our organization at an upcoming leadership summit. And so, what's keeping me up at night, though, specific to the name change is, I know a lot of organizations, they were complicated organizations. That's almost par for the course, right?

But, our company has eight distinct operating units. We're geographically dispersed. Those operating units all have unique products, and so part of the naming process is creating some glue between the operating units, and some bonds, and some integration and standardization that doesn't exist today. And so, what's keeping me up at night is how to structure some of the work that's ahead of us in a way that is timely, and effective, and not overly cumbersome.

And so, as it relates to this process, that's what's keeping me up at night.

Stephanie: Great. How will we know that the name change has been successful?

Janet Schulz: So, how will we know that the name change has been successful? I guess, in my heart of hearts, I have a couple of reactions to that. One is that, working with Core, we've identified, at least at the outset, two personas that we're targeting, in this case for employment with the organization. And, we've begun to work on our ad concepts related to that. So, one of the ways in which I believe we'll know the name is successful is whether that grabs people's attention in a way that makes someone say, "I think I may have found my peeps." I want someone to hear the name, to see our employment ads and say, "That's a place of possibility for me." And that's why that inspiration and sense of possibility is important, not just inside the organization. As a matter of fact, it's more important that, that sense of inspiration and possibility comes from those seeing the names.

Stephanie: Yes. Yes.

Janet Schulz: Eventually, when we use this name and this brand for those that we wish to serve, families with loved ones that need our care and services, I want them to feel the same way. I want them to see the information from us and say, "We found our partner. We found our guide in getting my loved one the best that they can have in their life and the best possibilities for them in their future."

Stephanie: Excellent advice. You had mentioned, "Say it. Live it." And, you've been through the say it, live it process in the past. Talk about, say it, live it, in terms of ORP's name change, what that means for your organization.

Janet Schulz: Yep. So, there are a couple of things that make me very passionate about what I'll describe now and part of it is just my experiences that you've mentioned already. And then the other part of it is, frankly, the work around culture that I did as a patient experience consultant. We were very consistently looking for alignment within organizations. And so, as we look to rollout the name within ORP, a new name within ORP, we are working to, in parallel with that, really mature our human resource foundation and structures. And so, doing a lot of work with our Chief Human Resource Officer, we already have belief and behaviors, and they are quite strong, but we need to strengthen the understanding and footprint of them within the organization, as part of those process. We will be aligning performance reviews, and job descriptions, and how we hire individuals, as part of this process.

One of the tactics we're going to be deploying with Core's support is a mobile app for communication with our co-owners and employees. I say, co-owners because we are 100% ESA, so another part of this is really having people feel engaged from that perspective. And so, another alignment piece will be those beliefs and behaviors and how they translate into recognizing people when they demonstrate those beliefs and behaviors every day. We're really seeking to use the name, and this process is something that creates those connections in our organization at a much different level than they exist today.

Stephanie: This is your brand. This is brand building. And as much as we make things look pretty, or design a great logo, all important parts of your brand, but it's really when the rubber hits the road. It's how are people treating other people, how are people coming into the organization, are they the right people? And, this is where we say, "ORP and your soon to be new name gets it."

One thing I will say, you and your Chief Human Resources Officer are attached at the hip, at least when we see you, you are. And, there's never a decision that's made without the other, and you understand the importance of bridging those two worlds because one cannot exist without the other. It's been key. And, that's definitely something we recommend to healthcare organizations as you're embarking on a new brand, a name change we're talking about today, but if you are looking at rebranding, your marketing department and your human resources department need to be aligned. You've got too many important assets there not to be.

Janet Schulz: Yeah. And, I'll dive deeper in that just on one other regard, and that is, when Core did its initial discovery phase with ORP, one of the things you pointed out to us is that our size is one of our best kept secrets.

Stephanie: It sure is.

Janet Schulz: We are a human services company of 2,500 employees, this is co-owners and growing. And, what that means is that, as you pointed out, when someone joins the company, they can be part of something bigger and they can be entering us within one operating unit, yet find their career progression in another. But, that doesn't happen just with pixie dust. It means that we have to redesign those HR structures and systems for people to easily know what opportunities exist, for them to know that we care about where and how they want to grow, and so that's part of the intentional human resource work we're doing, as well.

Stephanie: So, we know brand alignment isn't easy. What are some of your top recommendations for bringing an internal and external brand into alignment?

Janet Schulz: Well, I think we maybe you need to go back to what is the foundation of a brand. The best brands represent, when they are being their best, a promise. And so, when you talk about alignment, it's what needs to happen internal to this organization for us to deliver on that promise? And, typically, it's the things that we've talked about in this podcast, things like having service standards, things like hiring the kind of people that can work with you to deliver on that promise, things like recognizing when promises are delivered and rewarding people for that. So, brand alignment is to not disconnect the two, but to connect the promise with action.

Stephanie: This is hard work, and you've done this now at more than one organization. Why do you keep doing this? You're a glutton for punishment, or?

Janet Schulz: No. I just have this deep passion that says that when we work in healthcare and human services, whatever role, in whatever role, we're privileged to walk into the doorways of those organizations every day because in healthcare and human services, we're dealing with people at their most vulnerable. And so, I just have a deep passion for supporting people and realizing their value within that system and the purpose it can bring to their lives and what it can bring to the lives of those we care for.

Stephanie: Wow. A really powerful reminder of the work that we all do. I'm actually getting teary-eyed right now with you saying that. Thank you. It is a huge responsibility and we appreciate the work that you all do at ORP. If you don't know what ORP does, please look them up because it's an incredible organization that cares for incredible people. Thank you, Janet Schulz.

Janet Schulz: Thanks, Stephanie for the opportunity.

Stephanie: Absolutely.


Stephanie Burton, APR is the Director of Healthcare Marketing at Core Health.

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