The Westmead Institute brand development

Translating discoveries into real health outcomes for patients and communities

  • Clarify and refine architecure
  • Create visual impact
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Alignment of purpose

One of Australia’s largest and most productive multidisciplinary medical research institutes

The Westmead Institute is one of Australia’s largest and most productive multi-disciplinary medical research institutes, and a part of the Westmead Health Precinct. They conduct ground-breaking research into the diseases that affect our society and translate their discoveries into real health outcomes for patients and communities.

Initially established as the Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research in 1996, the Institute grew out of Westmead Hospital and also has a close partnership with The University of Sydney.

When the Institute engaged BrandMatters, it had grown to 400 staff and 11 centres of research speciality that, for the very first time, had come together under one roof in a brand new, state-of-the-art research facility. In addition to bringing the organisation together physically, this was also a huge opportunity to align internal stakeholders (including clinicians, doctors, researchers, PhD students, and administrators) behind a renewed brand.

In addition, although the organisation receives some government funding, it relies largely on philanthropic donations. In order to achieve its vision, mission and objectives, it needed a strong, compelling and relevant brand and brand strategy to attract the ongoing support needed to continue its ground-breaking work - from the community, businesses, the government and the NHMRC.

Due to its 11 research centres and associated sub-brands, together with its role within the Westmead Medical Precinct and its partnerships and associations, the Institute also required a clear brand architecture strategy.

  • Qualitative research
  • Brand architecure
  • Brand positioning
  • Brand messaging
  • Visual identity design
  • Brand guidelines
  • Brand assets

Brand architecture leading brand development

The complexity of the organisation, the variety and layers of stakeholders and the number of partners required BrandMatters to use a highly collaborative approach throughout the project, involving interviews, workshops and presentations to different audiences to take all stakeholders on the journey of the rebrand.

BrandMatters undertook a rigorous information gathering program, including detailed desk research and in-depth interviews with stakeholders including board members, clinicians, and senior stakeholders at Westmead Hospital and Sydney University. We distilled this into key insights that became the foundation for brand development, and recommended that the Institute shorten its name to The Westmead Institute for Medical Research, or simply The Westmead Institute in abbreviated form.

We then developed brand architecture and brand positioning options for the brand, and workshopped those with the client. The outputs included documented, approved brand architecture and positioning strategies, a succinct brand story and key messaging for several internal and external audiences.

Once the positioning was approved, BrandMatters created a new logo and visual identity system to bring the brand strategy to life. We expressed this across new stationery, a corporate profile and templates, and in addition, the new logo was used on the website and in new internal and external building signage. We also created a launch video and a detailed set of brand guidelines to ensure the brand is consistently used and expressed.

A powerful symbol of change

The Westmead Institute’s new brand was successfully launched, firstly to employees to create understanding and excitement around the new brand, and then externally. The brand launch commenced with a public event during which the new building logo was unveiled, and this was accompanied by the new website, brochureware and stationery.

The new brand is a powerful symbol of change - for internal stakeholders, as well as external stakeholders, partners and the community. It communicates that The Westmead Institute is committed to the future, and making a real difference to people’s lives.

Ultimately, the brand development journey has brought the organisation together. The new brand has created a clear understanding of The Westmead Institute brand and what sets it apart from other medical research institutes. It has also delivered a renewed sense of pride in the organisation, recognition of how much they have already achieved, and what can be achieved together in the future.

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