A branding crisis...recruiting needs...and an Ebola outbreak. How will FreemanWhite overcome these challenges and turn them into opportunities? Read on.
- Marcom Award Winner
A brand that needed a shot in the arm
FreemanWhite was a 120-year-old architecture firm that was focused on engineering, planning, and analytics ⏤ with growing expertise and experience in healthcare design and consulting. In fact, they had developed considerable expertise in a wide range of healthcare-related specialties, including acute care, ambulatory care, architecture, buildings, construction, emergency departments, engineering, healthcare reform, integrated project delivery, interior design, LEAN processes, operational efficiency, planning, post-acute care, prototypes, and surgery.
While this depth of expertise was comforting for their clients, it masked two sharp pains at FreemanWhite: 1) their highly successful emergency room design and consulting subsidiary, Catalyst, was on a trajectory to overwhelm FreemanWhite’s brand; and 2) as their firm’s name recognition suffered, they had a difficult time attracting top talent to keep their business thriving.
Where could FreemanWhite get immediate treatment and alleviate the pain?
“We’re getting many more hospitals visiting our website each week.”
Getting to the heart of the matter with research
Hinge began the engagement with a comprehensive suite of research to fully understand how target markets perceived FreemanWhite. From that insightful information, we repositioned FreemanWhite as more than another healthcare facility designer. Instead, we emphasized their unparalleled, data-driven, strategic approach to design and specialized deep focus on healthcare expertise. No competitor could say the same. Hinge supported this distinctive positioning with a robust content marketing program that has exposed FreemanWhite to a broader international audience of hospital, emergency room, and ambulatory care center administrators.
How did the 2014 Ebola Outbreak play into FreemanWhite’s enhanced visibility? Read on...
Equipped to lead through a crisis
On March 23, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported cases of a new outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in West Africa. Over the next two years, this EVD outbreak grew on a massive scale with more than 28,600 cases and 11,325 deaths. Around the world, healthcare administrators and professionals had lots of questions. How can we contain this infectious and deadly disease? How should emergency room be designed to address the disease and the threat it posed to patients, doctors and staff?
Hinge recognized an opportunity to raise FreemanWhite’s expertise profile and take a more recognized leadership role. We had already helped FreemanWhite’s team write authoritative pieces on relevant issues, such as infection control and emergency room design. Many of these pieces were published in major industry publications, including the Center for Disease Control blog and Becker’s Hospital Review. They were perfectly positioned to address questions from a worried public, and we prepared their team to make themselves available to the media. FreemanWhite was able to help healthcare professionals around the world — and generate inquiries from 29 hospitals they had never spoken to before.
How else did FreemanWhite benefit from the rebranding? That’s up next...
The vital signs are looking stronger than ever
At the heart of the new marketing program was a new website. To help address the firm’s recruiting challenges, we developed a robust new careers section that focused on their deep expertise and compelling professional opportunities. In addition, we deployed a compelling offer strategy and a platform for sharing expert content.
With the rollout of the new website and Visible Firm program, FreemanWhite saw a dramatic increase in brand visibility, website traffic, and expertise interest. And because they had the right infrastructure in place, the firm was well positioned to take a leadership position on the ebola crisis.
In fact, the changes attracted the attention of global AEC firm Haskell, who acquired FreemanWhite in the fall of 2014. Today, FreemanWhite enjoys a distinctive brand under the umbrella of Haskell companies. Catalyst was spun off as its own Haskell-owned business, with a focus on healthcare business intelligence, and today FreemanWhite continues to build its reputation among healthcare organizations across the nation.
What we did
Visible Firm Program
- Client, Prospect, and Lost Prospect Research
- Content Strategy
- Market Opportunity Strategy
- Messaging Architecture
- Online Strategy
- Search Engine Optimization
- Website Development