Fresh brand positioning reflects Whiddon's fundamental CX shift

Aged care provider's GM of marketing and communications says the new brand identity comes off the back of foundational work to cement its relationship-based approach

Whiddon has taken the wrappers off the first company rebrand in its 70-year history, a move designed to emphasise the aged care provider’s relationship-based approach in market as well as its innovative spirit.

Whiddon general manager of marketing and communications, Amiria MacKinnon, told CMO the decision to rebrand from ‘The Whiddon Group’ to ‘Whiddon’ and overhaul its visual identity kicked off after the group’s 70-year anniversary in 2017. The group has retained its founder’s name and heritage while introducing visual cues more in line with the group’s warm playful and compassionate personality, she said.

It’s also the latest step in a multi-pronged approach to better differentiate the organisation in market. It’s work that arguably started with the appointment of its inaugural marketing and PR team seven years ago, as well as development of a customer experience framework, dubbed the ‘Whiddon Way’. More recently, it’s led Whiddon to evolve its solution-based sales team.

“The biggest reason was the need to differentiate in the market. Aged care is a crowded market, and the identities in that space are one of first things a consumer sees. Yet they have looked very similar,” MacKinnon explained.

Against this, the market has shifted from a demand-led approach, to one where consumers have choice. “Several have already recognised the need to refocus on the consumer,” she said.

“Whiddon really leads the way in Australia in the well-being and ageing space. We have three pillars for this: People, connected community, and innovative programs. Yet the previous brand identity didn’t enable us to leverage that. Shifting and owning that space is a key part of our brand and how consumers view our quality of care.”

The brand refresh doesn’t stand in isolation, however. Over the past five years, MacKinnon said Whiddon has fundamentally shifted its approach, building new internal frameworks that help articulate this value proposition.

“We have spent a lot of time getting the foundations right. Looking at our personality and internal culture for example, saw us develop a cultural framework,” she continued. “Because so much of our work is about people… getting that base right has been critical to deliver on what we’re promising now.

“Through the Whiddon Way we have implemented all those systems, processes, training and orientation where we deliver on the brand promise. We also are a care organisation, and we’ve developed a model of care that’s relationship-based.

“It’s these frameworks being in place which now allow us to do what we’re doing externally with the brand.”

The brand refresh commenced in 2018, in partnership with boutique Sydney creative agency, There. Whiddon’s new logo and visual look use a more vibrant colour palette and fun graphics, and are designed to highlight the organisation’s positive philosophy, MacKinnon said.

As examples of this personality, she pointed to research-founded creative ageing programs such as HenPower, which sees chickens kept in aged care homes; Dancewise, in partnership with the Dance Health Alliance; and Vintage Bites, a social food program.

“We are consistently challenging through best-practice approaches and trials, including our MyLife model of care, our Best Week program and generally changing perceptions of what ageing and aged care really look like,” MacKinnon said.

Initially, the branding was rolled out across Whiddon’s website and social presence because these are often the families’ first interaction with the brand, MacKinnon said.

“It’s mostly a visual refresh, although we have been using data for the past year… learning from customer feedback and actual data to ensure our new website is more relevant,” she said. “Aged care is a maze and something so many families go through. It’s about making the experience as simple as possible, intuitive and human, and trying to anticipate their needs.

“To do this, we’ve added more content around what aged care is and what’s available. We had assumed people know what they need, which isn’t necessarily true. There’s more to go, but we’re miles ahead of where we were.”

The next step is to rollout the visual identity physically across its 20 aged care homes, 12 retirement villages and nine home care hubs.

“Each of these has an onsite team and local community, so we’ll do this in a grassroots way, providing new materials, entrance experiences and collateral then we’ll tackle signage,” MacKinnon said. “The other big thing is starting to work with our community partners [such as GPs and hospitals] to ensure they’re aware we’re the same organisation, it’s more about how we look.”

Alongside the brand and positioning work, Whiddon has been investing in its internal sales and customer service capabilities, establishing a dedicated customer relations team and implementing a CRM. This team is working hand-in-hand with marketing, MacKinnon said, and is very much focused on engagement that starts with education, through to advocacy and providing solutions.

“We’re now trying to take our frontline employees on that journey,” she added.

Check out more of our coverage of brand refreshes


Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

That’s great! While 95% of customer value high-quality support over speed, delivering both is vital in this competitive age. Integrating ...

Akansh M

Foxtel debuts in-app messaging chat to improve customer service

Read more

Thanks for the post

Ashirwad Towers

How a brand facelift and content strategy turned real estate software, Rockend, around

Read more

Like we have been growing in technology since the first industrial revolution and never stopping but when it comes to businesses around t...

Bhooshan Shetty

Predicting the Future: Marketing science or marketing myth?

Read more

Was really informative. Customer retention is very important for companies as retaining customers are simpler compared to making new ones...

Bhooshan Shetty

Gartner survey: CMO spending hit by COVID-19

Read more

Couldn't agree more!The way AI and machine learning as evolved over these years, it has completely changed the look of marketing and cust...

Bhooshan Shetty

Marketing 2030 and the rise of the machines

Read more

Blog Posts

Life beyond the cookie: 5 steps to mapping the future of marketing measurement

​There’s no denying there’s been a whirlwind of response to the imminent demise of the third-party cookie from all parts of the industry. But as we’ve collectively come to better understand the implications, it’s clear this change is giving the digital advertising industry the opportunity to re-think digital marketing to support core industry use cases, while balancing consumer privacy.

Natalie Stanbury

Director of research, IAB Australia

Ensuring post-crisis success

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed brands’ CX shortcomings and a lack of customer understanding. Given ongoing disruption, customer needs, wants and expectations are continually changing, also causing customers to behave in different ways. Just look at hoarding toilet paper, staple and canned food, medicinal and cleaning products.

Riccardo Pasto

senior analyst, Forrester

A few behavioural economics lesson to get your brand on top of the travel list

Understanding the core principles of Behavioural Economics will give players in the travel industry a major competitive advantage when restrictions lift and travellers begin to book again. And there are a few insights in here for the rest of the marketing community, too.

Dan Monheit

Co-founder, Hardhat

Sign in