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Behavioral Health Branding Success Story





Branding Challenge

Sometimes, the smallest beginnings turn into the greatest stories.

When Jonathan Lee started North Coast Center in 1993, it was a one-person (Jonathan) operation in a tiny, windowless office. Today, it looks much different with 650 employees and multiple facilities that serve more than 20,000 patients.

While the organization scaled in scope and size, Jonathan knew their marketing – mainly tri-fold brochures – wasn’t cutting it anymore.

Drawn to designRoom’s behavioral health expertise, Jonathan approached us for simple logo and collateral updates. We convinced him that we needed to take a more holistic approach, starting with the brand. Ultimately, this changed the course of their dynamic story.

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Branding Insight

Before making any recommendations, we did a combination of internal and external discovery sessions. While reviewing the competitive landscape was helpful, our interviews with Jonathan about their audience were even more impactful for both him and us.

When we dialed in to who their patients were, where they came from, how they got there, who referred them, etc., a lightbulb went off. We realized that the majority of patients weren’t forced to seek recovery services.

They wanted the help and relied on referrals from other trusted health care providers, who also wanted to get them help immediately. Speed and access were the keys.

This aha moment not only shaped the brand but how the organization operated fundamentally.

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Branding Solution

After reviewing final results from the organization’s strategic planning initiative, we held a kick-off call with ICOY Leadership, conducted online surveys with staff, the Board and member organizations (62 total respondents), and reviewed ICOY’s existing brand and messaging. Assessing all raw data and conducting a thorough organizational comparison provided the ICOY internal team all the research they needed to drive a strategic, solutions-based approach. As a team, we were able to determine there was substantial existing equity in the ICOY name. That’s where the design process started.

After creating several options for a rebranded logo and tagline, the ICOY team settled on a look and feel that presented a united front. The final choice was a simple but high-impact logo, a benefit-driven tagline and a compelling messaging framework – based on ICOY’s core values. The dR digital team then moved forward to develop a new, user-friendly website interface, as well as a brand style guide.

Branding Impact

ICOY has become recognized for becoming the largest provider voice for youth-serving programs and services in Illinois – advocating for legislation, policies and practices that keep children, youth and their families safe and healthy. A unified rebranding has worked to bring about the realization of shared support services, standardized procedures and processes, and the marketing and motivational power of a single brand.

Because ICOY offers accredited training to member organizations, the website was a fundamental part of operations. And it is often the first introduction external audiences have to the ICOY brand. During COVID-19, offering online training became more important than ever and ICOY was equipped to meet the challenge with far greater ease.

“I appreciate that designRoom had an intentional, structured and efficient process that guided us through a roll-out they were able to fulfill – even throughout a pandemic.”

- Andrea Durbin, ICOY CEO

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