Institutions and governments are not the place normally where you see a true understanding of the power of the brand. But the arrival of the NHS Nightingale hospitals are a shining exception to that rule.
If you’d given this as a brief to agencies to create, name and develop an identity within two weeks even the best might have faltered.
The NHS and or the UK government have understood that great brands are built on trust, they reassure, and if there are really good, they have staying power. That’s exactly what the NHS means to us in the UK and what it stands for the world over.
To use the power of the 72 year old NHS with its simple blue colour, identifiable logo and teamed it up with the best known nurse the UK has ever produced – Florence Nightingale is a stroke of genius. Then as a final flourish they simply add the location.
So, we will have the NHS Nightingale London, the NHS Nightingale Birmingham, the NHS Nightingale Manchester and I assume the NHS Nightingale Glasgow and the NHS Nightingale Belfast. Hopefully, in this instance the devolved nations will take this gift and run with it.
Whilst the reason for needing these new hospitals is undoubtedly a recognition that the UK is facing ones of the biggest challenges it has ever known. What it says to everyone, not just those in need is, you know you will be cared for wherever you are by the fantastic NHS and you know you will be looked after by staff with the same devotion as Florence Nightingale.
In this one amazing move the UK has shown we can build a hospital just a quickly and, on a scale, and time frame of the Chinese but we also know how to leverage one of our best brand assets to make us all feel a little more reassured.