By Nicole Candler
After 150 years, it was time for Masonic Homes to adopt a name and branding that better reflects our mission. Our organization continues to shift and grow, from a home for widows and orphans to one that serves a wide range of people of all ages. Masonic Homes is now Masonic Communities, as we continue to provide our residents, employees and visitors a true feeling of community, all the while looking to the future.
The Case for Rebranding
Masonic Communities is an aging care organization that also offers services in one place – everything from independent and assisted living, to memory care and rehabilitation. Residents have the benefit of not changing their address as their needs change with age. We also have three campuses – Louisville, Northern Kentucky and Shelbyville.
The case for our effort to rebrand our organization and services was made as we wrapped up our 150th anniversary celebrations. We had been commemorating how much we’ve grown and thought it was a good time for us to look at our future direction.
Several new developments at Masonic Communities were a catalyst in the decision to create a new brand including:
- Meadow Active Lifestyle Community, featuring 122 independent living apartment-style residences designed for those 62 and older.
- Grove Point Assisted Living Community which offers 48 private senior apartments with personalized plans for daily assistance.
- A new full-service Care Clinic located next to Grove Pointe Assisted Living Community.
- FirstLight Home Care which offers companion care, personal care and more.
- The expansion of Sproutlings Pediatric Day Care & Preschool, serving children with complex medical diagnoses.
In August 2017, the rebrand was proposed, and focus groups were completed by the end of that year. The focus groups were made up of internal stakeholders: staff, board of directors, current residents and key leadership and external stakeholders: potential residents, their families and healthcare professionals from whom many referrals come.
It took about six months for all buy in to be earned. We learned to never underestimate the attachment and personal connection that stakeholders can have to a brand. Then, creation of the materials began. July 2018 marked the successful launch of the new brand.
Logo and Design
Our new logo includes an image of a tree made up of many leaves of various colors – the leaves symbolize our communities that come together to form one unit.
The words in our new name are also important. “Community” is a powerful word. Communities bring people together and are open, inclusive and supportive. “Masonic” is also important. From the Masons who established the home to care for widows and children, to the incredible Masons today who continue to give back to the community, it is a key part of who we are.
Implementing the Brand
Implementation of the new brand was a meticulous process. It began at a corporate level with a three-pronged audit and extended to each community:
- Print materials were reviewed to ensure we had a consistent look, language and tone.
- Digital materials received the next makeover. Initial changes were made to reflect the new branding, but we will continue become more user-friendly. In the digital space, we are never done rebranding and are continually developing our brand each time someone new visits us online.
- Physical presence was the final and hardest audit. It is ongoing and requires walks through each community to catalog necessary changes. On-campus signage and team member work wear are the most visible reinforcements of the brand.
All our communities and services, as well as our new brand, illustrate a fresh but cohesive look and feel. We can get a lot of mileage out of our new brand and imagery and are having a lot of fun with a larger color palette and more art elements to use across our communities.
-Nicole Candler is chief marketing officer at Masonic Communities Kentucky.