A new identity for Western Michigan Health Insurance Pool

An honest and truthful perspective.

Western Michigan Health Insurance Pool (WMHIP) had been struggling with mistrust and false accusations from their competitors and wanted address this by updating their brand. They needed help to solve this problem.

Process

We started with research into the set of values that came from initial meetings and talks with WMHIP. I split the research into groups and within each I studied language, imagery, colour and finally design inspiration from other brands/projects. This resulted in a wall of imagery and inspiration. Stepping back and studying the patterns and highlights of this research, led us to narrow down a distinct style that represented the most important elements of WMHIP.

We began to develop an identity that would convey the desired message; an open, honest and trustworthy brand. The brand needed to be lead by these values - the visuals and logo could be developed later. We created a conversation style shape to lead the identity, which could be used across deliverables as a piece to frame personal messages or member quotes. It also interacts with imagery of real members, acting as a support for them - a symbol of the healthcare that the pool provides.

I began to develop an identity that would represent the message that we wanted to portray - an open, honest and trustworthy brand. This was highlighted in the conversation style shape, real member photography and quotes. 

We worked to develop the tone of voice, which is honest and clear, and used alongside icons to convey complicated information in a digestible way. Throughout the research phase, it also became clear to us that Western Michigan Health Insurance Pool is a bit of a mouthful. In order to encourage people to talk about it confidently and precisely, we suggested that they refer to themselves from then on as ‘The Pool’. This encourages member engagement, helping them to promote the Pool’s values and improve its reputation.

They now refer to themselves as 'The Pool' - a more memorable identity.

The wordmark followed, still referencing Western Michigan which was important, but abbreviating it for simplicity. We ran a workshop in which the client produced their own strapline - an honest message from the members themselves.

Outcome

A follow-up workshop with the client saw us presenting their new brand. It has now been implemented across a number of deliverables including their website.

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