Brand alignment: the domino effect of a powerful battlecry

September 23, 2013
Ward Alles President and Brand Consultant

For Kaiser Permanente and its 180,000 employees, the mission is continuous improvement. *

For the Cleveland Clinic and its 43,000 employees, it’s patient satisfaction. **

No matter the size of the organization or the objective at hand, entire systems are being asked to embrace these singular mindsets for the sake of their “customers.”

In this blog series from Core Creative, a branding agency with a special focus on serving health care providers, we’ll talk about the multiple business benefits of recruiting your entire employee-base to rally around one big idea.

In our subsequent posts, you’ll read about a natural domino effect that occurs when everyone within a healthcare system – from CEO to janitor – makes fulfilling a shared brand promise their personal mission and passion.

Specifically, we’ll discuss how engaging your employees in “living the brand” will trigger a series of benefits including:

  • Improved employee engagement
  • Increased productivity
  • Higher retention
  • Better outcomes
  • Increased satisfaction
  • And, ultimately, positive word-of-mouth referrals

Because this kind of branding occurs at the grassroots level, it’s perceived to be more real than an ad campaign … and therefore its effects are more powerful.

We call this topic “brand alignment.” And it’s a key strategy being used by leading providers to unify their workforce and more effectively compete in market – even in the face of dramatic industry changes.



To receive a high-resolution PDF of this graphic, please contact Angi Krueger, VP of Marketing and Business Development at

*“The Culture to Cultivate”, George Halvorson, CEO, Kaiser Permanente, Harvard Business Review, July-August 2013, p. 34

**“Health Care’s Service Fanatics” James Merlino, Colorectal Surgeon, The Cleveland Clinic, Harvard Business Review, May 2013, p. 108-116.


Ward began his advertising career as a copywriter, working for two of Wisconsin’s leading business-to-business agencies. In 1994, Ward helped form Core Creative with his two partners. At Core, he originally served as an account executive and copywriter. As Core grew, Ward moved on to his current administrative role as president. While he still provides brand consultation and strategy to a handful of accounts directly, his primary goal now is to help guide the agency’s direction and business development efforts. Connect with Ward on LinkedIn or drop him an email at



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