In SMPL Q+A, we interview Siegel+Gale practitioners on all things relevant to branding, design, and simplicity. Here, we speak with Jason Hall, creative lead, naming and Jenna Isken, associate director, experience about our engagement with Stanford Medicine and bringing Precision Health to life through their bold pilot project, Humanwide.
Why did Stanford Medicine engage Siegel+Gale?
JH: Stanford Medicine wanted to look beyond the reactive idea of precision medicine—medical care optimized towards a particular group of patients—and take a proactive approach to health and wellness. We were enlisted to define the look and language for the groundbreaking idea of Precision Health, as well as to name and digitally express a new pilot program that would eventually become a documentary.
“Instead of a frantic race to cure disease after the fact, we can increasingly focus on preventing disease before it strikes. By focusing on health and wellness, we can also have a meaningful impact in reducing healthcare costs. At Stanford, we call this idea Precision Health, where we focus on helping individuals thrive based on all the factors that are unique to their lives, from their genetics to their environment.”—Lloyd Minor, M.D. (Dr. Minor is a scientist, surgeon, and the dean of Stanford Medicine.)
In other words, they use data to get out in front of a problem.
What was unique about the experience of developing the brand?
JH: The concept of Precision Health and the potential to better humanity is extraordinary, but the unique part of the project was the launch of a new pilot program tentatively called “Adopt-a-Town.” The program is a targeted study of a particular group of people in a community. Participant health data is gathered, analyzed, and used to formulate links between genetics, behavior, and health. The goal is to predict and prevent disease before it strikes. If successful, this new approach will ripple across the planet. It’s a big deal, and we had the opportunity to partner with Stanford Medicine to make a documentary about it!
Tell us about the process and challenges behind developing the new name?
JH: The global team jumped at the chance to work on this project for obvious reasons. This matters. This is interesting. This is cool.
We have extensive experience naming in healthcare and genomics, but the added filter of making the name appropriate for a documentary created an additional challenge. Not only did the new name have to bring clarity to the concept of Precision Health, complement the Stanford Medicine brand, and bring a sense of legitimacy and calmness to a radically new approach to genomics research—it also had to pique interest.
We created hundreds and hundreds of names across a variety of themes ranging from healthy outcomes to community benefit to global change. The name we landed on is Humanwide, a simple yet bold articulation of the concept of applying the findings on a global scale and making a difference across all human life. Humanwide feels strong, trustworthy, familiar, and fresh, all at the same time.
One of the greatest challenges of any naming engagement is getting intelligent people to suspend logic for a moment and see the power and possibility of words. It’s our responsibility as branders and marketers to scrutinize words logically, but in the real world, people are trying to make sense of names versus notice their shortcomings. We have a methodology that leads to fresh names and a process that helps clients see opportunity in those words.
Tell us about the process and challenges behind developing the digital expression?
JI: It was an exercise in parallels. It was crucial that the experience reflected the unique Precision Health brand, while simultaneously feeling cohesive with the Stanford Medicine experience. We needed to create a content hub to house and share content, especially from the Humanwide series, but we also wanted to help users understand the more significant impact of Precision Health’s mission.
While this new website section was happening concurrently with the launch of Humanwide, we didn’t want to lose sight of Precision Health’s long-term goals. As a result, we organized the site so that Humanwide was in service of Precision Health; the documentary, stories, and podcast are positioned to support this remarkable cause.