Building a brand from the ground up is an exciting opportunity and challenge for our team. In this case, the branding needed to reflect the ground, the air, and the ether. The Medical Innovation District (MID) in Fort Worth started out as a disconnected/amorphous physical footprint, an energetic entrepreneurial community, a rich density of medical professionals and patients, and a vision for the future. Altogether, Medical Innovation District was a vision of possibility, so, when they called Schaefer to help name and brand the organization, we entered into an intense discovery process to help clearly communicate the purpose of this local innovation hub. But, can you build a brand from a vision and a mindset?
From the outset, we wanted to find a path that spoke to entrepreneurs and innovative brands, striking the right balance to attract established healthcare companies and industry disruptors alike. We began strategizing the branding and positioning for MID by holding in-depth interviews with the internal stakeholders of the organization and community. We also wanted to incorporate the proximity to a dense healthcare employment cluster as a benefit of the location, which helps nurture local collaboration. Establishing the MID as a place where people collaborate and innovate solutions was critical to the final branding and positioning.
When approaching any brand identity, it’s important to carefully listen to the client so that their industry-specific knowledge is pulled through to the final product. For the Medical Innovation District, that meant refining their purpose and clearly communicating it with a unique name. Specifically, the client wanted to get away from the term “Innovation,” which is oversaturated in the marketplace and does not illustrate the process behind innovation, which is the result of constant iteration. So, we looked at the core of innovation and saw a path to an answer: iteration, which is the process of constant improvement and at the heart of innovation.
We chose iter8 as the new brand name for MID. iter8 directly reflects the process by which ground-breaking ideas are created: through constant testing, fine-tuning and evolution. Furthermore, the name more accurately communicates the purpose of iter8’s position in the market and community.
When we began branding the MID, we wanted to focus on bringing to the foreground the opportunity for entrepreneurial development to attract healthcare anchors, which are at the center of medical innovation. Positioning iter8 in Fort Worth as a place to pioneer new ideas in healthcare is a natural fit because Fort Worth is a place that pushes the boundaries of what is possible and creates new doors to open. At the heart of Fort Worth and iter8 is a maverick’s spirit, so we positioned iter8 as a brand that creates new frontiers in the healthcare landscape by fostering innovative ideas powered by community and collaboration.
You can build a brand from a clear vision of the future and an innovative mindset. For iter8, that mindset will enrich the community of Fort Worth for generations to come. Fort Worth is our home, and it is rewarding to work for a client that helps position the city as a leader in local innovation and drive creative and scientific thought leaders to our great city.