William Osler Health System

Leveraging Stakeholder Research Insights to Create a Fundraising-Ready Brand

The William Osler Health System is one of the largest health systems in Canada, serving more than 1.3 million people living in Brampton and Etobicoke. HALO’s mandate was to develop an integrated brand marketing campaign to support Osler Foundation’s $100 million capital fundraising campaign.  

Branding Challenge
Our challenge was to create a brand that would credibly differentiate Osler within the over-crowded hospital sector and provide donor prospects with a compelling reason to make a donation. Third-party research had shown us that many citizens had, in fact, made a recent donation — but most had donated to one of the major hospitals on University Avenue, not to one of the Osler hospitals located in their own community.

Stakeholder Research
We engaged major gift donors and board members in qualitative research to dig beneath the surface for branding insights to inform the brand strategy that would drive fundraising. The motivation that we tapped into is best captured by a direct quote taken from one of the participants: “A donor is every bit as important to what a hospital does as its medical staff.”

Branding Strategy
HALO recommended using this insight as a springboard to compel donors to channel their support to where they can make the most difference – in their own local community hospital where they work and where their family and friends live. Research consistently validates the value that the public places on supporting their local community when it comes time to choose the causes they will or will not donate to.

Creative Campaign
The brand strategy was brought to life with a creative idea called “You have the power.”  This idea turns a well-worn hospital category convention on its head by approaching the message from the donor’s perspective rather than focusing on the hospital. It tells the audience that they are a critical member of the hospital team and without their financial support, Osler hospitals could not provide the care they and the citizens of their community need and deserve.  

The campaign launched Spring, 2016 and fundraising efforts are on track. The new Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness opened in February 2017.

Click on each image for an enhanced view of creative samples.