Every experience matters:
Hearing directly from patients to inform a new brand identity

In collaboration with the Patient Ombudsman

A new office was established to investigate complaints about health care experiences in Ontario. To launch its new identity, we listened to those who would be most affected—patients and caregivers.

Illustration of patients, caregivers, and doctors of different types

Challenge

Health care experiences are deeply personal—what matters most to our system’s most vulnerable? How might we present the brand as a fair and impartial organization – one that does not take sides?

Solution

To understand what matters most to Ontarians, we led consultations with patients and caregivers across the province to better inform the brand name, positioning and visual identity.

Scope of Work

Stakeholder consultations
Brand identity and positioning
Brand guidelines
Bilingual communications materials

The context

The Patient Ombudsman is a new office established to investigate complaints and facilitate solutions about health care experiences. As an “office of last resort,” the Patient Ombudsman listens to all sides to try to resolve complaints. It also investigates and highlights trends and patterns and makes recommendations to tackle system-wide problems.

We held four consultations across Ontario with patients and caregivers of different ages, abilities and backgrounds.

Listening to patients and caregivers

We wanted to understand what mattered most to Ontarians and hear personal stories of their own unique challenges and experiences navigating the health care system. To develop our identity, we held four consultations across Ontario with patients and caregivers of different ages, abilities and backgrounds. 

Our research was also supplemented with 619 responses to an online survey. These insights let us know what Ontarians expect from the Ombudsman.

Group of divers people surrounding a table having a conversation
Sketch of our team conducting a group consultion with Ontarians

Creating the brand positioning

Several themes and patterns emerged from the sessions. We heard that people:

  • Want to be treated with respect and fairness.
  • Want their complaints to prevent others from going through similar experiences.
  • Believe complaints should be used as data to drive change.

“Often, it’s good enough to be listened to—you just want to be heard.”

These valuable insights helped define the brand, contributing to everything from the logo to the vision, mission, values statements and a new tagline: “Every experience matters.”

Brand Survey Example
Examples of some of the survey questions gone out to 619 Ontarians

A visual identity rooted in trust

We needed to position the Patient Ombudsman as a fair and impartial organization – one that does not take sides. This also meant being visually distinct from the government and not affiliated with any political parties. 

The logo is designed to be a colourful bridge; the office is a bridge between the patient voice and health sector organizations to drive positive change.

The arc of the bridge transitions in colour; bright blue for health sector organizations, representing credibility and trustworthiness; green for our aspirational role of having a vibrant, action-oriented and fresh perspective; and yellow for the patient voice, representing optimism, hope and shining a spotlight on issues.

Patient Ombudsman logo

Clear, simple and approachable communication

We needed to relay complex information to a diverse, multicultural and multilingual audience, often made up of vulnerable, frustrated people. This meant having to distil information and articulate a clear, step-by-step complaints process through infographics and messaging so that all of the Patient Ombudsman’s stakeholders know exactly what to expect – and at what stages.

Homepage of the mobile site Screen capture of a page highlighting a spotlight issue complaint Capture of a page discussing complaints and resolutions Capture of the landing page for the digital annual report Infographic from the Patient Ombudsman on their first year

Conclusion

The launch received positive public reception and the Patient Ombudsman is now positioned as a fair and impartial organization – one that does not take sides.

Through a successful collaborative process, Context Creative presented the consultative findings, vision, mission, value and new branding to the public alongside the Patient Ombudsman.

The launch received positive public reception and the Patient Ombudsman is now positioned as a fair and impartial organization – one that does not take sides.

We have continued our work with the Patient Ombudsman, including creating its annual reports, custom illustrations, infographics and innovative digital summaries.