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Emergency Health Centre

Emergency Health CentreChallenge

The Emergency Health Centre at Willowbrook, a soon-to-be-developed, physician-owned, free-standing emergency room in northwest Houston, needed to differentiate itself from its competition and build a strong and recognized brand within the community. Given Active Imagination’s award-winning work within the healthcare industry, Emergency Health Centre (initially named Emergency Diagnostic and Imaging Centers) entrusted Active Imagination with creating a name, logo, Web site, marketing plan and brand strategy that would establish the Centre as the most desirable provider of emergency medical care in the surrounding area.

Through its proprietary BrandStory process, as well as primary and secondary research, Active Imagination and EHC management selected the Ruler as EHC’s guiding archetypal brand presence. In its sophisticated feel and decisive language, the Ruler would attract EHC’s target demographic: discerning, upper-middle-class families that want the best medical care for themselves and their loved ones.

To differentiate the Centre from hospital emergency rooms, urgent care centers and “docs-in-the-box,” Active Imagination’s brand strategy followed the Ruler’s characteristics in its naming process, ultimately recommending the upscale name Emergency Health Centre and a logo that incorporated deep reds and gold metallic ink. Active Imagination’s principals also provided consultations for the interior and exterior designs of the Centre itself by suggesting additional features, colors and other considerations, ensuring that the Ruler feel and overall branding initiatives were carried throughout the entire building to achieve the optimal experience for visitors.

Active Imagination’s marketing strategy for EHC centered on a storytelling approach. In each piece of collateral produced, a different angle of the same story was communicated: that of “Paradise Found.” When a trip to the ER is necessary, most people expect the usual emergency room experience—a long wait in a clinical environment. At Emergency Health Centre, patients find a high-end experience with valet parking, individual exam rooms, convenient online check-in and short waiting times.

By maintaining a consistent message, Active Imagination’s brand consulting and marketing insight, as well as its design work, helped Emergency Health Centre differentiate itself as one of the most sophisticated and technologically advanced emergency departments in the city. The Centre’s efforts have been touted in many local newspapers and periodicals, including the Houston Chronicle and Houston Business Journal, and the Centre’s new materials and marketing collateral have been met with enthusiasm by members of the community, as well as potential physician referral sources. The first Emergency Health Centre is set to open in the summer of 2007, and the Centre’s physician-owners plan to expand the Centre to include three additional branches, using the established branding and marketing strategies created by Active Imagination.


"I had no idea how little I knew about my brand until Active Imagination took our target market and every aspect of our brand much deeper."

- Victor Miranda, M.D., Founding Partner, Emergency Health Centre