A true turnaround success story, the HCA brand was reimagined to help lead the organization from a place of crisis and confusion to one of the country’s most respected healthcare provider brands. The revitalized brand strategy is driving a completely new HCA story and a significantly improved brand image recognized globally for embodying its brand values and ethics.


The hospital system, then called Columbia Healthcare Corporation, was suffering from a fragmented brand and tarnished reputation. The company was struggling to move away from a tarnished image that had come from previous years’ improper billing practices. Adding to that struggle, hundreds of disconnected subsidiary and sub-brands were diluting HCA’s overarching image and compromising its brand architecture. As a result, HCA was forced to rethink its brand strategy, not just to improve perception, but to keep the company alive.


Based on extensive stakeholder interviews and research, Straightline created a renewed brand identity. Along with reverting to the company’s well-respected historical name, the new HCA brand helped the company present a fresh new face to the world that communicated the shared emotional experience of employees and patients. Combined with a updated divisional brand architecture strategy, HCA is able to leverage its strengths across all divisions and service lines, optimizing its portfolio for an evolving competitive landscape. Straightline then ensured that the brand as a whole was supported through brand governance and employee engagement strategies, including the creation of the H2U magazine that continues to protect this valuable asset to this day.

Following this initial phase of work, Straightline also helped rebrand HCA’s Sarah Cannon Research Institute, bringing focus to HCA’s expertise in cancer care.