A tech company that uses A.I to bring healthcare to rural Americans?
Sounds a bit like an oxymoron, but that’s Homeward’s mission. Started by veterans of the healthcare industry, the startup was created to serve folks who live far away from the doctors, hospitals, and specialty care that city-goers are accustomed to. Homeward reaches these people through technology like remote patient monitoring, and a mix of virtual and house-visits from local practitioners.
The problem was, Homeward needed a way to communicate all that. They also needed a visual identity. And a logo. And a name—which for a while was “Rural Newco." And everything about their brand needed to feel down to earth and approachable, meaning the exact opposite of most healthcare and tech companies.
So they called Familiar Creatures.
How to Build A Brand In 10 Days:
Well, it’s more like many months.
The first step is research research research. We started our approach with a brand workshop, to better understand not only the service, but its target members. That, coupled with quantitative and qualitative research, led to the brand’s first positioning—providing care for care deserts. It was something unique that only Homeward could really own. Something that spoke to their higher mission and reason for existing.
But we still didn’t have a name. So we came up with a bunch. Over a hundred, in fact. And when we settled on a few faves, we let our prospective members decide the winner through a series of focus groups. That’s when we landed on Homeward. It speaks to quite literally what they do—bring healthcare right to your doorstep. It also evokes a warm and cozy feel—something that informed the tone and design direction we eventually took.
Next came the logo, and with it, a visual identity. We needed something that felt professional, but still warm and cozy like our name. Not too sleek, like most tech companies, and not too sterile, like almost all healthcare companies.
So we developed a look and feel that emphasized simplicity, and welcomeness. Bright purple and yellow doesn’t scream tech or health, but rather nods to them with a polite, “how’s it going?”
Our icon did the same. By combining care imagery, a stethoscope, with a GPS pin, we again struck that delicate balance between tech, health and approachable. While also nodding to the fact that Homeward will travel to wherever you are to bring care. And we did it all with an icon.
We had a brand. But we needed a platform.
And things like banners, direct mail, merch, scrubs, a social presence, RV wraps, and a whole lot else. But we started with a platform.
We knew we couldn’t come across as a bunch of Silicon Valley slickers swooping into rural communities. We wouldn’t be trusted. But we also couldn’t pander to our older, rural member base either.
So we decided to introduce ourselves with a wave, a friendly nod, and a “Hi. We’re Homeward. Pleased to Treat You.”
The Pleased to Treat You platform emphasizes friendliness and locality—the cornerstone of the Homeward brand. And we launched it through a series of banners, merch, and ads that all spoke to who we are, what we stand for, and where we’re coming from.
This campaign has just launched, so results are still pending. Check back here soon for more on that front.