Organisational identity is a significant driver to confidence in the public sector or business success in the private sector.
The NHS was launched by Nye Bevan on 5th July 1948. To mark the 70th year since this significant, society-changing event people have been wishing the NHS a ‘happy birthday’. This wave of sentiment is surely testament to its significant success. But the NHS is neither a living being to be wished well or in practice a single organism. It has multiple services and organisations that share a common principle of service delivery, provided locally. Those services have changed momentously over its 70 years. The organisation remains, however, clearly identifiable as the ‘NHS’ across the UK and abroad. Sometimes criticised, often praised, but always valued by the public and recognisable to all.
In the retail sector there are similar examples of brand names that persist; customers know that, regardless of service delivery method, the organisations represent; quality, good value, ethical trading – or similar. Amongst the tumbleweed of the high streets and shopping centres, some ‘big names’ are now failing. Organisations are not adapting to business threats and others are chasing so many different markets that they are losing their identity to the point that customers question what they are for. But brand messages need to remain strong in this ultra-competitive world.
In the field of employment too, a strong organisational and positive identity is key to attracting and retaining good quality employees. Our practical guide on employer branding, explores the advantage of getting it right and the risks when it all goes wrong. Being clear on your organisational purpose is essential and the NHS is a great example.
So, NHS we salute you, whoever ‘you’ are. Not only for what you do, but for establishing an identity that will give you strength for the future – happy birthday!
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