Author: Joy Zaniboni

6 June 2024

In the “medical Mecca” of Boston, Massachusetts, how can one physician organization stand out? As a physician organization based in Boston, Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians Group (HMFP) was met with this question in 2022 and teamed up with Forge Worldwide to find the answer. After rigorous strategic preparation, the result was a transformative brand refresh that garnered empirical results, received positive reception, and won awards, too! 

Boston alone has 25 hospitals and 20 community health centers. Not only does this attract patients who want premium medical care, but healthcare providers seeking employment as well. Within a highly competitive landscape, we set out to distinguish HMFP from other physicians organizations. Affiliated both with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, HMFP had the challenge of creating a strong, distinct brand identity to unify its 2,100+ physicians and other stakeholders. In collaboration with the HMFP Communications team, Forge Worldwide developed a new logo, website, and visual brand guide to elevate the HMFP look and feel. 

HMFP’s mission is to support and empower physicians, making it easier for them to do what they do best: treat patients. We worked with HMFP to articulate their one core mission, and landed on this: “HMFP empowers its physicians to reach their career objectives, enjoy the practice of medicine, and thrive within a diverse community, through support services, advocacy, and innovation.” 

With this in mind, we began the rebrand process with strategic groundwork. We then developed a three-phase visioning exercise to capture the most comprehensive range of input possible:

  • Phase one: A strategy workshop with HMFP leadership to align on high-level brand strategy, strengths, and weaknesses. 
  • Phase two: Intensive workshops with numerous HMFP departments and physicians to understand the desires and challenges of key stakeholders. 
  • Phase three: Creation of a visioning platform that pulled together foundational insights around audience, competition, and the core value proposition of HMFP. 

To help HMFP compete in the healthcare space, we developed a new logo that was unique while also considering their primary affiliates (Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center). A new website was designed with updated content and human-focused design. We created a visual brand guide as well to ensure brand consistency in all future HMFP communications and promotions. 


The logo, pictured above, is the product of HMFP stakeholders’ desires and our strategic and creative thought. HMFP’s vision for the new logo included a modern-yet-classic shield design to convey an academic and medical feel while communicating HMFP’s core values. There was also a need to retain a somewhat traditional look– to convey HMFP’s academic roots– while also appearing current. We achieved this by using a classic, serif typeface alongside the more modern, minimal design of the mark. This allowed us to resonate with our target audience while satisfying key stakeholders. 

Next came the HMFP website update, which involved a complete overhaul from content to layout and design. We used a customized website template to achieve a unique branded look while enabling easy content updates. Evergreen content from the existing website was simplified and moved onto the new website, making space for new and timely content. The navigation and menus changed, improving the user experience. We strategically worked in elements of the new visual brand, and recommended including real provider imagery in order to stand out in a sea of healthcare websites with impersonal stock images. When we reached out to different departments within HMFP for existing photo assets, the results were excellent. Because of this, the new website features faces of real HMFP physicians and actual HMFP facilities. Additionally, the head of each department is pictured on their respective department’s page. We also recorded videos on-site of Dr. Alexa Kimball (CEO & President) and Nanette Smith Callahan (Chief Human Resources Officer), which are now featured on the website. Together, these elements create a personal feel that appeals to current HMFP members and supports recruiting efforts as well. 

The HMFP brand refresh was a strategic, creative, and logistical success for all involved. The new brand was well-received both within HMFP and externally. In fact, HMFP received New England Society for Healthcare Communications Lamplighter Awards for Logo Design (gold) as well as Brand Identity Campaign (Award of Excellence) in 2023. This year, HMFP has placed once again in the Website ($100,000 or more) category. More importantly, we were able to help HMFP continue to do what they do best. HMFP’s mission to empower physicians aligns closely with Forge’s commitment to meaningful work. With the new HMFP brand identity and website, we are confident that HMFP will be able to reach more physicians, improving both their lives and the outcomes of their patients.