Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)




Positioning, Messaging, Research, Executive Communications, Internal Communications and Change, Marketing Communication, Business-Critical Public Relations, Thought Leadership

Scaling a non-profit brand to match the scale of its ambitions.

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is a trusted non-profit leader that has been working to improve health and healthcare worldwide for more than three decades. Over time, IHI’s brand had grown to encompass many messages, sub-brands and visual forms of expression, all with the well-intentioned goal of making a bigger difference. However, IHI believed that with crisper brand differentiation, it would be better positioned to reach and help the people, communities and healthcare systems in need of its improvement solutions.


In a world of brand possibilities, find your most powerful idea.

When IHI was a smaller organization, it could cultivate an understanding of its story and offerings through numerous meaningful interactions over time. But as the organization grew, new audiences needed more help grasping what IHI stood for and all it had to say.

In search of a uniting brand concept, we spoke with employees, customers and partners. We discovered that IHI’s improvement DNA set it apart — not only in what the organization did, but in how its team behaved. They never focused on the walls in their way, they only found bold, inventive paths over them. Together, we architected a brand strategy to position IHI as a leading improvement innovator, and then aligned all IHI’s words, actions and interactions behind this single compelling idea.

  1. Being inspired from the outside-in

    Through our research, we found that IHI’s customers and partners saw the organization as a powerful catalyst for finding, spreading and scaling improvement innovations. This core idea helped define the new positioning strategy.

  2. Unleashing creativity through discipline

    By guiding brand governance from a single team, IHI gained the freedom to make bolder brand decisions.

  3. Accelerating change through a streamlined system

    A simple and succinct visual system made it easier and faster for IHI to develop memorable new materials.

The team at IHI is relentlessly creative about how they use the science of improvement to advance healthcare safety and quality. This was the exact ‘glue’ we needed to unite their brand.


IHI refocuses its brand story and portfolio, uniting a fragmented brand into a more powerful source for good.

  • Positioned IHI as a leading innovator in healthcare improvement.

  • Teamed up with M Space design to help people immediately see IHI’s differentiation through an updated logo and visual identity system.

  • Created a compelling and consistent new IHI website and collateral portfolio.

CXO was instrumental in driving development of our brand strategy and platform through executive workshops, audience research and competitive and market research.

Gail Freeman Former Vice President of Marketing, IHI


IHI debuts a new website and collateral portfolio

I remember the CXO and IHI teams standing in a conference room looking at dozens of pieces of IHI marketing collateral laid out across the table. They all looked like they came from different organizations, which was a revelation to the team as it had happened slowly over time. Together we committed to change that dynamic, and we did.

Kathleen Bowden Chief Executive Officer
CXO Comunication

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