Shifting a major medical examiner to a customer-centric, category dominating model

2 min read

If you work in the medical industry, you’re probably familiar with the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). A rite of passage for medical workers, the non-profit has been the dominant architect of medical professional licensing assessments for over 100 years. In other words, they set the high standards which undergird USA healthcare work, keeping Americans and the world healthy.

Despite the value in NBME’s work, they lacked a brand to embody that impact. Ideon carefully designed a new “why” identity for NBME which strategically positions the organization as an ally in healthcare performance. A century after it was founded, NBME now serves healthcare professionals in the USA and across the globe more directly than it does the public. Ideon’s brand positioning, messaging and design transformed the outdated brand into an engaging, contemporary partner for medical students, medical schools, legislative bodies, physicians and other medical professionals.

The new and deep "Why" brand strategy, positioning, visual identity and activation fuels NBME to stand out from competition while clearly positioning NBME as an ally in healthcare.

For the logo design, Ideon created a new font with a visually arresting type style to clearly push NBME into the future, using bold and stylistically unique light green and blue hues. The logo’s energetic feel positions NBME as a relevant, human and open institution with gravitas and a distinct style above the competitive norm.

The final design further transforms NBME’s visual identity with a secondary asset that disconnects the NB from the ME. Ideon recommended adding a playful and unifying ampersand, transforming a boring acronym into a lively play on words so audiences identify with a human facing “&me”.

The & indicates a clear shift towards a new “Why” story steeped in partnership. If and when implemented, &me would assert NBME as a leading partner in the healthcare sector with a strong legacy and vision for the future.

NBME is a real force for good in the healthcare industry which, using Ideon’s branding, can finally position itself as the dynamic performance ally in healthcare which it has been for over 100 years.

Ideon is honored to help NBME transform its brand identity into one which reflects its positive role as a partner in the health world now and into the future.

Peter Katsufrakis, CEO of NBME, is a fan, explaining “Of the organizations that we considered for this work, we identified Ideon as the one most likely to bring fresh thinking and an innovative perspective. The data arising from research and the creativity of Ideon’s team expanded our thinking about the NBME brand […] refining and moving our brand in a way that effectively leveraged our rich history while positioning us to achieve our aspirations.”