BOSTON – Huck’s Director of Brand Marketing Nancy Reardon Stewart was selected to present at this year’s NESHCo conference, held in Boston and attended by health professionals from hospitals, health systems and agencies across New England. 

Stewart’s presentation, “Design for the Future,” addressed the need for hospitals to invest not only in logos, but in robust brand design systems that provide visual consistency across all print, digital and experiential media. Drawing from her background in consumer health marketing strategy in roles at three agencies, Stewart presented an insightful history of the evolution of design thinking for hospital brands over the past decade – as well as a history lesson in why design thinking has often fallen short of consumer trends. 

“Planning and writing this design talk was an incredibly fun experience,” Stewart said. “It perfectly tied together all of my unique career experiences as a health journalist, content strategy director and creative director focused on health brands. It really challenged me to reflect on how the industry could drive stronger visual connections with its core audiences, especially younger consumers.” 

The presentation took session attendees on a visual journey of hospital design case studies, showing clear examples of recent redesigns that featured the implementation of brand design systems versus basic logo unveils. 

The case studies and slides also helped underscore Stewart’s ultimate point: That hospitals and health systems cannot ignore the trends of competing consumer brands with bigger wallets, faster adoption of technology and fewer industry regulations. With the onslaught of telehealth brands, subscription pharmacies and concierge medicine entering the consumer landscape in the post-pandemic world, it has never been more important for hospitals to view themselves as consumer health brands that need to connect with their core audiences. 

Stewart’s past talks at NESHCo include a presentation delivered in partnership with Perkins Access called “Web Accessibility: What Healthcare Marketers Need to Know” (2019) and “MisinfoRx: How Marketers Can Combat Medical Misinformation” (2022), delivered with partners from the Harvard Global Health Institute and the Brown School of Public Health. 

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