11th February 2022

Making a Mental Health Hospital a Home: Our Brand Strategy for Cardinal Clinic


Cardinal Clinic, one of UKs leading, private mental health hospitals, came to Big Cat with a clear ask – help us develop our business, starting from the ground up.

Task in hand, we immediately got to work on a new brand strategy. One rooted in their core essence of who they are today and what makes them unique and special in the marketplace, while also setting them up for success in the future as they continue to develop their services, grounds and vision.

Primary Research

Our diagnosis phase started with interviewing Cardinal Clinic staff members from Stakeholders to nurses and learning all about their care philosophy. Things like – did you know that they never use agency staff? A promise no other private mental health hospital in all of the UK can offer.

From a strategy perspective we knew there something much deeper to this promise than a functional operational choice. For patients, it provided a solid structure for them resulting in consistent development and care. When they walk in, today, tomorrow or 2 years form now, the same staff will care for them. In essence, they never have to start over.

A feeling reminiscent of a family support system. This was insight #1.

Following stakeholder interview’s, we talked to patients to verify our theory and get even deeper under the hood. The result? There were even more layers to the family feeling experience at Cardinal Clinic.

From the warm and cosy sitting rooms and snooker table, to nurses who simply chat with you about interests and the latest programs on the television, the sterile hospital notions they had before the walked in the door melted away.

Day-by-day Cardinal Clinic felt like a home, surrounded by family. This was insight #2

And, just like home and family – it’s not always easy. In fact, sometimes it’s really complicated. But at the end of the day, comfortable, safe and consistent. Like a home should be.

Lastly, just like family, even when you give up, they don’t. Cardinal Clinic checked-in on patients even after the left their care.

Demonstrating a commitment to care beyond your stay. This was insight #3

Secondary Research

When looking at the competition, combined with our primary research, it was clear that Cardinal had a key space to own:

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The perfect sweet spot between premium and community. Where you feel at home, supported (by the best medical care experts in the industry) and comfortable every step of the way.

The Brand Strategy

With our research and market positioning in hand, we developed our fully articulated brand strategy:

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Client Feedback

“Big Cat has blown me away. Carrie really got to the heart of what our brand is all about. Through her insight we’ve created a really solid foundation for our brand today and tomorrow.” Says, Stuart Grimwood, Managing Director of Cardinal Clinic.

“Cardinal Clinic is passionate about supporting people to make the best possible recovery from mental ill health.  When looking for an agency to help us share this message and promote better mental healthcare, we needed to find a partner who demonstrated outstanding knowledge and understanding of the sector and could mirror our passion for empathy, understanding and care in everything they do. We are delighted to have found that Big Cat has proven this level of dedication as well.”

To bring the brand strategy to life, Big Cat will be creating and executing a paid digital media plan in the new year. Stay tuned! 

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