We have been speaking to individuals in the waiting rooms of Camberwell and Burrell Street clinics. When the association with the NHS is mentioned, most people said that it was of vital importance, for them it is a ‘decision maker’ - if SH24 services were not associated with the NHS, they would not use it.
Some say, seeing SH24’s association with the NHS, would mean they would trust the service to keep their personal information confidential. This opinion correlates with the findings in the Decision Technology’s Annual Brand Personality survey for 2013, which found that the NHS is the sixth most honest brand in the UK.
Quality and credibility were also associated with the NHS brand, with some clinic users saying they would feel confident that the service they’d receive would be reliable if it carried the brand. They assume any service associated with the NHS would have had to meet lots of checks, criteria and standards.
For others, they associate the presence of the NHS logo with free services/tests. We learnt knowing that NHS STI tests are free makes getting tested accessible and is a driver to visit a clinic (private providers sell STI kits charging up to £150). Interestingly, users were also aware of the potential financial efficiencies SH24 could create for the sexual health system as a whole.
However, it was clear that while users were keen to see SH24 associated with the NHS, a distinct SH24 brand was desirable too - some suggested avoiding the ‘NHS blue’ at risk of coming across too clinical.
Our audience has spoken: and we need to visualize SH24’s connection to the NHS, and avoid making SH24 feel like a traditional clinical health service.