Advancing the data-driven possibilities of healthcare


Optum, a $95B healthcare and innovation company, had a unique data and analytics story about how they are leading the future of health care. Northbound was hired to evaluate how a broader story could be told. Through our work, we elevated, positioned, named, branded, and launched the Optum data and analytics capability, creating an ingredient brand story of health care intelligence that lives within all of the products and services offered across the Optum portfolio.


Elevate a core differentiating capability to tell a more compelling story that inspires and better positions the brand to be viewed as a leader with a vision for the future.


  • Competitive and comparative analysis
  • In-depth 1:1 interviews, executive interviews
  • Positioning
  • Brand architecture
  • Messaging framework
  • Naming
  • Identity
  • Brand campaign

Elevating data and analytics

Data and analytics was a capability within the Optum Insights business division. While it was viewed as a core differentiator, it was siphoned off into a single silo of the company and generically named and positioned. There was an opportunity to tell a bigger story, but it was unclear how or where to begin.

Northbound started by conducting desk research to gain a better view of the health care data and analytics space, while also looking outside of the category for best-in-class examples of how to think about the role data and analytics plays in the broader Optum portfolio.

We conducted an extensive number of executive interviews across divisions and specialties throughout the greater Optum company. This work culminated in an all-day workshop, called a “Day of Possibility,” where we met with leaders from different divisions of the company to identify shared values across audiences, as well as key differentiated claims and the most viable brand architecture.

Optum_updated quadrant

Owning a health care intelligence story

Once the ingredient brand was defined and positioned, it was time to brand that capability both in name and design, as a demonstration of the ability for data and analytics to light up intelligence across the health care system. We called this OptumIQ.

The logo needed to work within the restrained Optum master brand guidelines—at once feeling special and in service of the master brand.

Northbound went on to craft a messaging framework to guide internal teams in how to talk about the new ingredient brand, whether they were in pharmacy, care delivery, payer experience, or a lab.

Northbound created a set of complementary brand guidelines to ensure that the OptumIQ story be told consistently, considering various scenarios both visually and verbally, as well as the role OptumIQ plays in relation to the master brand


Unleashing the brand to inspire the world

With the strategic positioning and branding in place, OptumIQ was ready to be unleashed.

Northbound developed a creative brand campaign that would live largely in paid digital and owned assets. The intention was to define OptumIQ within both Optum products and the overall health care ecosystem, and spark excitement and inspire what’s next in the future of healthcare.



  • Enthusiastic adoption of the new branding at all levels of the organization
  • Garnered positive press and excitement from customers and the industry at large
“Thank you for challenging our thinking on the OptumIQ design. The rationale for a distinct mark is incredibly strong, and was extremely well-received.”
Lacy Chamberlain
Senior Director, Brand Strategy

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