National Board of Medical Examiners: Rebrand
Rebranding a 100-year-old institution

The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) was founded 100 years ago to protect the health of the public. Today, as the licensing board for US physicians, they set the standard of care we all receive through the assessments they develop, a powerful story that was under leveraged — until recently.


A lack of dialogue with the market led NBME to a position where their customer base was relatively disengaged. As a result, the market didn’t really understand the depth of who NBME was or what they had to offer, and overall perceptions of the brand had become very negative.


NBME knew that the ultimate goal went beyond just updating the way they looked. They needed to make it easier for their customers to do business with them.

So, we set out on a journey to help NBME rebuild their brand in a way that called attention to their significant contributions to the medical community and helped the organization connect with their target audience in a more meaningful way.


Through a series of quantitative and qualitative research inputs, we learned that NBME’s true offering went well beyond their expertise in assessment science. The organization also offered customers a collaborative environment to advance their careers at all stages of their professional journey.


Most importantly, this piece of NBME’s offering was under leveraged as part of the brand story and, as a result, was not something the market thought of when engaging with the organization. To address this, we made sure to bring this partnership story to the fore and repositioned NBME as the medical sector’s Performance Ally.


After laying this strategic framework, we translated our approach into an external facing brand identity that was rooted in NBME’s storied history of collaboration with the health care community. We designed a warm, vibrant visual identity that still incorporated the sense of authority that came from their previous logo. This created a brand that was more approachable while maintaining the characteristics that gave NBME its reputation as a trustworthy guide for students, faculty, and institutions.


We initiated the rebrand internally, working with NBME to galvanize key brand ambassadors and engage one of their most important audiences—NBME employees. Through events that promoted collaboration, we brought their brand to life. We then activated the new NBME brand digitally through a refreshed website and integrated lead generation campaigns.