Earlier this year, the RACGP contacted all members about modernising the college brand.
Feedback was received from only a small group (110 GPs) and their response – both in surveys and focus groups was a positive move for change, with 87% agreeing that the college should undertake a brand modernisation process similar to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.
The rebrand concept was part of an overall strategy to tackle a common membership concern – that the general practice profession is either devalued or completely overlooked by government.
While neither the beginning nor the end point of rectifying this issue, we saw strengthening the brand of GPs and general practice as one way to counteract the disrespect felt by members.
While there is great tradition and meaning behind the RACGP crest, there are also concerns that it has limitations in a 21st Century digital world, in which GPs are having to fight harder than ever to be recognised and advocate for themselves and patients.
Our intention was to use a refreshed brand as a symbol of quality to support advocacy for the profession.
We also wanted to take a logo concept and turn it into a brandmark that members could use in their practice – from their front doors to letterheads and websites – communicating to patients that their GP stands for the highest quality standards and care, as there is currently no way for patients to easily identify an RACGP Fellow.
With support from the Board, we progressed broader member consultation and recently shared concepts for feedback, asking once again whether there was support for such a change.
But the most recent survey, which closed on Sunday 14 November, showed a different outcome to our initial market research.
Many more members (1568) responded to this survey than had responded to the initial call for feedback, and the results revealed that while 32% supported a brand change, 41% were opposed, while the rest were neutral.
We have read every comment, and hear that a proportion of our members do not see the value in this work, at this time.
Our intention to evolve the brand to ultimately highlight GPs’ specialist accreditation never included abandoning the RACGP crest. However, it is clear we did not present this intent explicitly enough when we put forward creative options for your consideration.
At the end of the day, we are driven by what our membership tells us matters to them, and so with this latest feedback there is no compelling mandate to refresh the brand at this time.
We are committed to continuing to find ways to elevate general practice, and to help government see the true value of the sector.
I welcome ongoing feedback for how we can create more impact together.