Awanui has a long track record of exceptional health service to the Aotearoa New Zealand community with a network of collection centres and laboratories all around the motu. Their collection centres and labs have been known by many different names: in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington as SCL; in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland as Labtests and in Nelson and Marlborough as Medlab South. As ‘house of brands’, the organisation lacked a strong national identity and sense of cohesion across the motu.
Our challenge was to build a new brand architecture to bring together their diverse whānau of brands and explore options for a new name. But to do that, we first needed to understand the organisation from the inside out. We needed to understand what they do, how they do it and what their impact is on Aotearoa New Zealand.
We started by diving deep and consulted with Awanui’s board, leadership team and a wide range of staff from all parts of the business from across Aotearoa. We also spoke with stakeholders including DHBs and GPs.
Together, we looked back to the organisation’s origins, their shared history and purpose and we arrived at a bi-cultural approach for their new name and rebranding.
To develop their new name, we underwent a robust process with support from Māori experts from within and outside the sector. We arrived at a new name: Awanui — big river. Why Awanui? Because like our rivers, Awanui’s network weaves across the motu. Because the medical information that flows through their network of collection centres and laboratories is the lifeblood of Aotearoa.
We built a simplified and clear brand architecture that connected all of the sites around Aotearoa New Zealand and emphasised their network. Awanui Group is now the core brand with a simplified family of brands sitting below: Awanui Labs, Awanui Veterinary and Awanui Science.
To visually represent the name name, Awanui’s tohu (icon) is an awa whiria (braided river). One stream of the tohu represents Awanui’s people and expertise; another represents the wider health system and at the heart of the tohu are the people of Aotearoa New Zealand that Awanui serves and supports towards better health outcomes. The design of the tohu was crafted with high-precision and accuracy to reflect Awanui’s high-quality, accurate and trusted service.