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Project deliverables

  • Branding
  • Co-design
  • Strategic thinking

‘Focus: Transforming ADHD Diagnosis’ Brand

East Midlands AHSN
Back in 2015, child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) were recognised as a priority following the East Midlands AHSN’s mental health innovation event and, as a result, funding and support of up to £300,000 were offered to innovation programmes that tackled these priorities. QbTest was one of these innovation proposals; a diagnostic tool which measures the core indicator symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The proposal for the innovation was successful and received funding for a clinical trial across three East Midlands trusts. So far, the QbTest has spread to 41 NHS trusts and 73 clinics in England, as well as to four trusts in Northern Ireland. With plans for wider adoption and spread beyond the sites currently using QbTest, Cynergy worked with the EMAHSN team to co-design a brand for the ‘Transforming ADHD Diagnosis in Children’ programme.

Our Approach

An initial call was set up to discuss the brief between Cynergy and the client to understand their aims, objectives and expectations for branding the programme. Following the call, Cynergy proposed a bespoke workshop which would bring together key stakeholders to:

  • Gather feedback about the programme and establish its overall purpose, USPs and values.
  • Uncover the prospects and ambitions for the programme.
  • Understand the audience through persona profiles.
  • Prioritise stakeholders.
  • Identify different stakeholder perspectives.
  • Establish the voice, tone, look, feel of the brand and its values.

The workshop was then designed, developed and delivered by Cynergy with the aim of gaining valuable insight into the programme, its stakeholders, and its audience. The role of Cynergy was to facilitate and guide the discussions through a process of discovery, ideation and development, transforming them into contributors and collaborators.

This insight was then collated, and our thoughts were shared back with participants to sense check and ensure thinking was aligned.

The action

From this, we created a brand brief which would inform the Studio designers and begin the development of the ‘Transforming ADHD Diagnosis in Children’ brand. The specification highlighted who and how we should engage with priority audience groups established within the persona exercises, what the core drivers of the brand identified were, as well as the key themes that emerged from the brand personality slider exercise. Concepts from the ‘Build a Brand’ exercise were also captured, which allowed participants to write, draw and scribble their own ideas on a page, to provide a clear picture to our designers of how their stakeholders perceived the brand should be.

Studio designers then created two draft concepts (e.g. name, tag line, logo, imagery, mocked up assets) which reflected these themes, values and the audience in order to establish a strong brand identity for the programme. We worked with our design team to develop and enhance the concepts before proposing to the client for their feedback.

We had positive feedback on both brand ideas, meaning that we had successfully hit the brief. Following the selection of a preferred concept, the Focus brand, this was then developed into a set of brand guidelines. These guidelines clarified the defined logo variations, restrictions, sizing and positioning, colour palettes, photography styles, typography, and included examples of brand application to materials. We also provided brand elements for internal use in their own marketing and communications strategy.


Co-design was a fundamental part of the brand development process. The workshop exercises in the first instance allowed us to work with the internal programme teams to identify and articulate an over-arching and authentic brand identity. Through harnessing their expertise and insight, Cynergy gained a deep understanding of what the programme meant to the people who were closely involved with it and how they wanted the programme to be perceived.

As well as ensuring the brand was the true embodiment of the programme’s values and ambitions, the involvement of key stakeholders is also key to establishing the brand across the AHSN Network as they can take ownership of its creation and evolvement, and thus disseminate the brand identity across the organisation.

We look forward to seeing the Focus brand rolled out on materials across the programme.

We would definitely use Cynergy again for this type of exercise!

We used Cynergy to develop a new brand for one of our NHS innovation programmes. They delivered an extremely engaging and eye-opening workshop, which really helped us work through the finer detail of the brand. Following the workshop they created a logo and mocked up assets so we could see the brand come to life and we were really pleased with the results. Throughout the process they proved that they had a detailed understanding of the health and care landscape and audience, which was very important to us.