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This Arbor Day, Crossroads Hospice Reflects on What “Going Green” Means to Them

undefinedEvery year millions of trees are planted across the U.S. to observe Arbor Day. It’s a day when the benefits of trees are acknowledged, and people can do more for the environment, and society, by “going green.”

But can “going green” mean more than helping the environment?

For Crossroads Hospice, yes. In fact, it means doing more not only for the environment, but more for the community and more for the patients.

We sat down with Michelle Price Taglialatela, the brain behind Crossroads “going green,”  to learn more about how Crossroads represents the “do more” mantra each and every day.

Michelle is a Certified Brand Strategist and founder of Tag Strategies (formerly Price Communications), where she mainly focuses on helping businesses express their brands creatively. Crossroads and Michelle began their partnership in 2007, which led to the birth of the Crossroads green.

Crossroads: So, the first question is easy: Why green?

Michelle Tagliatella: Crossroads’ previous colors were blue, grey, silver – mostly blue. Perry Farmer, the Crossroads Hospice founder, had been doing the marketing. He was a one-man show. He had no idea we would recommend stripping his company of the existing logo and colors. <Laughs>

When Tag came on board, we wanted to get to the bottom of who Crossroads was; a full brand identity and discovery. We discovered that the brand was about doing ‘more’ and the blue, gray and silver – were not what Crossroads is about and who they are. We explored new color options and the color green was a natural fit.

How did Perry feel about the color overhaul?

Now, Perry loves the color green, for everything it’s come to represent for Crossroads. He knows that when patients, and their families, see that person in green walking into their homes or down the hall, that person is trying their best to always give them more.

What was wrong with the blue?

Blue and gray were too heavy and corporate. Very somber and serious. On the flip side, not many hospices use the color green. The color green is the most soothing, calming color of the spectrum. It can represent life, rebirth, renewal and energy. In a hospice situation, we want to connect people with those feelings.

So what does “going green” mean for Crossroads?

The Crossroads’ green conveys a sense of calm and a sense of support; that the patients can depend on the staff to do more for them as they enter into hospice care. It’s a lot like “going green” in the environmental sense: it’s an effort to be more aware, to be more conscientious and to make the best decisions possible to help something or someone.

That makes sense. Did the staff members have a problem throwing out their blue uniforms for the new green ones?

Hospice employees tend to be mostly women and they tend to connect with this color as well. When Tag explained that green had a sense of harmony and peace, they understood. They got it. The entire Crossroads team realized that you could create a brand that people could really connect to once they saw it.

A tranquil brand was a way to step away from competitors and be easily identified.  The healthcare professional side of the business is a very one-to-one environment. Painting Crossroads in this color allows the staff to stand out as “The Green People” as the ones who do MORE.

How did you roll out the new Crossroads brand?

Perry went on a road show and introduced the new brand – he unfolded the whole package: tagline (Expect more from us. We do.), logo, apparel and marketing materials for each site. Everything. While Perry was visiting each site, the new look and feel was being placed in each environment. There were incentive programs to get everyone into the new brand strategy. Points were earned towards different gifts for everything they did that was “on” brand.

You bribed them!

Everyone liked the new green and being able to be recognized. Before there was no consistency or a way to identify Crossroads staff from others. The green created unity. It gave people a quick visual identification.

What is the exact color?

It’s a light sage green.

Best compliment about the color?

We’ve heard, “This is the best thing you ever did for this company, switching to the color green.”

Another compliment came during heart month, when we switched out the green for red t-shirts. In Kansas City, people asked, “Why are you wearing red? You’re always wearing green. “

We love this feedback and we are proud that Crossroads is recognizable for all they do. Their service and staff “go green” every day for their patients and their families, and that’s something to be proud of.


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