While advertising was hardly an integral part of most hospital strategies 50 years ago, the healthcare landscape is rapidly evolving. Today, a compelling, consistent and comprehensive brand helps hospitals stand out from the crowd of healthcare organizations competing for the same care dollars.
While advertising was hardly an integral part of most hospital strategies 50 years ago, the healthcare landscape is rapidly evolving. Today, a compelling, consistent and comprehensive brand helps hospitals stand out from the crowd of healthcare organizations competing for the same care dollars. These four brand-building tips are designed to position your hospital for ongoing success.
1. Define It
Today’s healthcare consumers realize the value in researching and “shopping around.” They are also more mobile than ever before — meaning that they not only have access to unprecedented information, but are also willing to travel for care.
While an inspiring brand is essential to engaging this new breed of healthcare consumers, you must first determine what that message will be. This process involves evaluating your organization and your audience, and leveraging this understanding to drive consumer decisions.
2. Differentiate It
It’s also essential to understand your competition. What makes you different, and how is that important to consumers? Differentiators may include everything from the patient experience to top-rated faculty and staff. Other potential focus areas include industry status, an all-encompassing range of services, cutting edge technology, and a rich heritage and consummate reputation. While not all top hospitals excel in the same way, they each excel in their own way.
3. Communicate It
According to research from the National Research Corporation, a third of American consumers would use a familiar national healthcare brands for any treatment or surgery. Delivering your brand to healthcare consumers is obviously mission-critical, but it goes beyond that. Organizations must also train internal physicians, faculty and staff to understand their roles in delivering the promised patient experience.
4. Manage It
While glossy brochures still have a place in the arsenals of marketers, a multi-channel approach to branding is essential to reaching your consumers in the most meaningful way.
And remember: each message conveyed to healthcare consumers at every single touchpoint — whether in print, via social media, or in a clinical setting — must be integrated into a cohesive whole which reinforces your brand promise.
With the right brand message and mechanisms in place to support it, hospitals can help consumers find them amidst the crowded healthcare landscape, foster positive patient relationships, and position themselves for ongoing success within the changing healthcare landscape.