A great hospital brand is hard to find.
That’s because traditionally marketing and branding have been considered an expense rather than an investment that yields return. However much like corporate brands, hospitals and healthcare businesses should be guided by the vision of the organization, their values statement, and of course consumer rankings.
Defining that within your marketing and promotion strategy in a distinctive and definitive way can be challenging. So how do you create those strategies and consistently deliver on them when marketing and promoting your hospital? Here are 4 brand strategy tips to consider.
#1. Know Your Brand Platforms
According to Scott Regan of Strategic Planning MD, the leading and most important brand platforms for hospitals are:
i) Customer service
ii) Clinical outcomes
iii) Teaching and Research
v) Medical staff reputation
vi) Physician relationships
vii) Financial stewardship
Leveraging these platforms allows you to prioritize your branding goals and your allocation of time and resources.
#2. Keep Your Promises
Paralleling strategy with the promises of delivery in healthcare can sometimes be a complex and delicate balance. Knowing what to promise and ensuring those deliverables can have great or detrimental affects.
If a healthcare company or hospital fails to keep its promises, consumers take it personally. If you promote promises to increase patient advocacy programs, offer free testing and screenings or any other “if you build it, they will come” offerings, you need to deliver on your promise or else you will damage your reputation and your brand.
#3. Promote Brand Identity Values
Hospitals are continuously developing consumer-focused brand identities and articulating them via a values system. It is critical for healthcare companies to know what their core values are, and to diligently promote the values they subscribe to.
But what if you are not sure what those are? Take the time to develop and understand your organizational values and align your marketing efforts accordingly.
#4. Know & Promote Your Healthgrade
Know that the success of your brand strategies primarily lies with customer service and clinical outcomes. These are mostly reliant on consumer rankings including patient satisfaction scores and in particular, HealthGrades rankings.
Healthgrades is the leading provider of information for consumers trying to find a hospital. In fact, over 200 million people every year trust and use Healthgrades to research, compare and make informed decisions about their healthcare providers.
Traditionally hospitals have been perceived as caregivers rooted in a ‘build and they will come’ philosophy. Marketing and branding weren’t always given priority since healthcare cost reduction is essential and their ROI is hard to measure.
However the branding strategies discussed in this article can help to build strong, sustainable campaigns that will encourage brand loyalty, increase consumer rankings, build your brand identity values and help you to deliver on your promises.
Over to You: Do you have a great hospital brand? What other strategies or principles can you share?
Yvonne Barber is the Wordsmith & Content Marketeer for Design Theory, a Florida-based web design firm that provides social media management, email, domain registration, and graphic design services. Aside from writing content for client websites, brochures, and all marketing communications Yvonne blogs weekly for Design Theory on various subjects and across several social media channels.