Building a hospital brand

Brand building & positioning tactics for healthcare marketers

A differentiating, relevant and inspiring brand makes every marketing effort more effective. We’ll outline a process for brand building and positioning hospitals, physician practices and healthcare provider networks.

The value of a clearly defined healthcare brand

The healthcare industry becomes more competitive every year. Hospitals, physicians practices, walk-in clinics and free-standing care centers all compete for the healthcare consumer’s attention and care dollar.  Patients are more savvy, self-directed and better informed than ever; they research care options and shop for healthcare brands much like retail consumers do. When you factor in trends such as mobile health, online information sources and patients’ willingness to travel for care, the healthcare marketing landscape today bears little resemblance to that of just 30 years ago, when providers didn’t even need to advertise.

Now healthcare organizations must aggressively market their business just to remain competitive. They strive for any advantage as they scramble to create, sustain or regain marketshare. Many invest in new facilities, expanded services or high-priced advertising campaigns, yet surprisingly few invest in the subtle but powerful strategy of brand building.

Here are four important reasons branding should remain a priority:

  • Strong healthcare brands control their own destinies: They drive perceptions and expectations of their brand, and can more easily weather economic and market pressures.
  • A clear brand position aligns physicians and staff: Caregivers understand their part in the company’s mission and how their behavior helps deliver a positive, consistent patient experience.
  • A strong brand identity requires constant vigilance: Brand tools ensure consistent communications and help focus the conversation with the customer.
  • Branding supports multichannel and social media initiatives: A consistent voice, a memorable point of difference, and a strong identity help hospitals and practices translate into the social realm and every customer touch point.

How to create strong healthcare brands

We’ve developed a step-by-step process for brand development and competitive positioning of healthcare organizations. Over the last 25 years it has been applied successfully for hospitals, hospital systems, stand alone clinics and physician practices. While every client and every project objective was unique, these steps represent the key stages to identify an organization’s unique point of difference, to communicate it to internal and external audiences and to maintain the brand’s integrity over the course of its serviceable lifespan.

To learn more, download the white paper “The How-To-Guide for Brand Building.