Treatment Phase – Realizing your brand

Communicating your brand position to internal and external audiences

The treatment phase includes rolling out the competitive positioning and new brand language, first to your internal audiences, then to external audiences, and updating the brand identity.


Speaking the new brand language

Communicating the brand within the organization begins at the top. It’s up to the CEO and executive team to translate the competitive position and core values into the goals and daily practices of the hospital. Make the brand story part of everyday conversations. Learn to articulate your position in one sentence, a 15-second elevator speech and a 30-minute presentation. Engage your board, managers and staff to define the desired customer experience so everyone understands their roles.

Train your staff on the brand promise

Hospital employees and physicians can’t be expected to embrace and embody the company brand without understanding how they fit in. Here are two great ways to introduce and reinforce the brand:

  • Share success stories: Some of the most compelling and memorable examples of a brand position come from the everyday lives of employees and patients. Identify and share success stories, then create forums to promote model behavior and recognize high-performing individuals. Get permission to share patient stories on your website and in marketing and at internal meetings and community events.
  • Provide frequent reminders in the workplace: Display your brand promise everywhere. Use hospital marketing channels (what we call owned media) to translate brand positioning, share core values and model behavior. Display creative marketing executions in the care environment – hallway posters, decor and screen savers – to help remind everyone of the organization’s promise.

Integrate positioning into your brand communications

Brand is more than just a logo; it’s an entire communication system that anticipates and addresses every consumer touchpoint. A successful identity system makes every piece look, sound and feel like it comes from the same organization, with the same personality and the same voice, regardless of the individual author. The messages, imagery and graphics should all work together to reinforce your brand promise and competitive position.

Test your communication systems

It helps to do some pro forma design exercises to test the new visual identity across a variety of media. Create examples of social media marketing, website design, online ads, owned media, mobile or traditional advertising in the new style to see connections, recognize potential problems and develop integrated visual solutions that reinforce the brand positioning. Working out design applications for the most common channels (and a few less predictable ones) can set precedents for future projects and ensure a more consistent treatment of your brand communications.

Here are some considerations for identity development:

  • Naming: Does your new competitive position or a service change mandate a new business identity? If so, now would be the time.
  • Logo design: Successful healthcare logos should be appropriate to the category, technically well executed, reflective of the brand personality and distinctive from every other business in your market.
  • Marketing & Advertising: Branding campaigns can help build awareness for your new position and brand messages. Refer to your Healthy Brand Board™ and corporate design standards to effectively support your new position.
  • Facilities: Remember to allocate some of your positioning budget to update your physical environment; exterior signage, way finding, interior design and decor.
  • Intangibles: Think beyond your letterhead. Consider how you can apply your brand position to your phone system, answering service, patient information package, new employee orientation, incentive plan, food service, and on and on.

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