Follow-Up Phase – Managing the brand
Establishing systems to manage and sustain your brand position
Congratulations. You’ve created a unique, differentiating competitive position. You have an honest, engaging and deliverable brand promise. Your staff and physicians understand and rally around the desired patient experience. And your marketing communicates a strong, singular message to the community. You’re living the brand… So now what?
You need to protect what you’ve worked so hard to create. Policing your brand starts on day one, and takes vigilance, constant communication and uncompromising standards for compliance and execution. Here are a few of the tools and roles we rely on to police healthcare brands and protect the equity we’ve built.
Tools for sustaining hospital brands:
- Healthy Brand Board™: A collection of images, graphics and words that communicate the identified brand position, personality and visual identity. It’s an objective point of reference to help you make important decisions.
- Brand Guidelines: Also known as graphic standards or brand standards, this document is an instruction manual for creating communications that are aligned with the strategic position and identity. The guidelines help keep the look and tone of communications consistent, so every communication comes from a single voice, no matter who creates it.
- Brand Toolkit: Like a craftsman’s tool box, the brand toolkit contains resources for marketers and designers: electronic art files, logo graphics, photographs, stationery, ad formats, signage or almost any visual elements that have been created in support of the brand identity.
- Brand Czar: A person or team assigned as the keeper of the brand vision, the overseer of all brand communications and identity executions. Depending on the organization, this may be a full-time position, an informal role assumed by someone close to the branding process, or outsourced to an independent contractor (your agency, for instance).
The life expectancy of your brand
If you’ve done your job well, and have systems in place to keep your brand on track, you may be set for decades without a significant rebranding or repositioning. Changing market conditions can make it tempting to shift brand strategy, but if your position is sound, you should be prepared to weather the storm. Stay true to your brand promise, keep an eye on your market share and, with luck, your brand could hold its competitive position for a long time to come.
To learn more, download the white paper “The How-To-Guide for Brand Building.”