- Your brand is your promise. Think of your brand as your promise to the consumer as to what to expect and how the hospital will perform. It’s like a reputation. It is supported or contradicted by the actions of hospital staff. Your brand will reflect whatever promises you’re both keeping and breaking.
- Employees need to accept the brand first. Since employees are responsible for delivering the “promise” of your brand, they need to support it. They need to believe it, and they need to want to live it. If your staff doesn’t believe or agree with your brand, no one else will. Employees should have the first look at a new brand campaign. When they are on board, keep momentum high with promotional materials and posters that sport the new branding. Make it a big deal, and keep employees updated on progress.
- Know your strengths and weaknesses. It is important to truly know consumers’ perceptions and beliefs about your services as well as your market share. Identify all of your strengths and weaknesses. Community members give great feedback on what is important when choosing a hospital, comparing facilities, and how your facility is perceived. You should know whether your hospital is preferred and why. Following this, make sure your brand accurately matches the information. If a hospital receives high scores on quality, its brand can focus on outperforming competitors. On the other hand, if consumers do not prefer your facility, your brand should reflect on commitment to improvement.
- Differentiate. You’ve gathered information on your strengths and weaknesses; now use it to identify what makes you different, and if it matters to consumers. Areas to consider include: patient experience, specialty services, community history, quality physicians, awards, cutting edge technology and procedures, range of services.
- Measure your marketing efforts. Rivkin points out that many hospital marketing departments don’t quantify the results of their efforts. This department should be held accountable for its results – if it can’t be measured, how can it be managed?
As competition becomes fiercer, branding is increasingly more important for hospitals. Here are 5 tips on improving it Health systems and hospitals understand the importance of transparency and value to consumers. Patients – both present and future – are becoming more sophisticated in choosing amongst their options. Branding is an important way for hospitals to stand out and relay the right message to consumers. Here are 5 things to consider in improving a hospital’s brand – inspired by Steve Rivkin, co-author of Repositioning: Marketing in an Era of Competition, Change and Crisis.