Branding has finally hit the radar for hospitals and healthcare organizations. The industry’s marketing efforts are maturing to the point that marketers and senior management are beginning to realize how important their brand is. And rightfully so. The battle for the consumers’ minds and future market share will be determined by our brand perception.
But for many marketers, branding is about logos and typefaces, corporate identity standards and taglines. Good branding encompasses these things but it’s so much more. It ‘s really more about the consumer’s experience. What does your brand communicate each day to those who come in contact with it?
And it’s not just the patient’s experience that determines the brand. It’s also the patient’s family and friends and what their experiences are like. And employees and how they experience the brand. And suppliers and vendors. The community at large. It’s the totality of all the touch points. By everyone.
We are seeing many hospitals updating logos and altering the visual look of their communications. We see them changing positioning lines. And giving facelifts to their facilities. All of which is good. Very good in fact. But if that is all that’s changing, it’s only cosmetic and only skin deep.
These changes help position a brand but the most important thing is the experience it delivers. What is the experience like? It has to do with parking, cleanliness, friendliness courtesy, wait times, competence, customer service, caring, attitudes and everything else that affects a person’s experience.
It’s great that hospital marketers and senior management are turning their attention to their brand. But hopefully it’s more than just aesthetics. Hopefully the emphasis is on the total experience delivered by the hospital. That’s what will really determine your brand in the minds and hearts of consumers.