A critical view of your brand can make it enduring and stronger.
A hospital’s brand is extremely important. With the changing healthcare environment brands are in transition with new alliances, new ventures, a host of rating organizations, consumer-driven marketplace and so much more. Which means it’s more difficult to keep a strong and consistent brand.
It’s crucial for hospitals and healthcare organizations to frequently revisit the brand, reassess and keep the brand as clean and consistent as possible. Here are 5 tests every brand should ask and consider on a regular basis.
1. How is your brand perceived in the marketplace?
What is the consumer perception of your brand? Is it gaining strength or waning? Does the consumer have a clear idea of what and who the brand is? Do they know what the brand stands for? Is the brand relevant to the consumer?
2. How is the brand communication?
Take an inventory of all brand touchpoints. Patients, physicians, providers, payers, employees, management and board. What is the brand communicating to each? Is it consistent? Does it reflect the mission and values of the organization?
3. Analyze your brand architecture.
In many ways this may be the most difficult. As organizations grow and change, it’s difficult to keep consistent and clearly defined brand architecture. Do patients understand the different product and service lines and how they relate to each other and to the master brand? Is there confusion? A weak brand architecture creates weak brand equity.
4. Assess the brand expression.
Does the brand have a consistent image, look and feel across all touch points? Can the consumer tell that all parts of the brand are part of the overall brand family?
5. Examine the brand expression.
How is the brand expressed? Does it have a consistent tone, personality and message? Do all the communications speak the same voice and reflect the same character and heart?
In today’s environment it’s so easy to get sidetracked, disjointed and inconsistent. It’s easy to get going in too many different directions and sacrificing the brand for expediency or politics. And when this happens, the brand is weakened. Healthcare marketers should constantly be asking these questions and diligently communicating a consistent, well-planned and strong brand. Across all platforms, to every audience and with every execution. I know it’s easier said than done. But we must always be fighting the good fight to protect and enhance our brand.