Integrating Branding Into Healthcare
In an era defined by consumerism and volition, the need for branding is becoming a real necessity in the health and wellness sector. Most healthcare providers have typically overlooked their public image and outreach, but that is now poised to change.
The constant barrage of new, mind-boggling inventions in healthcare, predominantly driven by technological advancements, is set to continue with research predicting that the global healthcare Artificial Intelligence(AI) market alone will grow to over $5.5bn by 2022.
Such touchpoints are opportunities to create awareness, inspire loyalty and drive conversions. Brand integration makes the most of each one by building on the previous and subsequent interactions.
That said, let us look at the process of integrating branding into healthcare systems.
Strong Brand Promise
Brand strategy doesn’t appear out of thin air. A competitive position and brand promise should be set up based on the realities of your organization. That is, your strengths and the type of experience you can reliably deliver.
Shaping the brand promise can be contributed by:
Why should a patient choose your services? How do you define the desired patient experience and guarantee that it’s delivered consistently? What can your organization offer that others can’t? These are questions you need to answer when concocting your brand promise.
However, just having a brand promise doesn’t guarantee you a competitive brand. As CampaignLive UK states, consumers are so accustomed now to cutthroat brand innovation that they have come to expect it from healthcare brands. Making sure that the brand is honest and realistic plus proof over promise is the new path to take if you are to create an appropriate healthcare brand.
A major component of brand integration is ensuring the patient experience inside the hospital or physician practice is consistent with your external branding.
Marketing campaigns may predominantly target external audiences, but the brand promise has to reach internal audiences, too. The only way your organization can deliver a desired patient experience is if most of your staff and caregivers understand what that is. They should be quick to discern how their behaviour influences the patient’s perception of the brand.
The brand should create goals that support the desired patient experience. That involves identifying and employing metrics to track and incentivize team performance that is aligned to the patient experience. For example, if your brand pillars on ‘fast treatment’, measure and reward short wait times and quicker door-to-care intervals.
Healthcare is a service industry, so when integrating branding into healthcare, delivery of the promise is pivotal.
Keep a Close Watch
Brand integration is an ongoing process that should be considered as part of your marketing process. Once your marketing team and vendors understand the brand promise and how to support it, integration becomes a natural part of your workflow. However, it pays to monitor brand integration from a big picture perspective. Brand owners are advised to schedule and perform a brand check-up once in a while.
You need to sit down and look at advertising campaigns and other marketing you’ve produced for the brand throughout the past year. Compare all of your campaign components to one another and compare them against the brand grid.
If the strategies employed match, then your brand is in good shape, but if they feel like they’re from different families, it may be time to refresh your marketing team and strategies based on your brand standards.
It is very crucial to keep an eye on the ongoing progress of your brand. Creating a brand and then neglecting it will do your healthcare service no good.
Despite the increased craving for innovation, it comes simultaneously with a fear of rapid technological change. Consumers continue to have high expectations for brands to use technology to drive innovation.
However, there is a precondition to consumer expectations: 97% now place responsibility squarely on brands to use technology ethically while continuing to drive customer-centric innovation.
According to A Brands in Motion Global study, consumers of healthcare services express their views on brand integration. Of the consumers interviewed, 84% feared for the security of their personal data, 71% feared their medical records are compromised and 54% worried artificial intelligence might take their jobs.
Benefits of Brand Integration
By putting the right tools and processes in place, healthcare organizations can achieve successful integration, and help keep their brand strong and healthy for many years. Below are some benefits of a successful brand integration to the healthcare sector.
1. Builds brand recognition
Have you ever seen a commercial for the first time and known the company before they even identified themselves? Now that’s what it means to be a successful brand. Consistent messaging over time helps brands become easily recognizable to consumers. In branding, the audience, intended and passive, will always get your message and the more they come across it, the more they recognize your service.
Getting a clear brand strategy in place is one thing and executing it to a high level of quality is another. An effective team will be multi disciplinary, bringing together researchers, analysist and designers to ensure ideas are driven by true insight. The world class branding services practised by Recipe Design are founded on the Meaning Centred Design™ process that is unique to the team.
2. Helps drive opinions and expectations of your brand
When your hospital has a tenacious and honest brand with a consistent look, voice, and messaging, patients come to know what they can expect from your hospital - whether they are in the facility or interacting with the brand from elsewhere.
3. Focuses the conversation with the patient
When you are clear in your message and provide consistent reinforcement, you can lead the discussion and help shape perceptions about your hospital.
4. Maximizes the effectiveness of campaigns
Healthcare marketing campaigns are most effective when online and offline channels work together. Integrated campaigns make those components more effective, reinforcing a singular message and cross-promoting content and conversion tools. With branding, you have an easier chance of conducting online surveys as often as you like and even doing in-depth interviews that provide you with an insight into how people are experiencing your brand.
In most industries today, a brand strategy that allows your organization to stand out, motivates your target audience, grows your business, and helps you build a bunch of loyal supporters is vital.
The same goes for the healthcare sector. Today, healthcare seekers are looking for standout partners who are reliable and genuine about wanting to help. Thus, an effective brand positioning is significant in building a relevant and robust brand in the sector.
This article was first published in November 2021