Is branding really necessary for a healthcare organization?
Yes. Some may underrate the importance of branding in healthcare, but actually, it is indispensable, especially in an era that’s greatly defined by consumerism.
In the past, branding in the healthcare industry wasn’t a thing to worry about because the competition wasn’t tight between organizations.
Today’s health systems look more like a retail marketplace driven by patient choice. The approach has now become more direct-to-consumer with a growing array of solutions to various healthcare needs.
Healthcare companies who want to succeed in this increasingly competitive market need to focus on their brand strategies to target more modern patients and grow their healthcare business.
Let’s discuss more healthcare branding strategies and how companies can optimize theirs to fit the current needs and preferences of their market. Read on.
Defining Healthcare Branding
Healthcare branding is the course of framing a healthcare organization’s image that is perceived by the public.
The company’s brand is how it’s perceived by those who experience it – including healthcare staff, board members, and patients. An effective branding strategy will help the organization ensure they are perceived positively and in the way that they want to be.
A healthcare brand is more than just a name, tagline, logo, or message. These are just one of the many elements that come together to create a cohesive identity.
The quality of your customer service and patient experience are the most significant elements of your overall brand identity. It’s your healthcare organization’s personality, reputation, presence, mission, vision, philosophy, and style that will build your patients’ impression of you,
Why Is It Important?
Why is healthcare branding important?
Although it isn’t everything when it comes to healthcare, most customer decisions come from their emotions. Their perception of the brand will make them decide whether to choose your hospital or not.
In today’s digitalized society, patients don’t trust you just because they know your name. With modern technology, they now have access to reviews and ratings of your establishment online. Hence, you cannot continue to ignore your need to create an effective healthcare branding strategy.
Here are 5 reasons why an effective healthcare branding strategy is essential to a healthcare company.
1. It Builds Patient Trust
Healthcare comes in when an individual is at his/her most vulnerable state. Hence, establishing trust and reliability is significant.
As customers, your target patients must know if they can trust you to fulfill their expectations and take care of their health issues.
Thanks to technology, they can now review what your previous customers say about their experience in your practice. Doctor reviews and ratings are crucial to their feelings towards a brand.
They need to know if the products and services of that establishment are worth their time, money, and trust. They must be aware of the ingredients of the medicines and supplements they’re taking, as well as the detailed information of medical procedures they’re taking.
In addition, patient reviews about certain healthcare professionals like doctors and nurses also help in setting their expectations.
A good healthcare brand establishes trust by demonstrating to their customers that they can fulfill their promises. They can reassure prospective patients with expert statistics and studies to prove their products’ results.
After all, trust is a huge factor when it comes to consumer choice.
2. It Enhances Internal Consistency
Branding helps to ensure that everyone in a healthcare organization is on the same page. The strategy should be aligned with the company’s mission, vision, and promises to consumers.
As long as everyone in the company – from the upper management to team members – is aware of your brand strategy, you’re likely to have a coherent, well-functioning company structure.
Efficiency within your organization and revenue will also increase. You’ll also be able to present and promote your brand to your consumers more confidently and effectively.
3. It Helps You Understand Patients Intimately
Similar to other entities, a healthcare provider must know its potential consumers as intimately as possible. The organization has to understand their market’s age, gender, geographic location, mindset, lifestyle, beliefs, as well as their healthcare needs and preferences.
You can collect market data to get to know your consumers and find out how they’ll perceive your products and services. Doing so will help you build a better patient experience.
If your product is best suited for breastfeeding moms, your brand strategy should have a design that best fits your target market. These include the images, language, message, text fonts, and colors you will use. You need to formulate everything about your brand according to your target consumer.
In addition, understanding your consumer also helps in finding out other potential untapped markets you could pursue in the future.
For example, let’s say you’re selling medical bandages for muscle injuries. If you have a clear understanding of your target market, you know that they also need something to help them relieve muscle pain. Hence, they need painkillers. A product that you can develop and market to the same market.
4. It Improves the Patient Journey
Patient experience is everything in today’s healthcare landscape. Good healthcare brands have many opportunities to shape patient experience powerfully.
Today’s digital age makes patients base their medical choices outside a healthcare facility. Since the patient journey starts with awareness, a strong brand strategy using content marketing can influence their behavior as consumers.
To start the patient journey, an individual will likely visit your healthcare brand’s website or online page to know more about your institution and the products and services offered. A well-designed and optimized website can help you convert visitors into patients or customers.
Brand experience is a factor too. Your patient has to perceive it positively – from the moment they book an appointment and enter your establishment to the moment, they leave it and beyond.
A strong healthcare brand identity strengthens a healthy patient-provider relationship and builds patient’s trust and loyalty from the beginning to end of their journey.
5. It Sets You Apart From Your Competitors
Let’s face it: a patient’s trust and your brand’s reputation aren’t enough to sustain a medical practice.
Yes, those elements are highly significant, but to overcome the tight competition in the healthcare industry, you need to be more creative and unique with your brand.
If you have something that sets you apart from other healthcare providers, show it. Raise your consumers’ awareness about it and entice them with offers that only you can provide.
Being different and memorable can be challenging, so if you have something unique to offer, flaunt it.
5 Ways Healthcare Companies Can Optimize Branding
1. Do research
Creating an effective brand strategy always starts with thorough research.
Gather qualitative and quantitative data about your products, services, consumers, and competitors. Analyze comparable healthcare brand campaigns, interview relevant industry experts, talk to your healthcare staff, patients, and administrators.
Only then you’ll be able to progress with your strategy.
2. Find out your unique traits (brand positioning)
The goal of brand positioning is to differentiate your company in the mind of your patients. To accomplish this, you need to thoroughly think about how you’d like to distinguish yourself in the healthcare space.
What makes your brand unique?
Look at the fine line between your services and your competitor’s offerings. Analyze the market needs. From there, you’ll be able to answer that question. A powerful brand marketing strategy will eventually come to fruition.
3. Create your healthcare brand Identity
The messaging (tone, word choice) and visual elements that represent your organization make up a brand identity.
These elements evolve upon research and alignment with your brand position.
To create a fresh and memorable identity, it’s important to make sure your consumers know why you are different from other providers in the healthcare industry. You need to trigger an emotional response and influence your potential patient’s decision.
Utilize symbols to convey your position. Come up with a memorable healthcare logo that sets you apart from your competitors. Be consistent with your identity to instill a sense of trust and a good reputation in the minds of your customers.
4. Create compelling content
As always, compelling, engaging, and useful content is king, even in the digital health marketing industry.
Since health is an essential need to everyone, you’ll never run out of inspiring, educating, and interesting content to tell and to populate your channel.
Soon, you’ll have patients whose lives have changed through your service. Sharing their stories will connect you with more potential consumers on a deeper level.
You can offer health insights and tips not only in the form of white papers, webinars, and books. You can also do them through blog posts, videos, and infographics!
5. Be consistent
Ensuring that your mission, vision, values, and goals are aligned and communicated throughout the organization is a key factor in creating and maintaining your healthcare branding strategy.
If prioritizing your patients’ health concerns is part of your brand promise yet they can’t reach your customer service immediately, then they’ll turn their backs on you.
Improve your organization’s digital presence with a user-friendly website, appointment booking, and patient portals. Have a 24/7 customer service that’ll assist them with their concerns. Train your staff to practice what you’re flaunting in your brand.
Make sure that the brand experience you’re providing is aligned with your position and promises. Doing so will fulfill (or even exceed) your patient’s expectations.
Bonus: Partner With A Reputable Branding Agency For The Healthcare Industry
Branding is more important in modern health systems. Patients are now more empowered and informed. They demand excellent experience and are likely to write reviews that can be beneficial or not to your reputation.
Always aim for a healthcare brand that’ll allow you to stand out and nourish a healthy and lasting relationship with patients. Hire a reputable branding agency if you don’t have an in-house team to work on that.
A good brand expert can help you cultivate a trustworthy, reliable, and unique brand that’s essential to both your team and your patients.
If you need an expert partner to help you with your healthcare brand Digitalis Medical is here for you!
We’re here to help you with your healthcare branding and marketing strategies to drive more patients to your practice!
How do you optimize your healthcare branding?
Share your thoughts and questions by leaving a comment below!