As modern consumerism grows and becomes more sophisticated, healthcare branding has become even more vital to an organization’s growth and success.
While it’s true that most patients will only visit you when they have to, it doesn’t mean that you’re their only choice of healthcare provider. They need to have enough awareness and information about you before they come to you.
In this article, we’ll discuss the techniques to help you create a strong healthcare brand strategy and, eventually, succeed in the industry.
What is Hospital Branding?
Healthcare branding is the process of shaping how a healthcare organization is perceived by the public.
It shows your target audience what you stand for. It’s something that makes people remember your healthcare company.
A brand strategy needs to highlight your business’s strengths and attract the right customers.
Why is it important?
Good hospital branding brings your business to various advantages:
- It builds patient trust
- It enhances internal consistency
- It helps understand consumers intimately
- It improves patient journey
- It sets you apart from your competitors
5 Healthcare Branding Strategies To Grow Your Practice
1. Hospital Brand Research
Every branding effort starts with thorough research.
Gather qualitative and quantitative data about your products, services, consumers, and competitors.
Ask your community members how they choose a hospital, how your practice is perceived, and how it compares to competing facilities in the healthcare industry.
Analyze comparable healthcare brand campaigns of your competitors, interview relevant industry experts, talk to your healthcare staff, patients, and administrators. This step reveals if your target patient prefers your hospital or not.
If it isn’t preferred, you’ll get an idea about your strengths and weaknesses and can determine your next actions.
2. Brand Positioning
Based on the data you’ve gathered, what do you think makes your hospital’s brand unique?
Brand positioning allows you to differentiate your practice from other healthcare companies. To do this, your team needs to look at the fine line between your practice from other hospital brands. Think about how you’d like to distinguish yourself in the healthcare industry.
Come up with a brand promise
Along with defining your brand’s unique traits, you need to come up with a brand promise to your potential customers. Your brand promise is what your customers should expect from you. This is the reason why your practice has to do the right thing and perform well consistently.
Rethink about the mission, vision, and objectives of your healthcare organization, and connect them with your branding strategy.
Analyze the data you’ve gathered from your brand research. What makes you different from your competitors? From there, you’ll be able to come up with a feasible brand promise.
For example, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is just among the thousands of children’s hospitals in the U.S. But how did it become famous worldwide?
Aside from their excellent medical staff, the hospital’s name and brand promise, “Finding cures. Saving children”, popped up in many films and TV shows. The brand image became synonymous with children’s health.
The healthcare facility promises not to only save kids, but also to find a cure even in complex medical situations.
3. Brand Identity
Brand identity refers to your facility’s visual identity. It comprises your messaging (tone, word choice) and visual elements that represent your organization).
You need to use logos, symbols, colors, and fonts strategically to trigger an emotional response and influence your potential patient’s decision.
Colors play a crucial role in your brand identity. Let’s take a look at these examples:
The American Red Cross uses red for its logo color. This is a bold and passionate color that translates to love, care, and comfort associated with heart, blood pressure, spine, and motor.
Blue is associated with calm and relaxation. Like the sky and the ocean, the color blue creates a feeling of freedom, expansiveness, wisdom, respect, and opportunity.
Green is an aseptic color. It’s associated with health, tranquility, harmony, and new life.
Take a look at how Cleveland Clinic combined these two colors.
Come up with something that makes you memorable, instills a sense of trust and good reputation in the minds of your customers, and sets you apart from your competitors.
To learn more about healthcare logos and other brand visual elements, read: The Easiest Way to Design a Healthcare Logo [in 2021]
4. Brand Story
Even in the healthcare industry, content is still the king. A compelling, engaging, and, most of all, useful content is a significant element in achieving your healthcare success.
Healthcare facilities don’t run out of educational and inspiring stories to tell. Take advantage of it to boost your healthcare branding.
Inspiring and life-changing stories of patients whose lives have changed through your service are a powerful way to connect with more potential consumers on a deeper level.
Likewise, you can offer educational content on vital healthcare topics through blog posts, videos, and infographics. These mediums are not only attention-grabbing, but your audience can also read and understand them better than the traditional white papers and books.
Good brand storytelling assures your audience that you have the right solution for their healthcare needs. It also boosts your digital presence, credibility, and search engine rankings.
5. Patient Experience
You’ve created awareness and set your customer’s expectations. Now, the ultimate judge of your healthcare branding success is the patient experience.
Make sure that your brand is aligned with your patients’ needs and expectations, as well as your facility’s capacity to serve them. It should extend from the smiles on your medical staff’s faces the moment a patient enters the facility to the user-friendliness of your systems.
Think about your patient’s concerns and pain points. Is your hospital located in an accessible area? Is the appointment booking process fast and reliable? Are you open to receiving their post-appointment feedback?
If you show your patients that you’re eager to listen to their problems and provide an efficient solution, you’ll most likely get referrals. If they can find you online, they can post their online reviews on your web page too!
In a 2020 study by Software Advice, about 94% of patients read online doctor reviews to find new health providers nowadays, so getting positive reviews from your patients is a win for you.
Hire a Professional Healthcare Brand Strategist!
Since healthcare institutions deal with more serious conditions and require a lot of expertise and professionalism, creating an effective branding strategy can become complex and challenging.
When strategizing your healthcare branding, one of your goals is to nourish a healthy and lasting relationship with your patients. A good healthcare marketer can help you achieve this.
Marketing agencies specializing in healthcare brands have enough knowledge about the medical scene, so they would know to boost your brand image accordingly.
When hiring one, make sure to get relevant data and proof of results from their past healthcare branding projects. Doing so would help you authenticate their experience and credibility.
Digitalis Medical specializes in creating effective and results-based healthcare branding strategies.
We work alongside doctors to improve their brands and grow their business through proven marketing strategies. Contact us today to know more about our services!
Ready to boost your practice today? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below!