With so many changes occurring in today’s health care industry, now is the time to think about the importance of your brand. If you work within the industry, ask yourself – What does my brand stand for? Does my brand resonate with consumers? Do people respect my brand? Am I doing enough to market my brand? It’s questions like these that smart brand managers ask themselves everyday.
Strong branding is as vital in healthcare as it is in any other industry. The key is trust. When it comes to making health care decisions, the brand-customer relationship is exceptionally personal; sooner or later, everybody will need the services of a health care provider.
Let’s face it. Revenue is a result of consumer brand awareness. It’s true for Apple, Starbucks and Southwest Airlines, so why should it be any different with health care organizations? Some health care entities have latched on to the importance of managing their brand – Mayo Clinic, MD Anderson, United Healthcare and others. Consumers know these organizations. People trust them and can tell you what they do and what they stand for. These brands have earned the public’s trust through sound marketing strategies. They understand the importance of every aspect of their brand – which includes much more than the logo and tagline. They have a strategic plan in place to engage their well-defined audiences via relevant media, and deliver carefully crafted messages that inspire action.
Consumers have many options when it comes to choosing where to seek treatment. If you’re a health care provider, are consumers choosing you? Why or why not? What are you doing to create trust and awareness with the consumer? Today, many top hospitals advertise the quality rankings and the patient satisfaction scores that that differentiates them from their competitors. Are you maximizing this opportunity to build trust? And are you backing up your claims by providing a truly excellent customer experience? One bad experience and the word can spread like a virus and affect consumers’ attitudes about your brand.
Engaged consumers identify the hospitals or health care facilities in their areas and ask themselves – Which one do I trust and why do I trust them? If they are anything less than fully confident in their purchasing decision – and yes, obtaining health care is a purchasing decision – they will look elsewhere. Their health and that of their loved ones is too important not to. You must keep the confidence of your current patients while building confidence in the minds of potential patients.
Changes are occurring everyday, and in the health care industry change is often quite disruptive. A hospital or healthcare organization will suffer if it does not oversee its brand, its reputation and its product quality. Remember the consumers have the power. Do they trust you?