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A Prescription for Healthcare Branding
Healthcare costs continue to rise and the phase-in of Obamacare is underway. For healthcare organizations, now more than ever before is the time to address the wellness of your branding.
If you think good-quality service is enough to maintain a healthy reputation, think again. Trust and transparency are equally important, according to the 2010 Edelman Trust Barometer.
In the U.S. and in much of Western Europe, according to the Trust Barometer, trust and transparency ranked higher than product quality. These attributes also far out-ranked financial returns, which sat at or near the bottom of 10 criteria in all regions. In the U.S., this was in stark contrast to 2006, before the financial crisis hit, when financial performance placed third among 10 attributes shaping trust.
While the Trust Barometer’s findings apply to all businesses, healthcare organizations can really benefit from them. Here’s our prescription to improve and maintain the wellness of your healthcare organization’s branding:
- Business strategy: Begin with a thorough understanding of your organization, value proposition and definition of success. Using a brand strategist, conduct a brand-unity working session with key executives to make sure the final recommendations drive real results for your organization.
- Market intelligence: Perform a comprehensive survey of the competitive landscape. Explore your industry and identify and prioritize key audiences. Find new opportunities. If needed, do additional qualitative or quantitative research to fill gaps or confirm preliminary observations.
- Internal culture: Ensure that your organization’s mission and values are consistent with and support your brand promise. Do internal interviews to understand the dynamics of your organization. Make sure everyone is on the same page regarding where the organization is now and—just as importantly—where it needs to be in both the short and long terms.
- Identity and communications: Now that you’ve reviewed your healthcare organization’s current identity system and all existing communications materials, it’s time to begin defining your brand’s desired positioning and image attributes.
While it may pain you as a healthcare professional to admit it, trust and transparency are as important for your organization’s brand as they are for fast-food eateries and weight-loss diets.