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Branding, it brings to mind the likes of Coke, Disney and Apple. You know, the multi-million dollar organizations with huge marketing budgets. Until recently the proper branding of a healthcare organization was an afterthought. Branding was something that was left to a small percentage of marketing pioneers who were hoping to get it right. Some did, but more didn’t. The positive shift in how healthcare organizations view branding stems from the need to compete in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Building an effective brand is a complex process. It isn’t just about designing a snazzy logo and tagline and pushing it out to the public. It is an entire strategy formulated to resonate with the public in a positive and memorable way. An effective brand results in new patients and physician referrals.

What is a Brand?

Your brand is all encompassing. It’s not only the materials you provide patients. It’s your experience. It’s the quality of care patients receive from everyone in the facility. It’s the services and technology you offer and use. It’s your mission. It’s everything and anything that can be measured by both potential and existing patients.

Building a Better Brand

To be most effective when launching a new brand, it is vital to consider what makes your organization special when compared to the competition. Why should a patient choose you over another? Whatever that something is, it should be meaningful to the prospective patient. It should also be presented to the patient in a way that is clear, concise, consistent and memorable.

Bearing in mind that your brand also includes your internal processes, you must consider how the public perceives your organization. Make changes as necessary to ensure your brand remains positive in the eyes of the public.

If you are considering a rebrand, you have an opportunity to start fresh, but do your homework before plunging in. Market research is an important component to any medical marketing strategy and should be included. A brand or rebrand is not one size fits all. It is unique to the organization and should be left to professionals who are experienced in the intricacies of healthcare marketing.

Remember, your brand is the way the public perceives your organization. It takes years to properly build and gain traction but can be quickly torn apart with poor service. Make your focus not only about how your organization is different, but also how your organization makes lives better. Do this and you will be on your way to sustainable growth.