Unlike Apple or Netflix or Nike, most health care brands are not household names. But that doesn’t mean that branding isn’t every bit as important in the health care industry as it is in other industries. In fact, health care branding is a crucial step toward differentiating your practice from others, increasing brand awareness, establishing credibility and trustworthiness, acquiring new patients, and retaining loyal patients.
But how do you create a strong, unique brand in an industry where patients have multiple options for health care services? Keep reading to learn five strategies to start crafting an unforgettable brand for your health care organization.
Do Market Research
Brand differentiation is a challenge in the crowded health care field. The first step toward building a unique brand is understanding the industry landscape and your place within it. There are a few key areas where your organization should conduct thorough market research:
- Competitors. How much competition are you facing in your area? What products and services are your competitors offering? And — just as importantly — what methods are they using to differentiate themselves and attract patients? Don’t be afraid to take a deep dive into the websites, content, and social platforms of your closest competitors to gain an understanding of their branding techniques.
- Target demographics. Who do your ideal patients look like? What are their pain points, needs, and concerns? What are their priorities when it comes to health care? Consider the problems your target demographics are facing, and determine how your products and services can help solve those problems.
- The industry. Where do you see your industry heading over the next several years? What new technologies, legislation, cultural ideas, and demographic shifts do you think will have an impact on the industry as a whole? One important aspect of branding is determining where your organization will need to be adaptable and flexible to stay relevant in the future.
Your market research should involve gathering both quantitative and qualitative data. SWOT analysis, focus groups, patient surveys, government agencies, and online research are all great sources for addressing the questions listed above.
Determine Your Brand Positioning
Once you understand the industry, the next step is to stake your place in it. As we mentioned above, health care is a crowded and competitive field. Brand differentiation is essential to ensure that your name doesn’t become lost in a sea of similar organizations.
Your brand positioning statement defines how your brand fulfills a need or solves a pain point that your competitors don’t. It identifies the unique value proposition that your health care practice brings to patients. What does your practice do that others don’t? Why should patients choose you over one of your competitors? What products and services do you offer that no one else has?
Answering the questions put forward above will help guide your organization toward a brand positioning statement that resonates with both your patients and internal staff.
Develop a Brand Story
Up until now, our brand strategy suggestions — doing market research and defining a brand positioning statement — have focused on your products and services and their place in the wider market. But now it’s time to turn your focus inward to develop a strong and compelling brand story.
At its core, health care is personal and human-centered. And your branding needs to reflect that human element in order to form deep connections and long-lasting relationships with your patients. That’s where your brand story comes in. A compelling brand story answers the “why” behind your organization. Why do you do what you do? What is your greater purpose toward bettering the world and helping people through your products and services?
Involve Your Frontline Staff and Patients
Your frontline staff, physicians, and other employees are responsible for living out your brand values, cultivating a positive brand reputation by providing top-notch customer service, and educating patients on the value of your products and services. Your patients are the ones who see your branding strategy in action firsthand and form a positive or negative association with your brand.
Both of these audiences have valuable insight to contribute to your branding and should be included in the process. Your frontline staff can provide a deeper understanding into what concerns, questions, and complaints your patients have. Your patients can add perspective to what’s resonating with them and where you have room to improve on your processes or customer service.
Your organization can use employee and patient feedback to ensure that your processes, policies, and service offerings are all in alignment with what patients need and want.
Maintain Consistent Messaging
Consistency is key to building and maintaining a strong brand. Your tone, voice, word choice, and overall messaging should align across your website, online and print content, social media, press releases, and in-person customer service.
Consistency ensures that your brand is easily recognizable and memorable in the minds of your patients. Having an unforgettable brand will help you stay top of mind when your audience is researching and comparing health care practices.
Do You Need Help With Branding?
The NewGen Marketing team has years of experience building brand recognition and driving sales and business growth for industry-leading health care brands.
We provide broad-spectrum medical marketing services to align your branding across all aspects of your practice, including strategy and investment, analytics, paid media, social media, remarketing, content marketing, and acquisition and call centers. When you’re ready to hire a marketing agency that can drive more to your bottom line, contact NewGen Marketing for a free consultation.