Why is the creation of a branded experience in healthcare important? The healthcare industry acknowledges the importance of image with todays savvy consumer. In addition, an organizations brand impacts their internal customers perception, and is key to the recruiting and retention of quality physicians, nurses and staff.
Many consider building brand equity as primarily an external marketing function. However, as Starbucks and Disney have shown us, a brand is the total experience a company creates from the moment you encounter them. It should embody your culture as an organization which can be powerful to your internal audience. Moving a company forward with shared values that are promoted in the physical environment, management practice and service delivery is compelling. Core values in a healthcare organization may involve patient centered care, wellness, patient outcomes, and efficiency and productivity as they relate to profitability.
Hospitals have embraced branding their values into their physical space, management practice and service delivery. For example a core value of patient centered care may provide a patient experience that offers:
Restful homelike surroundings including shelves and niches for display of personal items, as well as natural light and access to nature, delivery of art, reading material and music from carts that come to them.
An empowering library of health care information staffed with friendly assistance.
Overnight accommodations and more social space provision for family and care partners to interact and support.
Incorporation of features that promote maximum contact between nurses, physicians and patients.
A branded facility done well creates a memorable experience. The following ideas are thinking points to assist in the development of a powerful marketplace position for your organization:
Analyze your core customer groups, both internal and external.
List the details of the existing experience for each customer group (from an initial phone experience, to parking the car, to the moment they walk through your front door).
What do your current customers love about your operation?
Define what your preferred customer experience would look like. What emotional responses do you desire from each group?
List customer groups you desire to attract.
List your competitive strengths.
Review the competition. Does your preferred experience reposition them in the eyes of your customer groups? Dare to be different!
Brainstorm the myriad of opportunities to create these ideal experiences for each customer group.
Prepare a written brand strategy that connects to your facility master plan, organizational management procedures and marketing strategy.