Is your hospital on Facebook?
Whether you’ve “liked” it or not, the likelihood is that your local health care center is active on social media—Twitter, Instagram, perhaps even Snapchat. Doctors, specialists, pharmacies, rehab centers, and assisted living facilities are all upping their online presence, posting patient success stories and wellness articles in order to attract new customers.
Gone are the days when we would check ourselves into the closest, most convenient clinic. Increased consumer choice has forced health care providers to consider things like marketing, public image, and patient experience. Before scheduling an appointment, it’s not uncommon for today’s consumers to visit a provider’s website or Yelp page, seeking out some indication of the expected level of care.
This is especially true in recent years, as boutique hospitals have become more mainstream. For an additional cost, these facilities “put the patient first” and stress the importance of experience, comfort, amenities, and alternative therapies.
Health care companies, particularly those with a long history of service to their community, ask a fair question: Why? Why should we expend time and money on branding when we’ve never done so before?
1. Branding identifies differentiators. Once you’ve pinpointed the principles and prime advantages that set you apart from the competition, you can communicate those benefits to the public. Brand Poets client Dr. Jason Emer, MD, a cosmetic dermatologist in Beverly Hills, positions himself as a pioneer of combination approaches; in doing so, he specifically targets customers seeking comprehensive treatments as opposed to single, isolated procedures.
2. Branding establishes a clear a visual identity. When Doctors HealthCare Plans approached us to facilitate their launch in September 2018, we created a brand image that would distinguish them from the wealth of health plans on the market. Differentiation is as important in principle as it is in appearance.
3. Branding creates consistency. When everyone on payroll is conscious of the brand identity—from executives to ER technicians—then the entire facility functions more efficiently and cohesively, thereby improving the bottom line. Every brand should be on the same page, whether it’s a 10-employee clinic or a 10-hospital health system with 100,000+ employees.
4. Branding brings customers to you. An essential element of branding is identifying your core customers: who they are, what their priorities are, and how they shop for health care. Do you have a robust online presence? Are you associated with health care apps and linked to likeminded providers? The more you promote your brand in the public sphere, the more likely patients are to find you.
If you’re in the health care industry, the truth is that branding is no longer discretionary. Rather, a solid brand identity is essential for survival in a today’s highly saturated, customer-driven marketplace.
About Brand Poets
Founded by Tana M. Llinas, Brand Poets is a collective of strategists, visual storytellers, and digital artisans crafting smart, poignant campaigns that command attention. www.brandpoets.com