Building a successful hospital brand strategy
The healthcare sector has undergone a drastic evolution in the last few decades. Previously centred on the management of disease and symptoms in a fee-for-service approach, the healthcare industry is currently focused on providing patient-oriented services with the aim of reducing costs and ensuring a better overall health outcome.
Healthcare has changed over the past few years. Like other industries, it’s become consumer-driven. Patients, providers and anyone else who purchases healthcare or devices have developed a superpower. The superpower of knowledge. Google receives a massive amount of searches every day, but did you know that 5% of all Google searches are health related? This means that every day millions of people see healthcare branding.
This new value-based healthcare model has been supported by the rapid progress of science and information technology. Indeed, patients have gained an increased access to scientific and medical information. They are now part of the decision-making process concerning the choice of their healthcare provider and the medical treatment they receive.
In the present era of patient prioritisation, competition between different healthcare providers is at its highest. Hospitals, walk-in clinics and private physicians’ practices are in the dire need of promoting their services and engaging with their consumers in order to remain successful.
By developing and maintaining a brand that reaches in a meaningful way to their audience - patients physicians and employees alike - healthcare organisations can remain profitable while providing higher - quality clinical services. We support our clients during the whole process of branding and positioning. Our clients can rely on our skills, expertise and in-depth knowledge of this industry and its needs.
What is branding and why do hospitals need it?
Branding is the art of creating a brand which defines the company's goals and services, embodies the consumer's emotional connection to the product, and ultimately highlights its uniqueness in the market. Successful branding doesn't only affect consumers; it can also have an important impact on employees, investors and stakeholders. In the healthcare sector, branding can play a crucial role in building patients, and employees' trust and can significantly reduce the usually perceived risks related to hospitals, disease and treatment. It can enhance service quality by attracting competent medical specialists and by engaging the views and needs of patients. More importantly, a strong healthcare brand can withstand financial uncertainties by boosting patients' loyalty and by increasing the value of the healthcare facility.
Branding represents the personality and promise of your services - the way you look, feel, act and deliver.
A huge shift in healthcare (hand-in-hand with the importance of branding for health providers) came with generation Y, better known as millennials. Young adults born between the '80s and '00s are the first to have grown up with access to the Internet and technology, which created so many new opportunities for them to be interested in research and take care of their health that their predecessors didn’t even think possible. Thanks to all these possibilities, millennials are becoming more and more interested in their health and are changing the role of patient in healthcare from passive to active. They are actively seeking healthy lifestyle choices, turning to eco-friendly products, researching health-related information and turning to technology to monitor their own health status. And although millennials are the first to power digitalisation of the healthcare business, this is just the beginning.
Firstly, millennials want to play a relevant part in their healthcare, which means they expect to be equal partners with doctors, nurses and healthcare providers and to be involved in decision-making. They also expect medical treatment to be tailor-made for their personal needs and they are ready to take some responsibility for their health into their own hands, whether that means gadgets and wearables that monitor their bio-functions, seeking information on various medical platforms or trying telemedicine or online consultations. Secondly, there is an even bigger shift coming with Generation Z. Although still very young – mostly in their teenage years – Generation Z is so accustomed to technology that digitalisation in healthcare is not a question of improvement, but a standard. Robotics, virtual reality in operating rooms, highly functional and detailed wearables, predictive medicine and targeted treatment are just a few trends that will be considered normal for this generation. So, when thinking about branding and positioning of healthcare providers, let’s not forget that the patients are drastically changing with every new generation and what was once considered new, futuristic and innovative may be a standard norm just a few years later. Healthcare providers and hospitals must adapt as quickly as companies in other industries that wish to stay on top of the game.
In the current shifting attitudes of the healthcare market, building and maintaining a strong, reliable, and competitive Hospital brand is becoming critical for the survival of an organization. A brand founded on consumers' expectations and needs while being consistent with its core values in delivering its promise, ensures a better navigation of the market and financial storms. Putting patient engagement at the core of your brand and ensuring excellency in service delivery creates trust, loyalty, and a long-lasting emotional connection between the patient and your facility. It increases your competitiveness and differentiates your company in the market. Moreover, solid and patient-oriented Hospital brands help bringing the healthcare industry to the modern standards of healthcare delivery.