The healthcare industry is changing. Thirty years ago, healthcare companies didn’t bother with branding nor marketing since there wasn’t a lot of competition. People could easily find the nearest clinic or recognize reliable brands even with the lack of advertising.
Today, with the healthcare industry turning into a highly competitive marketplace, the focus has shifted to customer service and getting the attention of a wider audience. Healthcare advertising for your company is no longer just an option; indeed, it may even become the norm. To survive the changing healthcare landscape, it’s time to focus on your company’s branding.
Branding is Essential in the Healthcare Industry
Firstly, it’s important to distinguish branding from advertising, marketing, and public relations. The latter three are simply ways to share the company’s brand. Branding itself is an entity’s recognizable identity that encompasses the entity’s traits, values, and personality. It separates the entity from its competition and has a unique value to stakeholders, patients, and other healthcare providers.
While healthcare companies used to not care about branding, the increasing number of hospitals, clinics, private practitioners, and the shift of focus to customer service have effectively changed the market landscape. Today, healthcare establishments need strong branding to attract patients and personnel, minimize business risks, and give them an edge over their competitors.
Considering that a significant portion of healthcare companies has yet to focus on this essential aspect, developing your brand today can give you a head start in the changing marketplace.
Creating an Effective Healthcare Brand
Building a strong healthcare brand takes a lot of work, time, and research. To help you get started, here is a quick rundown of the things you need to do:
1. Research the healthcare market.
Like any other enterprise, the first thing to do is research. Analyze the changing market landscape and identify specific factors and sectors that can help you develop your brand. These include the target patients, target personnel, and the stakeholders of your company. List down their needs, and identify which ones are unmet. From there, you can determine how to improve your services and develop a brand that can attract and stay with your audience.
2. Position your healthcare brand
A brand’s position is the summation of all that your brand is. An effective brand position will help you stand out in the marketplace and make a distinct impression on a customer’s mind. To effectively position your brand, you need to conduct an extensive internal audit and reevaluate the company as a whole—its services, goals, and hopes for the community.
Amidst the constantly changing landscape of the healthcare industry, having a reliable and steady brand position can cement your place as a dependable healthcare provider in your audience’s minds.
3. Create a strong brand identity
A good logo is often connected to strong brand identity. Compared to other retailers and industries, the healthcare sector isn’t known for its impressive logos. In fact, most of them are similar to each other and utilize similar fonts and color palettes. Thus, having a distinct visual identity can effectively establish your company’s brand identity.
Another thing you can do is to formalize the naming conventions in the company. The healthcare landscape is constantly shifting with numerous mergers and acquisitions, and it becomes difficult to keep track of the brands a company has. Formalizing the naming conventions can go a long way in making the brand more distinguishable in a heavily saturated market.
4. Invest in digital marketing
Unlike other industries, it was difficult for healthcare companies to implement digital marketing due to the restrictions and regulations in distributing healthcare information. However, a significant percentage of online searches today are health-related, which presents a good opportunity for healthcare establishments to interact directly with their audience.
By releasing a steady stream of timely, relevant, and useful content, patients, providers, and potential partners can engage with the brand’s online identity while still upholding healthcare rules. Some of the most common kinds of healthcare content include educational posts, how-to articles, and news about medicinal breakthroughs.
On the technical side, make sure to invest in user-friendly websites and properly manage social media pages to maintain a professional and reliable identity in the digital space.
5. Align the brand with customers’ needs and expectations
Customer service is the heart of the healthcare industry. To ensure customer satisfaction, it’s important to know the needs of the community and learn what customers expect from your company. In this manner, you can implement specific guidelines and procure new services that can attend to the community’s needs. After all, patients are bound to return and recommend establishments where they feel cared for and properly attended to.
6. Take advantage of opportunities for growth and development
To effectively survive in a highly competitive market, it’s essential that healthcare companies strive to improve and grow. Encourage visitors to rate and write reviews for the company’s services. Take note of questions and suggestions and consider their potential. By taking these into account, it becomes easier to identify opportunities for growth. When patients, doctors, personnel, and partners see the company’s efforts in improving itself, they’re more likely to stay and continue doing business with your company.
Creating a strong healthcare brand takes a lot of work, but it pays off in the long run. Keep in mind that it’s important to partner with a team that can take into account the company’s traits, values, and goals and effectively synthesize this into a brand. In this manner, the company’s authenticity and dedication to service will surely show.