Article | April 2, 2020
Healthcare organizations are scrambling right now to stay on top of Coronavirus while also providing world-class care to other patients with various healthcare needs. This becomes a problem for marketing teams to not only stay consistent in their messaging and marketing priorities but also in shifting focus to this new uncertain reality we’re all facing. There is no blueprint for what’s happening right now, but there are steps we can take to help keep the momentum moving forward.To start, healthcare marketing teams should first focus on how they are communicating about Coronavirus to their community and patients, and how their digital marketing channels (such as SEO, paid media, content marketing, and social media) fit into that message. At Marcel Digital, we’re currently working with our healthcare clients to shift digital marketing strategies to fit this new mold. Here’s what we’re telling them.
Article | March 12, 2021
Effective Healthcare branding changes how the public perceives a healthcare organization. Brands are all about perceptions. The way your customers perceive your organization determines your brand. That encompasses your doctors, your board members, your nurses, and your patients. The process of healthcare branding helps organizations ensure they are perceived the way they want to be; as trusted, knowledgeable, caring, and experienced.
More than a tagline, name, messaging, or logo, the recognizable feeling that these elements induce is your healthcare company's brand. Healthcare branding ensures that these elements meet in a cohesive system informed by positioning and personality and are constantly implemented across your brand's touchpoints.
Why is Healthcare Branding So Essential?
Healthcare branding was not always so important. Patients had the freedom to select any healthcare provider. Insurance was the principal determiner of their healthcare provider. It depended upon their workplace. Those without insurance got treatment at community clinics and emergency rooms.
As you know, times have changed a lot in a big way. Changing the entire healthcare landscape, the Affordable Care Act put patients in the driving seat. Most of the patients now have access to healthcare insurance and successfully manage their own health. Patients without insurance have the options of out-of-pocket online pharmacies and providers.
Healthcare providers have changed their performance metrics system to value-based assessments such as patient satisfaction. More than treatment, now the emphasis is on prevention. It has become a market that is direct-to-consumer healthcare.
As a result, the consumer has become the controller of the healthcare brand-consumer relationship. As patients have turned empowered consumers, the benefits of healthcare branding have grown to the point that healthcare companies cannot ignore them. If they do, it affects their business.
What are the Benefits of Healthcare Branding?
Effective healthcare branding, directed by research and a clear strategy, has many valuable benefits:
Identify Changing Patient Needs
The needs of patients today have changed from the start of COVID-19. Even when a global pandemic hasn’t fundamentally changed the healthcare landscape, patients’ needs are continually evolving. Healthcare branding gives you the tools to understand evolving patient needs better and rebrand your company to meet them.
Brand research includes qualitative research (including one-on-one patient interviews) and quantitative analysis. Insights gathered from brand research are critical in optimally positioning a healthcare brand. It is vital during dynamic and unpredictable markets, as in what happened during this COVID-19. Beyond brand research, effective healthcare branding ensures your healthcare brand is continually aligned with shifting market trends and their impact on patient needs.
It isn’t easy to think of a quality more essential to a healthcare organization's success than trust. A healthcare brand is broken or made by the degree to which it is trusted by those it serves.
When it comes to healthcare branding, trust is conveyed through everything from messaging to visual identity. Photography, colors, and typography all contribute profoundly to perceiving a brand as trustworthy. In healthcare branding, verbal identity is more important than visual brand identity in establishing it as an expert in the healthcare space.
Everything from a reassuring, confident voice in its website copy to guides designed to update patients on necessary healthcare topics and regular publication of articles are proven and well-known ways in healthcare branding to build up trust.
Set Your Brand Apart from the Competition
However, trust is not the only thing needed in the modern age for effective healthcare branding. The days, judging a healthcare organization based on its medical practice's reputation alone have gone. Patients have become empowered consumers as time passed. The competition to treat these empowered consumers too has become increasingly fierce. Here comes the importance of effective healthcare branding, tracking all your online and offline activities, and evaluating them every day.
Your healthcare brand is just one among the many other brands for internet-savvy consumers to choose from. First and foremost, all consumer decisions, including patients' decisions, are based on emotions. So, you have to think of ways to persuade your consumers' feelings to help your healthcare branding in the crowded marketplace.
Competitive differentiation is more vital than ever. Effective healthcare branding makes you find out opportunities and ways for differentiation in the challenging and competitive landscape. And, you can capitalize on these opportunities and ways with powerful storytelling and unique positioning.
Improve the Patient Journey
Patient experience, as mentioned earlier, is a game-changer in the healthcare industry today. Healthcare branding gives you various ways to shape and improve patient experience powerfully. After all, a good percentage of patient experience happens outside the healthcare facility these days. The beginning stages of the patient journey are the awareness and consideration stages. Healthcare branding tools, such as content marketing, are critical in influencing patients in these stages.
A website of your healthcare brand can make or break your patient’s pre-treatment experience. It is the selection phase of the patient journey. A premium and well-designed website optimized for conversion will enrich the patients' online experience, looking to book an appointment or answer a question.
Healthcare branding is helpful in defining the patient treatment experience. When correctly leveraged, healthcare branding allows your healthcare brand to enhance the patient journey from when the patient hears about the brand to the moment of finishing the treatment.
At every patient journey stage, healthcare branding fosters patient trust, builds patient loyalty, and reinforces patient-provider relationships.
Modern healthcare companies are operating in a competitive landscape where healthcare branding is more important than ever. Patients have become informed and empowered consumers. Digital healthcare brands have redefined the marketplace. Healthcare branding is vital if your healthcare company hopes to stand out from the rest and develop lasting and meaningful relationships with your patients.
Fortunately, there are many ways to differentiate your healthcare brand and make it sounds unique meaningfully. Positioning, identity, storytelling, and patient experience represent a powerful area where healthcare brands can better align themselves with their patients' needs and stand out from the competition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is healthcare branding important?
Healthcare branding helps you effectively project the personality of your healthcare organization and products. A good thought process to brand your healthcare product will make people remember you forever.
What is hospital branding?
Hospital branding is the process of making your healthcare organization be perceived better by potential clients. Effective branding makes your patients remember you through the best patient experience and the organization's external look.
What are the three branding strategies?
There are many effective branding strategies. Line extension, brand extension, and new brand strategy are essential types of branding strategies. You can have any strategy based on the nature of your product.
Article | March 9, 2020
With the announcement of the HIMSS conference cancellation the healthcare IT industry is hit hard. Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is the super bowl of healthcare tech. 45,000 attendees from 50 countries were scheduled to fly into Orlando and spend 5 days immersed in innovative healthcare tech – and of course, shop around on the Expo floor. For many companies, the HIMSS event is the lifeline of their sales pipeline for the entire year – we’re talking tons of leads. Not having HIMSS means major threats to healthcare technology company revenue. We need to be more prepared to deal with pandemics no matter what. And as an industry, we need to be focused on developing technology solutions for disease detection, tracking, and prevention. And we need greater emphasis on data interoperability. Every time a crisis happens, the world is reminded of why it’s so important for systems and entities to share information. We learned this lesson when 9/11 happened. Data interoperability can help us identify problems earlier and get a handle on mitigation before issues get out of control.
Article | April 11, 2020
Over the past twenty-five years most businesses have been revolutionized by the easy availability of cloud and mobile-based computing systems. These technologies have placed power and access into the hands of employees and customers, which in turn has created huge shifts in how transactions get done. Now the companies with the highest market value are both the drivers of and beneficiaries of this transition, notably Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Alphabet (Google), as well as their international rivals like Samsung, Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba. Everyone uses their products every day, and the impact on our lives have been remarkable. Of course, this also impacts how businesses of all types are organized. Underpinning this transformation has been a change from enterprise-specific software to generic cloud-based services—sometimes called SMAC (Social/Sensors/Mobile/Analytics/Cloud). Applications such as data storage, sales management, email and the hardware they ran on were put into enterprises during the 80s and 90s in the client-server era (dominated by Intel and Microsoft). These have now migrated to cloud-based, on-demand services.