Delivering Action From Your Healthcare Branding
Winning leadership teams use their healthcare branding as an organizational blueprint for growth that is led from the very top of the organization. In contrast, underperforming teams tend to view their healthcare brand in a much more limited role. They mistakenly believe that advertising, marketing and design alone can create an “image wrapper” that can lift up an underperforming business. This approach to healthcare branding focuses on the exterior look and feel (e.g. the outer wrapper) rather than the totality of the organization’s services. And these practices leave customers unfulfilled, wanting for more and eventually moving on to a more rewarding life-enhancing relationship.
Age of the customer backdrop
Media fragmentation, consumer control, content overload, social media bombardment – these forces keep coming at us and leave us struggling to keep up. The sheer amount of information alone that consumers are exposed to today means that people don’t have enough time even to synthesize everything they see, never mind getting a feeling for the brands they encounter. So only the clearest, most differentiated and most useful brands will be able to break through.
If you’re a brand manager, you’re also dealing with the terrifying fact that most people (70%) wouldn’t care if brands disappeared overnight (reference The Meaningful Brand Index, a global metric of brand strength). Which means there’s an overwhelming perception that brands just don’t matter. They’re just names on products or services.
Brands that do
Read between the lines of the above stats (though they’re pretty apparent). Consumers are sending brand managers a very clear message. They’re telling marketing teams to stop making empty promises and start acting. In other words, you should be building brands that do things that actually matter to your customers. Thinking more about share of person than share of category. Which means many organizations need to rethink how they build, care for and manifest their brands. We can call this shift action branding. Action branding asks brands to do.
What are brands that do
Action brands do two things. First, they create meaningful experiences and engagement with their customers. Second, they express their point-of-view and place in the world. These brands are “makers” – they create value and are useful. And by making your brand behave in more deliberate and authentic ways, you prove your worth, and invite participation. As a byproduct of this, you also create a distinctive point-of-view that is less vulnerable to being copied by customers.
A few examples of “brands that do” include:
While this demonstration is a couple years old, I love Domino’s repairing of potholes across America, which they referred to as Paving for Pizza. In a bid to improve road conditions for takeaway customers driving their pizza home, Domino’s promised $5,000 road-repair grants to 20 public bodies across the U.S. Domino’s then went on national TV to explain the campaign and direct people to a website where they could nominate a town to receive a paving grant. CP+B, who developed the program, has it right when they stated “people are so media saturated you have to do more, you have to live and behave in a certain way.
Lego remains the world’s most valuable and strongest toy brand according to business valuation consultancy Brand Finance. The brand is all about building a completely engaged community. Surprising and delighting a broad range of consumers aged 4-99, it sells over 75 billion bricks annually with themed sets produced regularly, through partnerships with franchises, communal Lego-building, apps, social networking. video games, etc.
A Denmark-based pharmaceutical company, the brand exists to change lives for people with diabetes. Widespread sponsorships are focused on awareness-raising and health-promoting activities, including Team Novo Nordisk – the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team.
While deeply rooted in coffee, the brand means much, much more to its customers – the “third place” between home and work in all of the communities it does business. A great cup of coffee, a gathering place, an extension of people’s front porches in the way they use Starbucks stores. Customers see themselves inside the company and inside the brand, because they’re part of the Starbucks experience, as opposed to a traditional branded product that is bought over the counter.
Has done a great job of making itself a simple mainstay of everyday life. An industry and brand pioneer, Uber has seamlessly evolved its brand experience to incorporate insight from its customers in order to offer a greater range of products and services. Its value proposition is clear and concise. It keeps a revolutionary technological innovation easy to understand and easy to use.
The company engages with their target group (cystic fibrosis patients), helping them improve their lives in numerous ways – supporting charities, sponsoring Team Impact (tackling the emotional trauma and social isolation experienced by children facing serious and chronic illnesses by matching them with a college athletic team), even producing a podcast series on meal-planning.
“Brands that do” are brands that enable growth – for their organizations and for their customers. Through their actions and values, they are more useful and more consistently deliver on consumer expectations. Actually earning a place in their lives – instead of just interruptions.
Since 1999, our New Jersey marketing agency has worked with clients across the United States healthcare and wellness continuum – helping their brands rise above the noise to grow better business. Reach out for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.