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Branding in Healthcare - 14 Reasons Why Strong Brands Win


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Today’s healthcare market provides ample challenges for businesses: increasing competition and commoditization, significant merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, and uncertainty with regulatory and government oversight. Healthcare companies have more than doctors to win over — they have to reach patients, providers, and payers too. The pressure is not on companies to perform — it’s on the brands.

Published in: Healthcare

Branding in Healthcare - 14 Reasons Why Strong Brands Win

  1. 1. BRANDING IN HEALTHCARE 14 Reasons Why Strong Brands Win
  2. 2. STRONG BRANDS PROVIDE IMMUNITY IN TODAY’S CHALLENGING MARKETPLACE Today’s healthcare market provides ample challenges for businesses: increasing competition and commoditization, significant merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, and uncertainty with regulatory and government oversight. Healthcare companies have more than doctors to win over — they have to reach patients, providers, and payers too. The pressure is not on companies to perform — it’s on the brands. People don’t buy into a company and its set of products or services. They buy into the brand, and what it means to them. They buy into the security within the brand promise and they buy into the way that brand relates to their individual human journey.
  3. 3. WHAT IS BRANDING? Branding should not be confused with marketing, advertising, or public relations. Those are ways of communicating your brand. In order to communicate your brand, you must first build it. A brand is a recognizable identity that has a personality, values, and traits. It is an active business asset that provides differentiation, shareholder value, and longevity. GOOD BRANDS ARE: • Memorable • Captivating • Relatable • Likeable
  4. 4. 1. THREAT OF COMMODITIZATION Disruptive technology, substitute products or services, and global competition entering U.S. markets are all forces that threaten to make your product or service a commodity. Branding offers an opportunity to provide consumers with a unique experience that can’t be replicated. Brands are one of the only business assets that provide long-term competitive differentiation.
  5. 5. 2. MERGERS, ACQUISITIONS & PARTNERSHIPS More and more healthcare businesses are either joining forces with other brands, or acquiring other brands to strengthen their portfolio of products and broaden their capabilities. In order to attract M&As, you need a strong brand. Your brand identity should clearly communicate the strength of your company so that other companies perceive your company at a high value.
  6. 6. 3. INCREASING FINANCIAL PRESSURE National tax policies, the medical device tax, pressure to cut costs, and additional factors are putting increased pressures on healthcare companies’ financials. According to Interbrand, brands create economic value by generating higher returns and growth, and by mitigating risk. In addition, brands provide the intangible asset of “goodwill” that can increase company value and market capitalization.
  7. 7. 4. STRONG BRANDS PROVIDE SECURITY IN UNCERTAIN TIMES Strong brands attract loyalty, and loyalty is protection for when your company has a PR crisis or the economy gets shaky. Brand loyalists will defend your brand even when you’re not there. Strong brands can earn “benefit-of-the-doubt,” whereas weaker brands with slip-ups are more likely to be called out.
  8. 8. 5. KNOWN BRANDS REDUCE PERCEIVED RISK People choose brand names because known brands are trustworthy. Known brands with a proven track record provide reassurance and comfort. Branding is so powerful that consumers are willing to pay more for brand names than lesser known brands – even when the products are virtually identical. This is evidenced by shopping data collected by Nielsen on OTC Pain Relievers. That research shows 24% of aspirin sales by volume, and 59% by expenditure, is devoted to Bayer. Even when there are generic alternatives at significantly lower costs, people choose the branded aspirin. What do you think attributes to consumer preference? Brand. The brand not only allows the company to be the preferred option, but it also allows the company to command higher prices.
  9. 9. 6. RISE ABOVE THE NOISE According to the book, “The 24-Hour Customer,” people see more than 34 billion bits of information per day – an equivalent of two books a day. Today’s consumers (whether B2B or B2C) are inundated with messages. Expertly crafted messaging is no longer enough to break through the clutter and reach your target market. Companies can no longer purchase people’s attention – they must earn it. Strong brands that resonate with people win the privilege to speak to consumers.
  10. 10. 7. SIMPLIFY THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS During the decision-making process, consumers search for information to analyze the differences they perceive between competing brands. Brand awareness and brand knowledge play an important role here. Branding positions a company as relevant to a consumer in order to gain their attention.
  11. 11. 8. HEALTHCARE DECISIONS REQUIRE TRUST While branding is important in all industries, branding plays an especially important role in healthcare where purchase decisions have greater implications than, say, the restaurant industry. Healthcare decisions impact our lives on a greater scale - varying from quality of life to life-or-death. Before a consumer decides to let a doctor implant a medical device in their body, they need to trust that it will be safe. A doctor isn’t going to use a medical device or drug they’re not confident in either. Branding creates trust by delivering on brand promise and through relationship building.
  12. 12. 9. EMPLOYEE MORALE Attracting and keeping the top talent is important. High turnover rates are not only bad for a company’s finances, but they also erode company morale. If your employees don’t believe in your brand, they’re more likely to spread negative word-of-mouth. Employee morale affects performance and the overall bottom line. A strong brand with a compelling mission provides meaning and purpose for employees, contributing to overall employee satisfaction. When employees can feel a part of the mission, they’re more dedicated to the work.
  13. 13. 10. TARGETING PHYSICIANS, NPS & PAS The MM&M/Ogilvy CommonHealth Healthcare Marketers Trend Report for 2013 found that overall, marketing directors allocated around 75% of their total budget to healthcare professionals and 25% to the consumer space. But healthcare companies must adapt to a changing environment, and deploying an army of reps doesn’t work as well anymore. Instead of communicating on an individual, per physician level, brands need to be able to speak for themselves. Today, physicians can be reached through a variety of touch points, including multiple digital channels. The challenge for healthcare companies is to develop an overarching brand strategy to guide all communications. This maximizes brand equity, aids brand awareness and recognition, and establishes the brand as the superior choice. In addition, companies need to create positive brand experiences for the nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) that interact closely with patients and play a crucial role in patient education, product adoption, and medication adherence.
  15. 15. 11. PATIENT SATISFACTION Is your brand voice human or corporate? Your brand has to be consistent across platforms and audiences, but it should be nimble enough to speak to the patient. This means producing the right content and delivering it at the right time, to the right people, with the right tone and style. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 72% of internet users say they looked online for health information within the past year. As a healthcare company, you need to provide patients with the information they’re looking for about your products and services. Patients are empowered decision-makers and are asking their doctors for specific brand name products. “72% of internet users say they looked online for health information within the past year.” Pew Internet and American Life Project
  16. 16. 12. PAYER PRESSURE Healthcare companies are adjusting to the shift in bargaining power to the payer. Payers now play a key role in the commercialization process, making them an important stakeholder to please. The onus is on healthcare companies to demonstrate value. Branding influences perception, and the right value proposition can prove the true value of a product or service to patients in the mind of the payer. Because of healthcare reform, convincing the payer to provide coverage and reimbursement is a bigger priority than before, and healthcare companies will have to step up their game.
  17. 17. 13. THE PROVIDER’S DECISION SET With healthcare reform, the process of purchasing medical devices within hospitals has become increasingly sophisticated with a longer, more complex decision-making process. In more complex decision-making processes, companies must first earn a spot within the decision set. A strong brand strategy that communicates value and is easy to recall is key to becoming part of this coveted selection set. dir: 760.743.7744 x129 cel: 760.500.1965 email: Matt Powell Director of Marketing tel: 800.262.2310 fax: 760.743.7975 fax: 800.487.1357 Dear Mr. Smith Integer ut purus ac augue commodo commodo. Nunc nec mi eu justo tempor consectetuer. Etiam vitae nisl. In dignissim lacus ut ante. Cras elit lectus, bibendum a, adipiscing vitae, commodo et, Ut tincidunt tortor. Donec nonummy, enim in lacinia pulvinar, velit tellus scelerisque augue, ac posuere libero urna eget neque. Cras ipsum. Vestibulum pretium, lectus nec venenatis volutpat, purus lectus ultrices risus, a condimentum risus mi et quam. Pellentesque auctor fringilla neque. Duis eu massa ut lorem iaculis vestibulum. Maecenas facilisis elit sed justo. Quisque volutpat malesuada velit. Sincerely John
  18. 18. 14. PATIENT COMPARISON SHOPPING Patients are more involved in their healthcare than ever before. And that means they want to find the best healthcare at the best price. Paul H. Keckley, PhD, Executive Director at the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, wrote in a Health Care Reform Memo about the importance of branding in healthcare: “Consumers have more skin in the game now than ever before. They’re able to compare prices and outcomes for simple medical treatments. And they can access their own medical records to compare their signs, symptoms, risk factors, and co-morbidities to clinical algorithms and better understand where to get the appropriate care, and how much that care will cost.”
  19. 19. RECAP: WHY YOU NEED A BRAND STRATEGY • To set your company apart from the competition • To increase shareholder value • To generate stronger financial results • To prevent your product or service from becoming a commodity • To maximize your brand’s relevance in the hearts and minds of stakeholders • To build loyalty • To create trust • To expand market share • To support employee morale • To reach key stakeholders Building a strong brand will help you succeed. Are you ready to grow your brand?
  20. 20. ABOUT PARKERWHITE BRAND INTERACTIVE We position, build, and grow health, wellness, and active lifestyle brands to create positive changes in businesses and people’s lives. (760) 783-2020