For far too long, health systems have been trying to build brands almost exclusively through communications processes, which waste marketing dollars and undermine competitive performance when the image portrayed is not the experience delivered.
Powerful brands do not happen by accident. They are carefully discerned, purposefully positioned and aggressively managed to create connections that stimulate demand, build customer loyalty, drive growth and improve profitability.
The well-developed competencies underlying great brands include:
- Brand Intelligence – brand leaders employ advanced research and analytic techniques to inform positioning, segmentation, targeting, product design, channel, pricing and promotions decision-making. Real brand intelligence takes more than awareness and preference research.
- Brand Positioning – strategic processes are in place to create a core positioning strategy, articulate the brand value proposition, and formulate integrated operational, clinical, business development and marketing strategies to achieve meaningful competitive differentiation.
- Brand Alignment – strategic processes are in place to unify brand building across the value chain in order to focus design; align operations and organizational policies; build and support effective channels; drive service delivery innovations; create advertising that works; and build staff commitment to ‘live the brand.’
- Brand Portfolio Management – large, diversified, complex health systems are evolving methods for determining, managing, and building brand portfolios, addressing multiple facilities, strategic business units, markets, physician integration, and partnering ventures.
- Brand Evolution – brand leaders measure and track brand performance, and consistently evolve and renew brands to address new opportunities and changing competitive dynamics.
If you want to put rocket-boosters behind your brand, then focus investments to build brand leadership competencies. The payoff is better business performance.