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Brand is the new must-have for hospitals

The distant rumble of change that has been approaching the hospital community for years has landed with a roar on the desks of management and boards. Now, in the face of shrinking reimbursements, rising operating costs, and a rapidly changing healthcare culture and treatment system hospitals must rethink their delivery of superior and cost-effective care if they are to be successful in the future.

This will often require a modified business structure to accommodate accelerating changes in delivery of care. Understanding this new environment and a hospital’s distinct and sustainable position within it is key to long-term success. Now more than ever, the ability to communicate positive change, make an emotional connection, and create lasting relationships is critical.

At InterbrandHealth we recognize this sea change as an opportunity for hospitals to develop a strong brand as well as an opportunity for the brand to bridge institutional gaps, differentiate the organization, galvanize stakeholders, attract consumers, and strengthen bottom lines.

A strong brand provides a lifeline that will outlast this current sink-or-swim environment.

WHAT EXACTLY IS BRAND?

A brand is far more than a symbol. It embodies tangible and intangible qualities that create value; it influences both how an organization functions and how it is perceived, internally and externally. From a marketing or consumer perspective, it is the promise and delivery of an experience; from a staff perspective, it is a culture and mission; from a business perspective, it is the security of future earnings; and from a legal perspective, it is distinct intellectual property.

BRAND AND HOSPITALS

Hospitals handle the same sorts of organizational, bottom- line, and consumer issues that affect any business. But hospitals depend on a uniquely extensive and varied range of stakeholders for their ultimate success. They also trade in delicate and emotional concerns and services beyond standard business fare — matters of life and death. And while hospital customers are not always customers by choice, choice is playing an ever-greater role in where and how they get care.

A brand is intended to create and foster relationships, and can forge long-term emotional bonds with patients and other stakeholders. Brand can also simplify decision making, represent an assurance of quality, and offer a relevant, different, and credible choice among competing offerings. There are few, if any, business realms where these assets are more critical than among hospitals.

For a complete copy of this white paper, please contact Nicole Diamant at Nicole.Diamant@InterbrandHealth.com.