Vital times: The changing role of brand in healthcare

We believe brands have the power not only to change individual lives, but to change the world. We also believe that brands are the most underleveraged business asset within the health and life sciences industry. This can no longer be the case.

A brand is more than just a symbol, slogan or trade name. It transcends logos and visual identities. Brands are living business assets that come to life across all touchpoints when created and managed properly. They establish identity, provide differentiation and, most importantly, drive economic value.

Why are brands particularly important to the health & life sciences industry?

First, brands possess the unique ability to transform attitudes. Our industry sells products and services that consumers don’t necessarily want to buy – products and services that tend to remind them of imperfect health or force them to confront their mortality. The role that brands play within the health & life sciences industry is not to simply identify a particular product or service, but rather to transform patients’ attitudes towards the treatment or solution being offered. In effect, brands need to create a positive association, and, in some cases, a sense of hope.

Second, brands are capable of engaging consumers and healthcare professionals by providing them with a much-needed sense of clarity – highlighting both rational and irrational points of differentiation among other products and services. By leveraging brands properly, manufacturers will be able to give patients a reason to use products and services that go well beyond “my doctor said so.”

Finally, brands are able to connect emotionally with their respective audiences. A well-managed brand finds the connective tissue between the functional and emotional responses of the patient—linking the head and the heart. Purchasing products and services requires patients to make intimate and, in some cases, life-changing decisions. Brands can play an instrumental role in guiding them through what can sometimes be a difficult and emotional decision-making process.

Given this understanding of the importance of brand in people’s lives, it is past time for us to evolve the role of brand in the health & life sciences industry. A brand can no longer be viewed as strictly a promotional/communications tool. It must be recognized as a core business driver – one that directly influences a manufacturer’s business strategy from the very beginning. It must be seen as a way to emotionally connect with customers, drive long-term loyalty and generate revenue.

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

Contributors

Chief Strategy Officer