We’ve heard a million times about the impact of growing consumerism and new competition from players like Apple, Amazon, and CVS. The combination of these forces shines a harsh light on the existing state of health system brands — what’s worked in the past will not be enough to thrive moving forward.
Yet if that is true, then why are health systems still building the same old health system brands?
The leaders in this space aren’t waiting for the COVID-19 cloud to lift — they’re re-examining their brand positioning now so they’ll be out front when the time is right to move. For example, consider an approach favored by some of the top companies in the world, where a brand’s positioning doesn’t promote what makes it different, but rather is centered on a deep, emotional motivator for the consumer. Applied to this industry, we’ve dubbed this a Post Health System Brand. And the opportunities are massive.
What exactly is a post-health system brand?
For as long as hospitals and health systems have developed brand strategies, they have focused on brand positioning that is promotional in nature. Messages have centered on whatever organizational trait is special and distinct from the competition to the degree that it would help convince a patient to choose that organization’s services over other options in the market. Whatever the position, it’s all about the health system itself. This is in many ways common sense and, in fact, fits the classic purpose of brand positioning — to differentiate a product, service or company.
And before now, when the only choices for healthcare services were traditional hospitals and health systems, these promotional brand positions served health systems well enough. Those who successfully built strong brands, both through messaging and delivery of a compelling brand value, rose to the top of their markets, becoming the most respected and recognized health system brands. And some rose higher, achieving regional or national prominence with their health system brands.
But now health systems aren’t alone in offering care options for consumers. Further, as consumers have more financial skin in the game and more ways to evaluate the choices in the market, they are demanding more from health systems. Put together, that means consumers will be turning to competitors such as CVS, Apple, or Walmart, all of whom have an impressive history of effective consumer marketing. To survive, let alone thrive, in this new world, we must evolve our approach to building consumer brands.
One solution is the Post Health System Brand
The vast majority of health systems have built product- or organization-focused brands — promotional brands. Developing a Post Health System Brand simply means moving beyond a promotional focus to a personality brand, centering your brand on your audience in a meaningful way. With this approach, your brand isn’t focused on YOU, it’s focused on THEM. This is an approach taken by some of the most powerful brands in the world, including Nike, Coke, and Apple.
For a complete breakdown of Post Health System Brands, why they work, examples of Post Health System Brands, and secrets to success, download our paper The Case for Building a Post Health System Brand.
Engaging Revive to Develop a Post Health System Brand
Revive has worked with dozens of organizations to help them build and launch a new brand. We apply that experience through the following proven process to help health systems assess, identify, develop, and launch a Post Health System Brand.
Phase one – Brand strategy and positioning
Identifying and claiming a personality-based brand positioning is unlike traditional brand work focusing on core dynamics such as competitive differentiators or brand attributes.
Our strategy process begins with INCITE, our proprietary approach that allows us to identify a single strategic direction that will inspire audiences to action within the Post Health System Brand framework. We first conduct a thorough discovery process that considers market dynamics, an organizational SWOT, competitive brand, and consumer research. The end result is a strategic statement — our INCITE — that captures a breakthrough approach for a consumer-focused, personality brand that will drive creative concepting, planning, and execution.
Phase two – Creative concepting
Based on the strategic INCITE statement and leadership buy-in for the new direction, Revive will develop a unifying creative platform for marketing and communications to launch the new brand in the market. We will develop an omnichannel solution, leveraging the depths of our disciplinary expertise and strengthening the idea from all angles.
Regardless of our overarching brand goals — awareness, perception, mindshare — the focus is always on driving engagement wherever possible, and ultimately, growth. We will present two to three potential creative directions, each with various tactical examples to show how the concept will come to life in the market.
Phase three — Campaign planning
When it comes to planning, Revive evaluates opportunities through a challenge-focused, discipline-agnostic lens, aligning with organizational and marketing growth priorities. Based on our initial discovery, we will analyze your key audiences to understand the types of campaign interactions that will best engage them and support the goals of the brand launch.
At Revive, we take an integrated approach, blending paid, owned, and earned programs to help media drive business effectively and sustainably. We pride ourselves on finding efficiencies across channels and targets, leveraging the latest tools and technology to develop our upfront strategies, advanced audience segmentation, persona creation, competitive analysis, and media plans.
We then synthesize these opportunities into program options, ranging from channel mixes to different types of engagement activations or outreach types. These options will allow you and your team to evaluate and choose the best approach and use that direction to solidify all plans. We then finalize the cost and timing for specific elements of the overall campaign.
Phase four – Execution, launch, and evaluation
Next, we bring the campaign to life. Revive provides all services required to execute, including:
- Creative/art direction
- Content development (writing, editing, etc.)
- Interactive design and development/programming (landing pages, digital banner ads, etc.)
- Media planning/buying
- Advertising production (digital and traditional)
- Film/video production
- Print management
- Project management
Then, we find the right channels to reach your audience. Activations may include:
- Web landing pages/online tools
- Digital advertising (banner, PPC, mobile, etc.)
- Mass advertising (print, outdoor, broadcast)
- Content marketing
- Social media
- Events/experiential marketing
- Public relations/media relations
- Internal communications
Based on the recommended measurement approach in the campaign plan, we will gather data and create reports and/or dashboards at the campaign, channel, and/or audience levels, depending on what we plan to analyze and any specific campaign objectives.
Finally, we will analyze the reports/dashboards and may develop additional recommendations for improving the campaign. These results and recommendations will then be presented and discussed, depending on their size, to continue optimizing the campaign.
To talk with one of our brand strategy leaders about developing a Post Health System Brand for your organization, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our form.