Cleveland Clinic & Best Global Brands Study

Cleveland Clinic & Best Global Brands Study

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The Cleveland Clinic might not formally make the cut as one of the Top 100 Best Global Brands. But within the world of healthcare, it’s certainly one of the chart toppers as it’s a brand that has the power to change the world.

Interbrand’s Best Global Brands Study is the definitive list of the world’s top 100 most valuable brands. To be included, a brand must be truly global, having successfully transcended geographic and cultural boundaries. Based on this criteria, there were no healthcare brands – no healthcare systems or hospitals – in 2014’s top 100 list.

So I was pleasantly surprised as part of this study to see an interview with Paul Matsen, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Cleveland Clinic. While you can read his entire interview here, here are some important “cut-down” snippets relevant to any healthcare marketer. For example, while you might not be recognized and trusted around the world, there is no excuse not to be among your local communities.

Q. Role of brand in Cleveland Clinic’s enduring success?

A. The brand plays a critical role in the success of Cleveland Clinic – as we’re recognized and trusted around the world as an organization that provides clinical excellence, an outstanding patient experience, and valuable medical information for patients and physicians. Many patients’ first encounter with us is when they or a loved one are diagnosed with a medical condition and are searching for helpful information online. Patients and families know they can trust our brand to provide helpful information and patient care.

Q. On Cleveland Clinic’s website, patients can set up and access “MyAccount,” “MyChart,” and so forth. How has making your online services so personal created closer relationships with patients? How do you think this is enhancing wellness-and improving the way consumers perceive Cleveland Clinic?  

A. Nothing is more personal than healthcare. Providing state-of-the-art tools to help patients manage their health is a vital part of Cleveland Clinic care and the patient experience. At the same time, our CEO has stated that our goal is to move from “sick care to wellness.” We’ve been an innovator and leader in wellness from promoting healthy eating and exercise to being one of the first healthcare systems to not hire smokers. Wellness is a key part of our mission and it has become a key part of our brand.

Q. Consumers now use digital and social media to access healthcare advice and information. How do you use social media to engage and educate? How are mobile apps making life easier and healthier for the people Cleveland Clinic serves?

A. We’ve created a highly innovative social media strategy focused around our Health Hub blog. It reaches more than 2.5 million people a month and plays a key role in providing daily information on a broad range of wellness topics, as well as building awareness and positive perceptions of the Cleveland Clinic brand.

Today, more than 63% of traffic to our website comes from mobile devices, and adapting rapidly to mobile has been critical to our success. Our comprehensive consumer app “Today” provides virtually all of the tools that consumers need to access Cleveland Clinic. At the same time, we have a broad range of specialty apps ranging from a referring physician app to one that helps manage concussions. 

Q. How is Cleveland Clinic leveraging the value of big data to personalize medicine, promote efficiency, and customize patient care?

A. As one of the first to adopt the electronic patient record, we’ve gathered millions of data points on diagnosis, treatment and demographics. We’ve developed proprietary software and spun off a company that enables us to access healthcare data from across any number of hospitals and health systems–lightning fast and at no risk to patients’ privacy. Researchers around the world are using it to discover patterns of disease and what treatments really work best.

Our Genomic Medicine Institute and Center for Personalized Healthcare have launched ambitious initiatives to harness the power of genetics and family history to mount aggressive early interventions against deadly diseases. Genetic counselors work as a team with specialists in cancer and other areas to customize drug treatments to the patient’s genetic profile wherever possible. We’re tailoring care to each patient’s physical, emotional, and social needs. 

Q. What major investments is Cleveland Clinic making in light of the changing face of healthcare? How is Cleveland Clinic innovating to meet changing needs, pressures, and preferences in healthcare?

A. We’ve invested heavily in regional healthcare delivery sites and sophisticated patient transport to make sure that every patient gets the right care, at the right place, at the right time. Any patient who calls before noon is offered a same-day appointment. We booked more than one million same-day appointments last year.

We’ve also completely overhauled our culture and facilities to reflect an intense commitment to patient experience. Our brand includes the fact that every employee is called a caregiver, as everyone who works here in any capacity plays a role in patient care. We have trained all 43,000 of our caregivers in courtesy, compassion, and listening skills. We redesigned the patient gown to preserve patient dignity, and designed facilities with abundant space, light, and artwork.

The Cleveland Clinic brand is inseparable from its lifesaving mission. Our name and symbol represent medical care at the highest level, a continual drive for innovation, ease of access, efficiency of operations, and a culture of empathy. Our goal is to give every patient the best outcome and experience.


As I said, while Cleveland Clinic didn’t formally make the cut as one of the Top 100 Best Global Brands, it’s certainly one of the chart toppers in healthcare as it’s a brand that has the power to change the world.




Eric Brody

Eric Brody is President of Trajectory, the specialist health & wellness branding and marketing agency using every moment as an opportunity to move customers, brands and businesses upward to a new destination.