Healthcare branding: creating your strategic brand platform

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They are the most fundamental of healthcare branding questions:

• What does your healthcare organization stand for?
• How is it different?
• Why should people care?

With everything in healthcare changing around you (as well as your customers and prospects), a strategically grounded brand platform keeps you on course by guiding your organization’s thinking, communications and behavior.  Essentially, everything you say and do as an organization. Without it, you’re like a ship whose lost its rudder – drifting without clear purpose and direction.

If you’re into sports, and analogies, think of the brand platform as a football playbook. Built upon the strength of your personnel, the personality of your staff and your past successes, the playbook (platform) contains descriptions of all the strategies and plays used by your team, issued to personnel to study and memorize before the season begins (or when new people join the organization).

Imagine the consequences of not having this playbook. Team performance would be chaotic and haphazard. And the team itself would be unrecognizable to fans. Same without a brand platform, though not as immediately obvious. Though the outcome would be the same.

While elements of a brand platform tend to differ, what can not differ is the rigger with which it’s developed. It must be grounded in:

• the discovery of your organization’s true purpose
• its going-forward business direction
• its guiding values and true voice
• the context of the changing healthcare marketplace
• promises you’re capable of delivering to all internal and external audiences

Everything you say and do inside and outside of your organization – through your people, products and services and experiences – builds an impression. Either a positive one or a negative one. And the only way to ensure that you’re all marching from the same playbook is through the creation and deployment of your brand platform.