Hospital brand ambassador programs are growing popularity.   This was the subject of a compelling presentation by Kristen Bowser, Director of Communications and Kelly Kavanaugh, VP and Chief Strategy Officer of Dayton Children’s Hospital.

The presentation covered the following areas:

  •  how to implement a brand ambassador’s program
  •  leverage a team of employees to implement and communicate significant changes impacting culture
  •  sustain your brand ambassador program and measure its success

The Challenge.  Brand has become of primary importance to Dayton Children’s Hospital due to competition becoming more fierce in the region.  Dayton Children’s Hospital recognized the following problems with their brand:

  • brand position not aligned to brand aspiration among fierce competition
  • brand attributes not clearly perceived
  • brand identity (no controls over brand standards and multiple sub-brands and logos)

Any change with brand identity includes investment in brand and change management.  This included identifying outdated materials, creating new branded employee uniforms and merchandise, and to promote the new brand identity internally.  There are typical problems with employees when discussing brand:

  • negativity about new brand initiatives
  • lack of understanding about the new brand identity and the purpose of it
  • reluctance to embrace change

Why a Hospital Brand Ambassador program?   There are several reasons to implement a brand ambassador program.   One is to align employees around the big “B” and little “b” of your brand.  Brand ambassadors are in every department and will be your biggest advocates.  Brand ambassador programs begin with:

  • senior leadership and buy-in.
  • CEO asks directors to nominate staff for brand ambassadors from each unit
  • job description given to leadership and candidate employees

Brand ambassadors are your identity communication advocates.  They are empowered to:

  • be called-in in moments of brand reputation crisis
  • help to communicate and educate employees how to be promoters of the brand
  • raise awareness and pride in your mission

Additional learnings.

  • brand is bottom to top: employees, physicians, and consumers.
  • every interaction impacts your brand, your brand is always changing.
  • your brand starts with your employees

Your health of your hospital’s brand can be positively influenced through implementing a brand ambassador program.  Benefits of an effective program include greater brand equity, positive shift in brand perception, and greater competitive advantage.