Leveraging your healthcare branding was the topic of a recent health marketing presentation in Nashville, Tennessee.  The speakers were Janell Moerer, SVP & CMO Centura Health; Kristen Wevers, SVP & CMO UC Health; Philip Guillano of Brand Active; and David Perry, Perry IQ.

Here are some great observations from the panel:

Why healthcare branding matters.   Healthcare providers are viewed by consumers and patients as commodities.  Therefore differentiation becomes key. What healthcare brands stand for and why it matters is a key differentiator between competitors.  Brand is much more than the name of your hospital.  Your name alone is just one component of your brand.  The power of your brand includes identity, recognition, and goodwill.  Not just among consumers, but your employees.

The power of your hospital branding.   Without a brand that is clearly definable, you cannot properly clarify your brand attributes and benefits to your consumer market.   Marketing is a valuable, strategic asset that has a major role at your organization’s table.  The challenge is for your marketing team to being perceived as a strategic value asset  — not just  order-takers for brochures or billboards.

Brand building in healthcare.   Brand building starts from the inside-out.  Hospital leaders must know the importance of branding and embrace it as a strategic, not just marketing, initiative. To a great degree, healthcare brand building is still in its infancy.  You and your team can play a vital role in educating consumers and your internal team on the value of your brand.  A healthy brand can translate into greater patient loyalty, more referrals, and increased revenue.

Branding Clearance.   Sometimes brand identity and roll-out hits roadblocks.  One healthcare system realized late in the process that it had potential legal troubles with its rebranding.  The result?  Wasted time and costs.  That is why the brand and marketing teams should align with experienced trademark counsel early in the branding process to avoid surprises.

Branding consultant partners.  The importance of good branding consulting partners cannot be underestimated.  Great partners help drive the execution of the strategic plan.  Chief Marketing Offers do not have time to be an expert in all branding niches.  This includes the specialties of brand protection and brand risk awareness training.  Many CMOs are now big fans of shared learning.  This is peer-to-peer education and training that can increase your team’s knowledge and skill sets.  Trainers can be resourced either internally or through outside consultants.

The takeaway.  Your healthcare brand is your number one asset.  Used correctly, it can increase customer awareness, differentiate you from competitors, and drive economic results.   Start making your hospital branding stronger today through effective risk management and value capture solutions.