Saturday, December 20, 2014

Branding and the Health Care Revolution

Increased dominance of chronic illness. Emerging issues in medical ethics. Increased consumerism. Artificial intelligence in medical diagnosis. Increased access to clinical knowledge. Self-diagnosis, self-monitoring and self-medication. Electronic medical records. Telemedicine. Medical tourism. Third party payer mix. Shifting power between physicians, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and medical device companies. The increasing unaffordability of health care. Health care reform. Value-based health care. Hot spotting. Cost accountability. Bundled payments. Point-of-care medical payments. Children’s Health Insurance Program. State insurance exchanges. Medical malpractice and tort reform. Robotics in health care. Remote monitoring. Gene therapy. Replacement organs. Designer antibodies. Genomics and the prediction of disease. Proactive disease prevention. Health promotion. Personalized medicine. Integrated and Eastern medicine. Wellness centers. Federally qualified health centers. Medical offices in chain drug stores. Retail medical clinics. Concierge medicine. Ambulatory surgery centers. Specialized hospitals. Increasing role of physician assistants and nurse practitioners. The fate of traditional hospitals. Are we in the business of medical care or health care?

With all of this in flux, one has to step back and ask, what is our brand? What does it stand for? What business are we in? Are we serving the right customer? Are we meeting the needs of the end consumer? Have we even identified our primary customers with forethought and wisdom? What products and services will the brand umbrella five years from now? What value is our brand delivering in the industry’s value chain? Are we delivering at least a good value for the price paid? Which of our brands do consumers recognize and what do those brands mean to them? Does our brand have a unique value proposition? What is our brand’s promise and are we consistently delivering on that promise?

In the rapidly changing health care environment, it is important to reinvent and strengthen the brand through the following strategic thinking process:
  • Brand equity measurement/brand research
  • Revisiting mission, vision and values
  • Revisiting the brand position (target customer definition and brand essence, promise, archetype and personality)
  • Identifying the products and services that the brand will umbrella

From these, you can create a new brand identity, elevator speech, advertising campaign and other marketing communication. You can also rally and align your health care professionals in support of the brand.  And, you can redesign your customer touch points to become more consumer-centric and to better deliver on the brand promise.

I wish you great success in navigating the turbulent waters of the health care revolution. Don’t forget the importance of your brand in helping you in this endeavor.

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