Is it better to brand your hospital or to brand your doctors?

One of the most valuable intangible assets of any organization is its brand. Building a strong brand is both and art and a science and it requires careful planning, a long term commitment and a creatively designed and executed marketing. A strong brand commands intense consumer loyalty which also translates into consumer willingness to pay a higher price -often 20 to 25% more than competing organizations.

Hospitals often are faced with the dilemma of whether to brand their hospital or its doctors in order to attract more patients and build its reputation. The hospital should focus its marketing resources in building a strong brand for the organization as opposed to promoting their doctors who can leave the organization, take the reputation linked to their names and use it for the benefit of another organization.  

Trust in your hospital’s brand and image helps patients decide where to seek care, where to return and who to recommend. Creating deep and lasting connections with your patients and their families grows the hospital brand, improves its public image and helps with staff acquisition and retention. Branding should be a priority for healthcare organizations for different reasons:

1. Strong healthcare brands are in control of their own destinies

 2. A clear brand positioning enhances collaboration between physicians and staff

 3. Branding ensures consistent communications  

4. Branding supports multichannel and social media initiatives

In addition, hospitals should invest resources in internal branding because it helps inform and inspire employees about brands. The brand promise of the hospital will not be delivered unless everyone in the organization lives the brand.

The Medical Tourism Association has developed several programs to help international hospitals build a strong brand and become  leaders in the global healthcare industry. The MTA Hospital Destination Guide higlights the healhcare offer of a specific hospital and represents a powerful tool to market its services to both patients and buyers of healthcare. To learn more about this program and other initiatives for healthcare providers visit: http://www.medicaltourismassociation.com/en/hospitals.html

In the competitive environment we live in, hospitals are competing at a national and international level.  As hospitals work on expansion strategies, acquire new technology and build a strong team of healthcare professionals, it is imperative to communicate and market these strengths and build a strong brand. Long-term survival and success of the hospital will depend on it.

 

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