How healthy is your corporate brand? Answer these 3 questions.

In the healthcare industry, much attention is paid to product brands. It’s logical. The product brand is responsible for driving sales. It’s where you need to establish brand loyalty. But what about your corporate brand?

Your corporate brand can be pivotal. It can live a longer lifetime than product brands. It can gain strength from the collective success of multiple brands. It can be used as leverage when assessing value, partnering opportunities or exit strategies. And, if successful and relevant, it can be instrumental in influencing the industry.

Jeff Bezos, entrepreneur and founder of has said, “a brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”

Ultimately, the challenges a company embraces stem from unmet needs. The research and development of solutions, the commitment to working collaboratively with key audiences, the way employees are inspired to contribute all empower the company to succeed. Like product brands, corporate brands communicate promises and set expectations. Like product brands, the success or failure of a corporate brand directly correlates to how well those expectations are met – among investors, practitioners, patients, regulatory authorities and payers.

Here are three core questions you can address to assess the overall health of your corporate brand.

1. What is your corporate brand promise?

What differentiates your company and why does it matter? What expectations are you setting with your brand? If you were to gather senior management, your sales force, existing customers and target customers in a room and asked them to jot down on a piece of paper what your company is all about, how many different answers would you have? The goal is to have one, clear, unshakable, unequivocal answer. Anything less and your corporate brand is compromised.

2. Have you committed to your corporate brand internally?

Have you put the corporate brand to work at work? Your corporate brand should permeate human resources. Every employee, no matter their title or role, should be challenged to bring the corporate brand to life through their day-to-day interaction. And management must communicate through the voice of the corporate brand consistently, earnestly, and compellingly. Anything less and your corporate brand is compromised.

3. Are you using your corporate brand to its fullest potential?

Your corporate brand provides a unique opportunity. If built deliberately, it can form a foundation to support an array of core initiatives. From investor relations to public relations, to clinical trial recruitment to medical affairs, to advocacy outreach, to community citizenship, to industry involvement, it is your corporate brand that can convey your company’s relevance and value. Your corporate brand should be deployed across all these types of communication. Anything less and your corporate brand is compromised.

The simple truth is that corporate brands are often overlooked or underestimated by the very management teams responsible for maximizing their value. Those within the industry who do appreciate the role of the corporate brand and make the appropriate commitment in keeping it robust and meaningful generally lead or contribute to companies that garner admiration for their success. The product brands matter. They add tremendous value and command investment. The key is not committing solely at the product level or at the expense of the corporate brand.

by Jonathan D. Katz