10 Tips for Healthcare Brand Leaders for 2019
The new year is here and with it comes the opportunity to approach your brand and the market with a refreshed sense of purpose and commitment. Here are 10 quick tips to spark thinking and guide engagement.
- Be true to your brand.
Know what makes your brand unique and why that matters to your constituents. Keep your differentiators focused and meaningful. Don’t drift away from your positioning and never dilute your most salient messages with ones that are less relevant.
- Assume nothing.
Take the guesswork out of your marketing and engage in research. Formal or informal, it’s about getting inside the mind of your different constituents and understanding their needs and perspectives. Only then can you be in the best position to help them overcome barriers.
- Always put the patient first.
Everyone says it, but few embrace this mantra on an everyday basis. It’s about doing what’s right for the people we ultimately serve and making sure that they know that not only are they being heard, but their collective voice is shaping action.
- Feedback can be good, but input is always better.
We are all trained to test. Whether it’s messaging or concept work, perceptions count. Too frequently research is performed only once initial development work is complete. Try seeking input from key constituents before creating brand communication. It informs the process and minimizes the chance of limiting creative due to trying to meet common denominators. It also is a great opportunity to show audiences you care about their views.
- Less is more.
Communicating efficiently is everything (remember this for your convention graphics).
- Don’t forget the middle.
Although it’s essential to develop relationships with practitioner thought leaders, especially as advocates and brand champions, it is equally important that once this is done, not to forget the vast majority of practitioners who are not in that position. They crave information but communicating to them may require telling your brand story in a manner that will matter to them. Sometimes the view from the top can be deceptive. Don’t assume that the triggers and level of detail are the same for all practitioners. Tell them what they need to know from their perspective.
- Keep it credible.
Credibility is the number one asset of any brand and any fragmentation can be permanently damaging. Don’t try to sway with sizzle; instead, succeed on the basis of substance. Make sure your brand is well supported by irrefutable evidence. The healthcare industry is rightly held to higher levels of accountability than many others. We can all play a role in making sure that our brands soar on their own merit.
- Integrate your brand strategy.
It’s tempting to jump into tactics. Digital and traditional outreach. Practitioner and patient tools. Corporate and investor initiatives. Commercial, medical and clinical programs. It’s much more challenging (and effective) when silos can be dissolved, and your brand strategy can be informed by an internal, multi-disciplinary team. On a corporate level, we all acknowledge we are swimming in the same direction. The leadership opportunity is to partner with others within the organization to achieve common brand objectives. Tactics will differ, as they should, based on each department’s needs, but brand strategy is the DNA that ultimately powers everyone forward.
- Empower storytelling.
Having compelling data to depict the conditions you treat and back up your brand is not optional. How you share that information can make a huge difference. Add credibility and create a more personalized engagement by enlisting patients and practitioners to communicate with their peers through meetings, videos and writing. Make sure that spokespeople are well trained and supported; this will help reinforce your brand by ensuring everyone stays on message.
- Cultivate collaboration.
Treat people well. Internally and externally. Colleagues, practitioners, patients, regulatory authorities, advocacy organizations investors and vendors. Encourage partnership and earn trust. Recognize and reward group achievement. Reinforce the adage that if you want to run fast, run alone, but if you want to run far, run together.
All of us at Acom Healthcare welcome the New Year and look forward to deepening our relationship, doing our very best work together and making each day matter.
by Jonathan D. Katz