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Strategic branding is an invaluable tool in this digital era where patients are more knowledgeable about their health and can choose healthcare options online.

It helps healthcare organizations nurture relationships with patients, cultivating loyalty, trust, and a good reputation in an already saturated market.

Note that the modern patient is hardly fazed by an institution’s flashy lighting or doctor credentials. Instead, they’re keen on their experience at the healthcare institution.

They’ll look for brands that intrigue them creatively, emotionally, and in a sensorial way.

A survey by Deloitte found that 55% of the respondents couldn’t trust their healthcare provider after a negative experience. In fact, four out of five of the patients vowed never to return to the same provider.

This only shows how important it is to create a positive experience for every patient, and branding is an excellent starting point. We’ve developed this guide to help you go about healthcare branding.

What is Healthcare Branding?

Healthcare branding is the process of establishing a reliable and credible identity that leaves a lasting impression on your patients.

It goes beyond having a well-designed logo or a catchy tagline; rather, it’s about creating a meaningful connection between your patients and your values and vision.

Healthcare branding helps shape the perception of your current and prospective patients and cultivate trust. Trust has a significant impact across different industries, but in the healthcare industry, it’s the cornerstone of running a successful business.

Why Healthcare Branding is Important

Healthcare institutions interact with customers who look for affordability, convenience, and easy access to healthcare services.

However, these factors aren’t enough; quality care and empathy are critical to establishing trust and loyalty with potential customers. Patients want to feel cared for, and how you come across helps them think this way.

Branding creates this perception, hence a vital tool for attracting and retaining customers. Other reasons why healthcare branding is essential are:

Develops Trust and Credibility

A well-established brand cultivates trust and credibility with its patients. Patients perceive you as dependable and, hence, are more likely to choose you over other providers.

Enjoy a Large Market Share

A good brand perception makes capturing a sizeable market share easy over time. Patients are more likely to refer you to their family and friends because they trust you.

Increased Loyalty

Patients look for healthcare institutions they perceive as caring and empathetic. Branding helps drive this message to existing customers, and when you deliver on this promise, they’re inclined to become loyal.

Gives you a Competitive Edge

Effective branding helps you stand out from competitors in an already saturated healthcare industry. It’s a great way to distinguish your services, approaches, or specialties, making attracting patients looking for specific care easy.

Increases Patient Acquisition

Most patients now rely on online reviews to find a healthcare provider. As such, if your patients have been giving negative feedback about your services, the chances of attracting new patients are slim to none.

However, if you’ve had a good reputation and positive brand perception, your patients are likely to write positive reviews that attract other customers to try out your services.

How to Create a Healthcare Brand

Developing a brand for your institution is essential regardless of your organization’s journey. Here are steps to guide you when developing one:

1.   Research the Market

The first step is conducting thorough market research about your potential customers and competitors. The data collected helps you understand your customers’ expectations and brand’s position compared to your competitors and tailor your brand’s identity to them.

2.   Establish a Brand Position

Next, establish a brand position in the market. This calls for a clear purpose, distinguishing yourself from competitors, and cultivating a sense of community. The first step should help you understand all such dynamics and develop a unique image in your audience’s mind.

Once you define your brand’s position, every stakeholder involved in building your brand can define what sets you apart, who you are, why you matter, and how you help. Careful consideration of these elements lays the groundwork for unique brand positioning.

3.   Develop a Brand Identity

The next step is developing an identity that distinguishes you from your competitors. A healthcare organization must create an identity that captures the audience’s attention and fosters patient trust. To achieve this, you’ll need to focus on:

  • Brand voice: Think about how your customers perceive your voice. Do you want to come off as playful, authoritative, or sympathetic? This decision affects how your brand connects with the audience
  • Products and services: Point out the specific needs your medical services meet
  • Unique selling point: Find out what differentiates your brand from your competitors. Emphasize these aspects and showcase them to your target audience
  • Target audience: Define your audience and find out why they trust your brand. Understand their needs and how your brand meets or fulfills them
  • Brand values: Lastly, embed every aspect of your brand’s values into the patient’s experience. Every interaction with your customer must reflect those values and create a consistent and positive response


4.   Market Your Brand

Marketing cements your brand’s position. You could launch a marketing campaign to put your brand out there and inform your potential audience of your existence.

An effective marketing campaign should be human-centric and find a balance between brand marketing and demand marketing.

5.   Evaluate the Brand’s Impact

Beyond developing a healthcare brand, finding out if it’s effective. Have you influenced your target audience and the larger market?

Metrics such as patient loyalty, positive feedback through surveys and physical interactions, as well as patient satisfaction can help determine if your healthcare branding campaign is effective.

6.   Optimize Patient Experience

A patient’s experience impacts your brand directly. The above metrics can help you determine if your patient has had a satisfactory experience and aspects that need improving.

Use the feedback to improve the patients’ experience and encourage them to visit your healthcare facility. In case of negative reviews, you want to address all such concerns gracefully to avoid losing potential customers.

How SimPaul Design Helps You Develop a Healthcare Brand Strategy

Having a healthcare brand can’t be overstated. It’s an excellent way to foster trust and loyalty with potential customers, especially in an industry that relies on the two elements to grow. Remember, patient experiences are merely transactional; they are about offering quality care and empathizing with the patient’s needs. If you’ve been finding it challenging to develop a healthcare brand for your institution, you can always liaise with experts from Simpaul Design.

Paul Simiyu

Founder and Team Lead of Simpaul Design, a brand strategy and design agency in Nairobi, Kenya. Here at Simpaul Design, we work with brands across various categories with a focus on connecting with consumers and building brands that people want to be a part of. We specialize in brand identity and strategy, UX/UI, and brand transformation.

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