Branding Pablum.


Mission Health, an operating division of HCA Healthcare, is based in Asheville, North Carolina, and is the state’s sixth largest health system. In 2018, for the sixth time in the past seven years, Mission Health has been named one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems by IBM Watson Health (formerly Truven Health Analytics). Mission Health is the only health system in North Carolina to achieve this recognition. Mission Health operates six hospitals, numerous outpatient and surgery centers, post-acute care provider CarePartners, long-term acute care provider Asheville Specialty Hospital and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center. With approximately 12,000 colleagues and 2,000 volunteers, Mission Health is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the people of Western North Carolina. For more information, please visit or @MissionHealthNC.

The above 130 words are an example of boilerplate copy; a wonderful exercise undertaken by PR (internal or external) to convey what a company “is” (in this case a regional healthcare provider), and some of its best characteristics. Unlike a brand strategy, boilerplate gets to be lengthy and inclusive. The problem with most boilerplate is it rarely acknowledges brand strategy. And for those not overly familiar with brand craft, brand strategy is not just for consumer packaged goods. It’s for all businesses.

The above boilerplate example does a good job of sharing company provenance, scale, along with a couple of cherry-picked “bests/onlys.” It does not explain “how” it is a good health system. The closest it gets is buried at the end “dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the people…” This sentence is the same for every health system extant. It’s marketing pablum.

What this boilerplate needs, probably in the first sentence or three is a demonstration of that so-called dedication. Branding is about claim and proof — but mostly proof. Organized proof.  While healthcare is getting better at branding but it’s still, en masse, pretty awful.

I love the challenge of messy brands. I wait by the keyboard.