Brand planning for a health systems is not easy. When weighing customer care-abouts there are few. Well actually, just one: make me healthy. And deciding how best to serve up the health system good-ats, which stakeholders tell you are many, until you ask them specifics. And they all say “It’s our quality of care.” You have to be a surgeon to extract true evidence of differentiation and superiority. Not easy.
I got into health care and health system brand work by telling a system it had a great strategy “Setting New Standards In Healthcare, but horrible execution. None of their advertising and marketing material showed the system setting new standards. Imagine that? Having a strategy then ignoring it. You know what’s worse? Not having a strategy. And even worse allowing your public image to be developed by an advertising copywriter. An advertising person who supposedly knows words but not your business.
Advent Health, a system in the southeast, uses the tagline “Feel Whole.” Part of the system’s value proposition is its commitment to “the healing ministry of Christ.” I didn’t know that until I dug deep into their website. A wholistic, spiritual approach to healthcare makes sense for Advent. I get it. I’ve worked with religious health systems before and they take their missions seriously – even to the point of not performing abortions or treating addiction. It’s not why I’d go to a hospital, but hey.
If Advent wants to heavy up on Christianity, that’s their decision. But then at least deliver it in your branding and communications. Don’t go all x-ray equipment and prescription technology on me. Spiritual wholeness is your wild card. It’s what makes you different. Celebrate it. Don’t then act like every other hospital system.
Did I mention hard?