Aligning an AMC within its Higher Education Institution in a Single Word?
Having worked with various AMCs and based on our observations of successful AMCs, here is our key marketing communication recommendation in a single word:
We’re talking consistency throughout all aspects of the total enterprise. Consistency in positioning. Consistency in branding. Consistency in personality.
Consistency in Positioning
Develop a positioning beginning with one of the things your institution does best: Research. Thorough research is a requisite step. It is not only helpful in developing a meaningful, differentiating positioning, it can be critical in helping you gain important internal buy in and support. Properly done, research can serve as the glue that binds your disparate constituencies, both academic and clinical, to your positioning and helps present a consistent forward-facing persona. And don’t be too quick to abandon your positioning at the first sign of “branding fatigue.” Instead, evolve your messages. A consistent embrace of your brand positioning is key to well-leveraged brand work across all your entities.
Consistency in Branding
Silos across and within the AMC and the higher education institution are the biggest threat to a consistent brand. The business school doesn’t look like the music school, which bears absolutely no resemblance to this year’s fundraising campaign and is not in step with the AMC. Often this extends to your brand architecture where your medical school, cancer institute, research centers and perhaps even your medical libraries all have different naming conventions, type treatments, websites and logos. The key to consistent branding is to seek out your silos across the entire academic institution and find common ground through your shared goals. Failing that, pin all of your work to a wall and invite everyone to a breakfast on branding dysfunction.
Consistency in Personality
White noise in marketing is always a topic of much discussion. Specifically, the habit of many in higher education and their AMC is to use as a default setting all-too-tired and common claims and testimonials. For example, if your AMC’s claim is that it fosters the convergence of education, research and clinical practice for the benefit of patients, then your AMC is not unique. Define your personality and stick with it. There are nuggets of gold to be found that are uniquely yours. Avoid the temptation to go with well-worn themes out of expediency or comfort. Be true to who you are at every turn and your brand will be the stronger for it.
Want to talk more about AMC branding and marketing communications? Feel free to send me an email and we’ll be happy to chat.