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Your Hospital’s Not Special

Most of the time we spend our days helping hospitals and health systems finding a unique point of difference. Putting a finger on what makes them special and what gives patients a reason to believe. Today, we’re here to tell you what’s not special about your health care organization. And that’s the roadblocks you put in your own way. Believe it or not many of the challenges you face that are getting in the way of your brand-building initiatives have been faced before by your peers and like organizations. Here is a list of some of the most common we hear from our clients, and some tips to overcome them:

But we have so many different stakeholders and some key detractors

Solution: Communicate early, often and with structured touchpoints.

  • Have a diverse cross section represented
  • Include strong advocates
  • Listen to the squeaky wheels and collaborate to overcome barriers
  • Honor all input equally

The staff is jaded

Solution: Ease concerns and generate excitement.

  • Diffuse the fear factor that naturally accompanies change
  • Reassure that the time is ripe to optimize the brand
  • Talk about how valuable they are as a necessary part of the future
  • Prepare an internal launch plan to educate and drive positive behavior

Our physicians are demanding

Solution: Feed the wolves.

  • Enlist feedback in initial dedicated sessions and understand their pain points and pride points
  • Welcome interest and share your plan so that they know you have one, and that it includes them
  • Find quick-win solutions to meet their needs and curb larger, not-aligned initiatives, without breaking the bank (or brand)
  • Expect to make some selected modifications to fit their needs

Our system is too large and fragmented

Solution: Create a systematic plan early and refer to it often.

  • Enlist key decision-makers across the system as the plan’s steering committee
  • Identify each entity’s key roles within the plan
  • Clearly mark the key milestones
  • Celebrate success

There are other initiatives in the pipeline

Solution: Work through the white noise.

  • Conduct a frank inventory of the pipeline and assess the business needs
  • Find opportunities to combine and enhance efforts
  • Determine which projects will be better served after the branding initiative
  • Enlist the participation of a senior leader as a brand champion.

Our operations aren’t totally aligned yet

Solution: Focus on a sequencing plan starting now with what is aligned.

  • Make an assessment of what is operational today, in the mid-term and longer-term
  • Develop a sequencing plan around these stages
  • Ensure that a launch scheme can realistically reflect the stages of operation alignment

We don’t have the proper measurement capabilities in place

Solution: Identify near term success measures (while sorting out end-game metrics).

  • Don’t give up if you can’t drill down to patient appointments or visits
  • Target other conversion events within the funnel, like inquiry forms or event registration, and create benchmarks to measure performance
  • Set expectations of key performance indicators and how they will be interpreted early
  • Use out-of-the box tools that leverage pixels and site analytics to help you track them

So maybe we lied – Your organization is pretty special. Don’t let common organizational barriers get in the way of showing your publics just how special it is. If you’d like to talk about how to overcome these or any other branding barriers, drop us a line. In the mean time:


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