In Only One Word: What’s Your Edge?

cutting edge This little exercise in healthcare marketing and branding is harder than it seems.

Try this: In one word, and only one word, what is your competitive edge?

What is your practice, hospital or healthcare organization all about, and what makes you different and better than the competition? Your unique value proposition is about what you offer, how you offer it and/or whatever it is that makes you special to a specific group of patients or prospective patients. If you are allowed only one word, is it based in expertise, unique capability, training, experience or something else?

The Rules: Invest a minimum of 20 minutes. If you come up with an answer quickly, you probably haven’t considered all your options, and it may not be the right answer at all. If you come up with several answers or several words, you’re not done.

Two Hints: Begin with your 50-word elevator speech and refine the message. And, if you have more than one distinctly different audience, you may be allowed a one-word answer for each. (Although you may not need more than one.)

The Right Answer: Think of it as an equation. The answer is at the intersection of what you do extremely well and what your desired audience prizes highly. If your answer is all about you or all about them, it’s not the right answer. It’s got to fit both.

The Prize: The objective of this exercise is focus, and using brevity is a tool to discovery. Your one-word edge—and more importantly, the careful self-examination process—is the beginning of the branding process. If you’ve come up with the right answer, it will be an essential element of your marketing messages going forward.

Tell us what you discover. We’ve got a lot of experience in working through this exercise and we’d like to hear your one word answer. Give us a call and we’ll compare notes. And, read more about creating a powerful, differentiating brand for your hospital, healthcare business or practice on our website.

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer & Creative Director at Healthcare Success
Over the years Stewart has personally marketed and consulted for over 1,457 healthcare clients, ranging from private practices to multi-billion dollar corporations. Additionally, he has marketed a variety of America’s leading companies, including Citicorp, J. Walter Thompson, Grubb & Ellis, Bally Total Fitness, Wells Fargo and Chase Manhattan. Stewart co-founded our company, and today acts as Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director. He is also a frequent author and speaker on the topic of healthcare marketing. His personal accomplishments are supported by a loving wife and two beautiful daughters.



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“Despite practicing in a hyper-competitive market, our new-patient counts are double what they were for the same time period last year. Hiring Healthcare Success was one of the best business decisions I have ever made.”

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– Jonathan Calure, MD

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