The Singularity of Hospital Branding Success

By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer

If today’s patient–now an informed consumer–isn’t at the center of your branding universe, you don’t have an effective brand.

In the rarified world of physics and mathematics, “singularity” is a point at which a function takes an infinite value. Sci-fi readers find the term applied to “space-time when matter is infinitely dense, as at the center of a black hole.”

And, for those of us doing battle for top-of-mind branding and brand recognition, hospitals and doctors need to find and communicate the infinite value “singularity” that declares why or how you are recognizable, different and better than the competition.

Unfortunately, many providers and hospitals are slow to accept the sweeping changes in healthcare, clinging to “old school” traditional attitudes and systems that (a) fail to effectively differentiate their brand, and (b) fail to fully embrace today’s consumer-oriented society as a business fact-of-life.

Lessons in success…

Insightful large enterprises and main street stores understand that consumers expect them to cater to the needs of the paying customer. And the best of the brands that consumers like you and I want to do business with are, first and foremost, customer-centric. For example, what comes to your mind with the mention of:

  • AMAZON points to its “customer experience culture” as a primary factor in its success. Amazon has no stores, but it’s bigger than Walmart.
  • An army of fanatical followers and loyal customers follow APPLE and its consumer electronics products. Its billions in market capitalization exceed the GDP of hundreds of countries.
  • STARBUCKS sells coffee, but hundreds of other vendors do, also. It’s reasonable to conclude that Starbucks’ success is more the product of the unique customer’s experience than the beverage.

Who is at the center of your hospital brand?

Many, if not most, hospitals and health systems communicate the patient-focus concept of caring in their tagline. And in fairness, most providers strive for a culture of concern and satisfaction. But an assembly line legacy still exists below the surface. The old school hospital foundation was built on satisfaction for their doctors, and for the operating convenience of the facility.

Marketing savvy doctors and truly innovative hospital communicators are working to reinvent healthcare’s delivery system as a customer-focused service product. Giant ships take miles to turn, and old ways are glacially slow to change.

But the singular concept that will eventually lead to success in branding is for healthcare to steer away from being operational driven. This requires a completely fresh perspective, a blank piece of paper, and delivering a uniquely superior product rooted in what the consumer needs and wants.

As the nation’s health care system continues to redefine its place and purpose, and as medical competition continues to intensify, a critical change factor is that consumers have choices. Patients get a meaningful vote. They recognize exactly what they want and what kind of experience they truly appreciate.

Unlike any time in the past, the singularity of success in hospital branding puts the patient at the center of infinite value.

We’d like to hear what you think, and we welcome your comments. And for related resources, connect with the following articles. Or connect with us today for a confidential conversation.

Stewart Gandolf, MBA

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.



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