What’s the first brand you think of when you read the word “coffee”? If you thought of Starbucks, this just goes to show how strong of a brand Starbucks is. Whether you’re a coffee drinker or not, chances are you thought of Starbucks and this is largely due to the fact that Starbucks has established a strong brand recall and brand resonance.
As marketers, our jobs are to take a brand and figure out the best way to make consumers emotionally and psychologically connect with it. In other words, having a strong brand resonance will not only help build relationships with consumers, but it’ll also move the needle from brand purchase to brand loyalty, increasing revenue overall. In fact, according to Forbes, “The main benefit of branding tools, and reason to employ them, is to boost profits.” In such a large and complicated industry like healthcare, this concept remains the same as hospitals, too, strive to relate to patients in an attempt to increase revenue.
Here are the four steps of brand building that every healthcare marketer should achieve:
- Brand Salience. In order for a brand to have salience, it must be relevant and of importance to a consumer. For any brand to matter, it needs to have an identity that will satisfy the needs of the consumer to a certain extent. Healthcare is an industry that automatically has brand salience because healthcare is a necessity for most.
- Performance and Imagery. After a brand has established relevancy, it needs to perform to provide reliability. While performing, it also needs to have an element of imagery to it. Whether it’s the style and design of the brand or its values, businesses need to deliver results and imagery to consumers. In healthcare, performance simply looks like the act of providing care. Having a list of service lines offered at a hospital shows consumers what it is that your brand does. Imagery can look like a set of values that your hospital abides by.
- Judgement and Feelings. The third step to brand building is how your consumers feel about your brand. Do they deem you as a credible brand? Consumers are constantly judging healthcare by posting online reviews, giving testimonials or word-of-mouth. Healthcare brands can positively influence this step by providing consistent, high quality and compassionate care.
- Brand Resonance. Finally, a strong brand will gain a customer’s loyalty. It will connect with customers in a deep way by providing customers with an emotional or psychological element to resonate with. This will encourage consumers to keep the brand on top-of-mind. Healthcare marketers strive to appeal to pathos and relate with customers by producing heartwarming patient testimonials. Every person has either been in a hospital or has had a loved one at a hospital, so brand resonance is certainly achievable if every step is in place.
As you can see, resonance is the ultimate goal in branding. Having consumers recognize and relate to your brand will motivate them to incorporate it into their lives. In healthcare, we are selling a service that most people don’t want to buy, so having a brand that stands out and impacts lives is an essential element of the business overall.
Did you enjoy this post? Learn more about how the four types of market segmentation apply to healthcare in my last post.