Healthcare Leaders: Is It Time to Rebrand?

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Branding encompasses much more than just a hospital’s logo and digital presence. It also weaves together the hospital’s message and mission statement. If your hospital or health system’s branding does not resonate with either the community’s needs or the leadership team’s strategic goals, you may wish to consider rebranding. A rebrand involves taking the existing brand and altering its message or appearance to better connect with the organization and community.

As the healthcare industry continues to develop into a space defined by consumerism and choice, the opportunity for hospitals and health systems to attract patients and/or funding through a strategic rebrand increases. However, this opportunity is accompanied by challenges. Particularly, how do healthcare leaders decide whether rebranding is a worthwhile initiative or one that will simply demand too much from their budget? Read on to discover a few tell-tale signs that it might be time to rebrand, as well as some reminders to help support the decision.

According to HealthLeaders Media, there are three primary reasons healthcare organizations choose to rebrand:

Promoting an affiliation. Whether or not the current brand is suffering, an affiliation (existing or newly developed) with a more renowned hospital could improve a hospital’s public image. Releasing a name change or discovering another method to draw attention to the partnership could create a favorable impact and increased market share.

Publicizing service expansion. If the healthcare organization develops a new strategic goal, expands to include a new specialty or department, or merges with another hospital or health system, a rebrand could publicly promote the change and indicate the organization’s purposeful direction.

Emphasizing their concentration. Recent healthcare reform has transformed “health” into a buzzword. Many hospitals are aligning with this vision, swapping the word “hospital” for “health,” and finding that it better portrays their mission. Even if a language shift doesn’t include the word “health,” a smart rebrand aligns the hospital’s emphasis with its message—ensuring brand integrity.

No matter the motivation for rebranding, there are a few important items to consider before committing to the journey. A strategic rebrand should be based on solid, extensive research with stakeholders and hospital leadership. It’s also important to involve marketing executives to help with the decision-making process; they add an additional level of integral expertise. Finally, it is essential that staff members advocate the new messaging; for the external rebrand to be successful, key constituents must help champion the process.

Remember, shifting the perceptions about a hospital or health system will not happen overnight. This process may take several years or more, so everyone must be willing to commit the necessary resources and revenue.

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