Thursday, January 8, 2009

Brand 2.0: Growing "Brand Roots" in Health Care

I want to try a vegetable garden this spring, so I bought a ready-made kit to get some small plants rooted this winter. And naturally, that made me think of the next wave of health care branding! Seriously. Establishing “brand roots” is Brand 2.0 – brand management in health care.

While marketing communicators can’t control every aspect of the customer experience, we can help to establish “brand roots” throughout the organization to nurture the living, breathing brand. A brand position is not an end in itself; it needs continuous feeding, care, maybe even some pruning, to keep it alive, energized and growing.

This organic process means helping employees answer questions like:

-- What does our brand mean in my daily routine?
-- What if I don’t even work with patients or the public? How do I “live the brand”?
-- What do I do if I see a gap between our brand promise and a patient’s experience?
Who do I turn to? Is there a way to bridge these gaps?

For the marketing communications team, this brand-building process moves the profession into an entirely new arena. No longer the “brochure people,” you are the “keepers of the flame” – or the gardeners who work diligently behind the scenes, nurturing, guiding and encouraging brand growth.

Share Your Experiences!
What are you doing in your hospital or in your role in health care to build brand roots? Have you tried new approaches that have been successful? Have you found obstacles? What are they and what are your next steps? We’d love to hear from any fellow gardeners out there!

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