Branding in the traditional sense is expected to generate more awareness and thereby more customers having an orientation to buy the product.
Applied to a tertiary care heart hospital this could mean telling customers about your great facilities and doctors and asking them to visit you for surgeries. It would also imply that you want more customers to have heart problems that would lead to more surgeries and business for you! It is therefore needless to add that traditional communication does not really work when you have to promote a hospital, clinic or nursing home.
Let’s see if direct communication principles would work here instead. While running various direct marketing programs for a car company, you could send a mailer telling them about the features of the new car that your company may be launching. If applied directly here it could mean “Please visit us again for your next heart surgery” or a “Great limited offer with 25% discount for your next surgery. Act Now”.
These offers don’t just sound ridiculous, they could be very hurtful instead. A nursing home recently sent a birthday card to a patient who had expired a month back! Does this mean that branding a healthcare facility is impossible? Not at all! Several healthcare facilities have shown us the difference branding can make in developing a successfull healthcare business. Successful branding for a hospital is a function of Sensitivity and Empathy. It is about communicating care through your staff, facility and collateral.