Developing a Unified Brand for Today’s Health Care
Health Care Branding
Health care branding, like health care delivery, is in transition. The new imperative does not only include a focus on “system” branding, but on “synergy” branding as well. As providers are working to maximize value—eliminate waste, redundancy, and non-value added variation while improving quality―so too must they work to maximize the value of their brand assets. This means ensuring the multiple elements of a health care organization’s brand are working together to deliver a result that is greater than the sum of their parts—synergy branding. The strongest system brands are identified by the synergy they create through unexpected, incremental benefits to the stakeholders they serve. In the journey of branding the system and deploying it effectively, a “better together” mentality must take hold across the organization.
A great example of creating this “better together” mentality is what Scripps Health has accomplished since 2010. In an effort to identify and remove non-value added variation, Scripps CEO Chris Van Gorder initiated a major revamp of his organization. First, he introduced an innovative horizontal management and organizational structure. Then, the teams at Scripps began working together to redesign the entire patient experience—ER, surgical services, imaging, primary care, specialty care, and more. The goal of “One Scripps” was to reduce unnecessary variation and duplication of effort while simultaneously improving patient care. The results have been impressive. In the period of 2010-2012, Scripps identified $141 million in savings.
Driven by their new strategic imperatives, Scripps then embarked on a deep dive into the brand with a goal of evolving from a well-regarded regional health care system to the unquestionable provider of choice in Southern California and beyond. To accomplish this, they focused on making sure that brand elements were aligned to create powerful results.
Scripps began the process by conducting an in-depth brand assessment and research effort, which uncovered a lack of central focus and gravity in its messaging. Scripps also found that their branding had become fragmented, with a brand portfolio that was out of sync with its “One Scripps” vision. The solution?
- Align the strategic direction and brand elements in an orchestrated way to advance business objectives
- Adopt a clear, focused brand platform (promise, positioning, pillars, and attributes)
- Create a brand architecture and naming system guided by a master brand strategy
- Embrace a vibrant, engaging design system to ensure clear, consistent expression of their new story throughout all touchpoints
- Use interactive message maps to ensure on-brand communications
- Roll out employee engagement initiatives to ensure delivery of on-brand experiences
- Implement a powerful new external communications campaign
The results drove a reduction of duplication, inefficiency, and waste; an increased impact and effectiveness of all brand assets and communications; and created an atmosphere where brand comes up in conversation naturally throughout the organization. With the new, unified Scripps brand, the sum is now truly greater than the individual parts and the organization is reaping the rewards of synergy branding.
Lynne Field, Strategy Director, will be presenting on this topic at the Healthcare Marketing and Physicians Strategy Summit April 30 – May 2, 2014, in Orlando, Florida. To learn more about our 40 years’ of health care branding experience visit our website.
Kim Hofland is Monigle’s Senior Marketing Director and one of our health care branding experts.