While it might feel like COVID-19 has changed everything when it comes to health and care, it hasn’t impacted the core of what it means to deliver human brand experiences. In fact, there has never been a more important time to stay true to your humanizing brand strategy, purpose, and positioning. Don’t be fooled into making a quick fix as a reaction to COVID-19—if you were doing the work to humanize your brand pre-pandemic, those actions, values, and commitments continue to be just as essential today.

Learn More: Humanizing Your Brand – A Guidebook

With so much at stake, it’s time for healthcare brands to double down on ensuring every experience, effort, and message ties back to a single, unifying brand positioning. This is what will rally your employees and teams and what will define your consumers’ experiences.



Ingredients for a powerful brand positioning

There are many approaches to defining a best-in-class brand positioning most focused on relevance, differentiation, authenticity, and stretchiness. Today’s world requires that our criteria go a level deeper to ensure that we can make the right impact on the audiences with whom we hope to engage and build deep relationships:

  • Connects to and serves a core human desire or need, both within (internal employee culture) and without (consumer, patient experience) the organization–this is next-level authenticity as it ties to fundamentals of our humanity.
  • Inspires an ecosystem of opportunities through which internal and external audiences can achieve or become something bigger or more elevated (think Nike enabling you to find the athlete within)—this is future-proofing for the brand and the enterprise.
  • Empowers people to convey a shared value or meaning in their choice and use of the brand—this is badging but with reciprocity in mind—this is about brand as community-builder.
  • Establishes salience within a societal context such that the brand can simultaneously serve the needs of the individual but also orients itself to delivering benefits for the collective—this is about taking an elevated role within the category or industry.

Put yourself to the test right now: can you answer what that brand idea is across your organization? What about if you asked ten other people, across different teams and departments, to tell you what it is? Would they all say the same thing? Or would their responses vary and diverge? If you or your people are unable to clearly and meaningfully report what exactly your brand is all about, it’s time to get to work. We know this is adding another thing to your plate during an already busy year. But it’s truly never been more important.


Learn More: Living at the Intersection of Brand Purpose and Culture


And remember, we’re not talking about running a new ad campaign. Brand goes deeper than that.

What you should be focused on at this time is the heart of your organization—the core of what you care about and what impact you want to make on the world. Get that right, and the rest will fall into place.

Interested in learning more about how consumer needs have (and haven’t!) changed as they’ve navigated healthcare through the pandemic?

Check out Humanizing Brand Experience Vol 4, available now! Informed by more than 30,000 consumers and with rankings of more than 200+ brands, this year’s report is the deepest, most comprehensive and clearest pre-post COVID-19 view of consumer, brand and experience needs in the healthcare industry.

Justin Wartell
November 1, 2021 By Justin Wartell