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The Value Of Branding In Health Care

1578 words - 6 pages

The value of branding in health care.

What is branding? Branding has been advocated as a potentially successful response to heightened market concentration; it offers the possibilities of centralized control and format standardization, and an added value or cost driven strategy can be used to differentiate the retail offering and reinforce market positioning. Brands provide informational cues for buyers about the store's merchandise quality, and favourable images of brands positively influence patronage decisions." Successful retail branding can provide a form of "insulation" against price competition and states: "Where the store brand name is itself a brand name based on a quality appeal, it will be easier to position the own brand as a premium product under the same name" (Schmidt, R., & Pioch, E., 2005). Further as consumers, we tend to think about brands as symbols like the Nike swoosh or McDonald’s golden arches; the working definition of a brand is broader. A brand is usually defined as a name, logo, symbol, words, or combination of these, intended to distinguish a particular company’s offerings from those of competitors. In this sense, the modern use of the word “brand” harkens back to its older meaning which is a distinguishing mark or burn to identify wine, livestock or other commodities by their owner (Koehn, N., 2013).

The value of branding in healthcare is very important because the changes happening in health care today will put a new premium on strong and trusted brands. As health care leaders, we recognize the value of great brands in this sector such as the Cleveland Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, or Mayo Clinic. Strong brands can play such important roles, including creating strategic and thus financial value, because they serve as critical relationships between institutions and their stakeholders. As payment models shift to fee-for-value from fee-for-service, patients and referring clinicians are increasingly motivated to shop for quality care at the most affordable cost. The government is demanding and patients are expecting new levels of transparency in these areas. Hospitals are advertising their quality rankings and patient satisfaction scores on NPR and in local papers, in an effort to differentiate themselves in competitive markets. Against this changing landscape, the creation of institution’s brand must be a central component of the ongoing strategy (Koehn et al., 2013).Therefore, advertising alone can’t carry a brand. Kaiser’s strategy was to make consumers comfortable with their brand and their values through the Thrive campaign so they would be open to their intellectual messages on why Kaiser Permanente is the best choice for them. This strategy, delivered through other forms of marketing and communications, involves expanding Kaiser’s messaging about their integrated delivery system and why Kaiser believes that they are the model for the future of health care (Lofgren, D. & Cantu, D., 2010). In...

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