It’s an unprecedented era of challenge for healthcare providers, at a time when some of the biggest disease burdens are reaching their highest levels, and growing still.
But amongst that backdrop, there are some vital signs of life: technology and digital tools are helping to empower patients, who are taking a more active interest and control over their own health, and data is helping healthcare providers offer smarter, tailored and timely responses to their challenges.
As the need for better quality and access to care grows, and the landscape continues to evolve and shift, brand-building is going to be vital to business performance, both in B2C and B2B sectors, giving more than just product and service differentiation, but a catalyst for innovation and improved experiences and outcomes for all.
Here are five key things we’ve learnt the growing importance of, in our work with healthcare brands across the world.
Defining your brand’s guiding purpose is ever-more critical, helping to bring your workforce together behind a clear reason for doing what you do. It’s not just a nice to have piece of marketing, it should be the thing that inspires teams to stretch and evolve what you do, for the benefit of both your business and your audience.
We don’t have to look too far for a story that highlights how important data privacy is. In healthcare, more and more providers will have access to very personal data. A strong brand reputation is a tool for trust, but brands will have to be increasingly clear how they are using data for the good of the consumer and how they matter the most.
To meet the future demands of healthcare, we’ll all need ideas, creativity and talent. Brand is the battleground for attracting and retaining the right talent: you need a strong purpose and culture, and good storytelling to grow and power up your workforce to deliver the best thinking and business-driving delivery. Even more importantly, the challenge is in ensuring everyone understands and uses the brand in their role.
Healthcare brands are increasingly looking to design thinking to improve and innovate: a process that starts with truly understanding your end user and ensuring that insight and input plays a role throughout the process of designing products and services. Empathy is everything: how well do you really know your audience?
Your brand at its core is made up of all the experiences it creates: but those experiences need to be designed and delivered in a consistent and meaningful way. Experience design is the hot topic for healthcare brands, to ensure that everything they do is people-focused and purposeful.