Is it Time for a New Healthcare Brand – Or a Rebrand?
Have your products, services, or target audience evolved to the point where they no longer align with your brand?
Has your health brand become lost in a sea of sameness?
Do your marketing assets feel stale and out of touch with your audience?
Did your business neglect to establish proper healthcare branding from the beginning?
Whether your current branding isn’t servicing your business anymore or your brand has evolved beyond your existing branding—it’s time for a rebrand.
Most brands evolve every three to ten years, but healthcare rebranding doesn’t have to be scary or daunting.
The healthcare industry is evolving, too, so it’s crucial to stay ahead of emerging trends—like the rise of healthcare consumerism and the intrinsic value of creating a positive patient experience—or risk falling behind your competition.
Healthcare rebranding is the process of reshaping how target consumers perceive your business and can include everything from your brand perception, name, and tagline to your logo and visual identity to your healthcare website and marketing assets.
Here are five signs it might be time for your business to consider healthcare rebranding.
Growing pains are normal in any successful business. What may have been your ideal consumer five years ago may no longer fit within your evolving business goals or offerings.
Whether you're targeting a new audience or notice a shift in your existing target market, a rebrand might be necessary to attract and convert your updated target audiences.
Being responsive to and aligning your brand values and personality to the current market can help differentiate your brand and keep it relevant for your ideal clientele.
Everything you do with your healthcare marketing materials, messaging, and strategy should pique their interest, fit current trends, and lay the groundwork for future growth.
Healthcare consumers will associate your logo, imagery, typography, and messaging with your products or services and their benefits.
Today’s healthcare businesses face new and aggressive competition on multiple fronts. In addition to their traditional, long-standing competitors, healthcare organizations must compete with large brands determined to improve access, ease provider coordination, and make care more affordable as consumers continue to take greater responsibility for their overall health.
These market disruptors generally have large marketing budgets and are willing to spend that budget on web design, sleek graphics, search engine optimization (SEO), and more.
That’s why it’s crucial to differentiate your brand and its offerings. Healthcare organizations must ensure they’re meeting their target audience’s wants and needs—and building much-needed trust and loyalty.
Healthcare branding is more than just communications and marketing collateral. It is the sum total of a patient’s experience.
However, keeping your logos, colors, graphics, and typography aligned with evolving consumer preferences and cultural and societal expectations keeps your brand fresh, modern, and approachable.
If the way your branding looks and feels doesn’t match the demographics of your target audience, you’re likely losing business.
By understanding what motivates and concerns healthcare consumers and rebranding your marketing collateral to align with them, you can more effectively attract, engage, and convert a larger number of high-value patients.
For example, the weight loss industry has undergone a major branding shift in recent years. Long gone are the days of focusing on the act of losing weight. Instead, weight loss companies lean on messages around health, fitness, and feeling your best—all aligned with today’s cultural preferences.
Addressing the changing needs of your target market is one of the most important reasons for healthcare rebranding.
Over time, your target audience can change—whether from shifts in the health market, consumer behavior, or within the business itself.
If your audience has evolved, it’s time to evolve with them. A rebrand can help your healthcare business shift focus through updated visuals and messaging that better reflects its new strategic direction.
Common reasons your target audience may change include
- Your target audience is too small to generate adequate profits.
- Your target audience is too diffused to market effectively.
- Your target audience does not have sufficient buying power.
- It’s time to expand your products and services and engage a new target audience.
When this happens, your business must reposition itself to align with the values and interests of your new target audience, and a rebrand is the best way to do this effectively.
Warren Buffet once said it takes years to build a positive brand reputation and only five minutes to ruin it. I couldn’t agree more.
Bad reviews, poor publicity, and negative word-of-mouth are all reasons to change your philosophy and reintroduce your business.
However, rebranding your business will not change the root cause of your reputation issues. Before embarking on any rebranding efforts, you must first look within your business and correct the issues causing it.
Rebranding can be a great way to separate your brand from negativity, help consumers see you in a new light, and regrow brand loyalty.
Partnering with a specialized health marketing or healthcare branding agency can help you reshape, reimagine, and reposition your brand for growth.
While every branding project is unique, here are some of the key steps our agency typically recommends for healthcare branding and rebranding
Before beginning any successful rebranding effort, healthcare businesses must first have a deep understanding of their current brand, its identity, values, and market presence.
It is crucial to examine all of these elements (and more) through the lens of their desired target audience and identify ways to better align with patient or potential customer values and their own evolving business goals.
Budget permitting, remember that the best rebranding efforts begin with researching the current perceptions of both your internal stakeholders and external audiences. Both quantitative and qualitative research can help guide your strategy or repositioning to ensure your new or refreshed healthcare brand will resonate with customer needs and market opportunities.
To ensure healthcare rebranding success, businesses must clearly identify the “Why?” behind it. Setting specific, measurable goals will keep your rebranding strategy on track. To get started, ask yourself these questions
- Do you want to increase patient (or HCP or customer) trust and loyalty?
- Are you expanding your products and services?
- Do you want to target an audience with more buying power?
- Do you want to differentiate your brand and stand out?
Clearly identifying your target audience is fundamental because it will drive all rebranding decisions. You must consider the needs, wants, and preferences of patients, healthcare professionals, referring physicians, and other internal and external stakeholders.
Tailoring your brand messaging and visual elements to speak directly to these audiences - whether doctors, hospitals, patients, or health insurance companies - will help ensure rebranding success and grow your business.
How do you want your brand perceived by your audience, patients, and stakeholders?
Positioning and messaging go hand-in-hand and require comprehensive healthcare brand research and analysis to ensure you hit just the right note. Engage and connect more effectively with these steps
- Market research—As outlined above, research can help you understand the changing needs and expectations of your audience.
- Competitive analysis—to find a unique positioning that will set your company apart. Understanding competitors is a crucial step in rebranding. Identify gaps and opportunities in the market, pinpoint what sets your business apart, and use these unique qualities to your advantage.
- Core values and mission—to ensure they are aligned with your new brand positioning.
- Differentiation—to identify your business’s unique strengths and unique attributes.
Your brand identity tells your target audience who you are and what you stand for. We recommend beginning with these steps to leave a positive, lasting impression and connect more effectively with your audience, patients, and stakeholders.
Your visual identity is how patients and stakeholders remember your business. It must communicate trustworthiness, professionalism, and a commitment to high-quality care.
Your name, logo, color schemes, typography, images, and other visual elements must be memorable, cohesive, and effectively communicate your brand values.
Whether you’re designing a new logo or refreshing an existing one, it’s important to consider how it represents your values and aligns with the values of your audience.
Healthcare consumers attach feelings to certain colors (e.g., blue as trustworthy and black as luxurious). Those color associations can influence their perception of your brand. In fact, that article mentions that up to 90% of an initial impression of marketing materials comes from color.
A well-chosen color scheme conveys a sense of calm, trust, and professionalism—be sure to choose colors that align with your rebranding goals and convey the right message.
Likewise, typography can impact the readability and tone of your health website and marketing collateral. Choose font families that are professional and accessible to your target audience.
Once you have identified all the pieces that make up your brand identity, creating healthcare brand guidelines and sharing them with internal stakeholders and marketing partners is crucial for maintaining the integrity of your brand’s identity across all digital and printed marketing materials.
Crafting a comprehensive healthcare marketing and communications strategy around a new brand launch is essential for effectively conveying your rebranded messaging to your audience. It should be clear, unique, relevant, and evoke emotion. Your new message must encompass the entire essence of your “new” brand—its mission, values, benefits, and more.
In today’s competitive landscape, carving out an unmatched patient experience from start to finish is as critical as delivering top-notch medical care. Your new design and messaging will be meaningless without recommitting to a superior product, service, and patient experience.
- Staff training—to ensure all physicians and medical staff are aligned with and embody the new brand values.
- Better internal processes—to ensure a positive and patient-focused experience that eliminates bottlenecks and inefficiencies. Offer digital alternatives like online appointment booking, telehealth, and patient portals to improve access and convenience.
- Personalized care—to meet the rising expectations of healthcare consumers and keep them loyal to your business.
Do your exam rooms feel old or outdated? Does your waiting room feel cold and sterile? If so, it’s time for an upgrade. Creating a warm and welcoming environment instills a sense of trust and loyalty among your patients.
Invest in updated signage, appropriate furnishings, uniforms, and leading-edge healthcare technologies to improve the in-office patient experience.
Irrespective of all the branding and communications strategies and tactics you may execute, remember that today online reputations can make or break a business.
Incorporate opportunities for feedback throughout the patient journey to build a robust library of online reviews. Not only will this build your reputation and boost search engine rankings, but it will also help reshape your healthcare business’s rebranding efforts.
Try things like surveys, focus groups, patient advisory boards, community events, and social media interactions to encourage more reviews. Be sure to respond promptly to demonstrate your commitment to their health.
For more information about responding to patient reviews, read our blog, “How to Respond to Patient Reviews (+FREE Examples).
In healthcare rebranding, reputation management is crucial—especially if you are trying to overcome a negative perception of your brand. Identifying and addressing previous issues is crucial before and after launching your rebranded business.
- Open and honest communication
Be transparent about previous challenges and the steps you’ve taken to address them.
- Demonstrate a commitment to quality care
Implement new protocols, if needed, and communicate them to your patients and staff.
- Train physicians and staff
Invest in training to ensure the same issues will not resurface, and all members are aligned with the new brand values.
- Patient care metrics
Prioritize, implement, measure, track, and publish quality of care metrics to illustrate your commitment to patient satisfaction.
- Patient education
Keep patients informed and actively involved in their healthcare to ensure their preferences and needs are always top-of-mind.
- New initiatives
Showcase any healthcare initiatives that can differentiate your business and further demonstrate your patient-first commitment.
If you have a selection of positive patient stories and testimonials, it’s important to highlight them across several platforms to build and bolster your brand reputation. Here are a few places you can share positive reviews after your healthcare rebranding is complete
- Google Business Profile
- Corporate website
- Location-specific landing pages
- Social media
- Paid ads
- Printed collateral
Managing and monitoring your online reputation is just as important as building it. Here are a few strategies for keeping it as positive and healthy as possible
- Actively monitor and respond to online reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, and healthcare-specific review sites. Address positive and negative feedback promptly and professionally. Do not get offended by negative feedback—instead, address the issue appropriately, and when possible move the conversation offline.
- Stay active on social media and engage with your audience. Share timely, relevant, and valuable content, and respond promptly to comments and messages.
- Implement search engine optimization strategies to elevate positive feedback and reviews in search rankings.
Your digital channels are often the first points of contact potential patients and stakeholders have with your business. Once you’ve reimagined your brand, it’s time to
- Build/update your rebranded website
- Ensure it reflects the new brand identity (e.g., logos, color schedule, fonts, messaging, etc.)
- Make it an optimal experience for users search on mobile devices
- Review and update content so it accurately represents your new brand, any changes to services, and brand initiatives, values, etc.
- Optimize your website to enhance search engine visibility and user experience
- Implement on-page and off-page SEO. Focus on keywords, meta tags, and high-quality content.
- Ensure your website is easy to navigate and has an intuitive user path that guides users to desired actions.
- Improve page load speed to increase engagement and improve search engine rankings.
- Leverage digital marketing channels to increase brand visibility and reach
- Develop and share a regular cadence of high-quality, relevant content.
- Use personalized email campaigns to increase patient engagement.
- Invest in Google Ads or social media ads to increase your health brand visibility.
- Incorporate social media strategies to engage with the community
- Create and post engaging content regularly to increase engagement.
- Engage with your community and respond promptly and professionally to build trust.
- Use visual elements (e.g., images, infographics, videos, etc.) to increase engagement.
- Traditional advertising
- Be sure to consider traditional advertising media such as outdoor, television, radio, print and direct mail.
Finally, I’d like to share an anecdote about Healthcare Success’ recent rebranding. It is an excellent example of how branding can elevate your brand and attract more of the customers you want.
As mentioned, brands evolve over time, and our healthcare marketing agency is no different. In fact, the company we founded back in 2006 is a far cry from the agency we have become today.
If you’ve been following us for a number of years, you probably noticed that starting in 2022, we reimagined our healthcare brand, repositioned our content, and rebranded our visuals to appeal to new audiences.
Why did we do this?
We realized our healthcare branding and messaging no longer reflected the work we were doing today, nor was it consistent with our target audiences and strategy going forward.
We knew a rebrand was needed in order to keep us differentiated in the market and attract more of the clients we are best suited for today.
After following all of the due diligence we recommended above, we redesigned (and reimagined) every aspect of our marketing, including our logo, website, PowerPoint decks, trade show booths, content, speaking schedule, and more.
The results have been spectacularly successful for us. Our marketing is once again congruent with both our target audiences and our strategy. As a result, we are enjoying record growth.