By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Govt Officer

Whereas branding may be troublesome for just about any sort of group, it’s usually particularly difficult for multilocation healthcare suppliers.

We all know this from expertise. You see, most of our purchasers are multilocation healthcare companies. We’ve got labored with well being methods, hospitals, practices, retail places, pressing cares, ASCs, habit remedy facilities, and long-term care services. When branding these purchasers, we regularly have to beat numerous strategic and inventive challenges, together with a good variety of surprising obstacles. (However that’s what makes our work so stimulating and rewarding.)

From debates about apply names (which of them to maintain and which to drop) to inner politics to model inconsistencies throughout all places, multilocation branding can look like a frightening activity.

Whether or not you’re within the early levels of rebranding with numerous names and places in all places, simply bought some new practices, or beginning a number of de novo, you may guarantee a easy course of with just a bit planning. 

Over time, we’ve recognized seven of a very powerful issues it is advisable to have earlier than beginning a multilocation branding venture.

Your Final Branding Guidelines for Multilocation Suppliers

Right here’s easy methods to efficiently deploy your model for a multilocation apply or well being system.

  1.  Determine your aim(s)
  2.  Conduct your analysis
  3.  Enlist third-party analysis companies if essential
  4.  Select the fitting model structure
  5.  Carry collectively the fitting workforce
  6.  Make clear your model identification and messaging
  7.  Launch your branding

1)      Determine the Objective for Branding

On the subject of multilocation companies, the necessity for branding is commonly based mostly on an current problem. Normally, one thing is stopping the group from presenting its model precisely or persistently.

Take considered one of our purchasers for instance. They’ve 36 apply places, and but 4 of the places are branded with a unique identify. One other situation they’re dealing with is that the apply names don’t precisely symbolize the places: the clinics situated in Arizona characteristic a dad or mum model identify with “California.” A lot of these branding issues lead to model and market confusion, redundancies, and inefficient advertising. 

Nevertheless, figuring out your challenges may help you determine the fitting aim to your branding initiative. 

Within the case of our instance, our aim was to create a cohesive and aligned model via a regular naming and model structure for all practices. This aim solved their issues within the brief time period and set a basis for future progress. 

Widespread Branding Challenges for Multilocation Healthcare Companies 

Listed here are a few of the most typical challenges for branding initiatives amongst multilocation practices:

  • Beginning a brand new healthcare group
  • Including de novo places to an current healthcare group
  • Buying a brand new location or increasing places
  • Inconsistent branding throughout all places
  • Rebranding multilocation organizations

Rebranding Challenges

Listed here are just a few challenges you may run into previous to rebranding your multilocation apply:

  • Your model doesn’t stand aside out of your rivals 
  • You could have a brand new audience. 
  • Your model is dangerously outdated .
  • Your present model doesn’t symbolize your mission, goal, and values. 
  • You could have a damaging status. 
  • Your model has merged or been acquired. 
  • You might be rising past the geographic boundaries related together with your identify
  • Some places are named after founding medical doctors – however these associations are not related
  • Your model identify is so generic that there are numerous similarly-named entities on the market (e.g., “Superior Gastroenterology”)

When you perceive your challenges, you may set your aim for branding and get everybody on the identical web page.

2)      Conduct Your Analysis 

Previous to any branding work, we suggest spending time and assets on the fitting kinds of analysis. Our healthcare strategists, for instance, conduct intensive analysis on rivals, shoppers, and market dynamics. We even conduct secret caller cellphone calls to apply places to know what is occurring in the actual world.

Competitor Analysis

It’s important to know your competitors and evaluate how your model stacks up. This a part of the method also needs to embody a model audit of your model. Then, you may conduct a aggressive evaluation of your present rivals and aspirational rivals to know how you slot in {the marketplace} and the way you may need to fine-tune your model. 

Thriller Calls

Our workforce conducts secret caller cellphone calls to every apply or location as a part of our discovery part. Our secret callers doc all the pieces from how the workplace solutions the cellphone to the voicemail recording to get a way of a model throughout places. 

Stakeholders Interviews 

Branding a multilocation group requires loads of time and assets. To do it proper, you want everybody on the identical web page. Nevertheless, multilocation companies usually have a number of stakeholders, making branding consensus particularly troublesome. 

To save lots of money and time, we suggest conducting a collection of stakeholder interviews. The final word aim ought to be to get correct buy-in earlier than you begin the venture. However correctly interviewing stakeholders additionally yields a wealth of knowledge your workforce can use for branding.

Interviews may be performed by way of in-person visits or by cellphone/ videoconference.  Whereas a bit extra concerned, onsite interviews with stakeholders can usually embody extra conferences with workers, sufferers, and medical doctors. Both method, stakeholder interviews are at all times informative and assist set up widespread themes and takeaways that inform suggestions for model structure and assist develop widespread floor. 

3)      Spend money on Third-Get together Analysis (if Relevant)

Third-party analysis is non-obligatory, however we generally usher in outdoors analysis companies for goal knowledge and qualitative analysis.

You may rent third-party analysis companies to find the next: 

  • Inform the artistic course of with what sufferers and referring medical doctors take into consideration the model.
  • Decide whether or not anybody in your markets acknowledges your identify or any of your rivals’ names. Virtually everybody overestimates the fairness of their identify. Normally, we begin with an unaided recall, the place we ask shoppers, “what’s the most effective dermatologist on the town” adopted by, do you acknowledge any of those dermatology apply names? 
  • Get subjective opinions a couple of shortlist of potential model names to find associations and keep away from any nasty surprises.

Tips about Researching Model Names for Multipractice Areas

On the subject of selecting a reputation for a healthcare group, there are numerous issues to contemplate. We suggest researching to find the next:

  • Is it significant and distinctive?
  • Are you able to personal it? Are you able to get the trademark and/or the web site area legally?
  • Does the identify have worth, i.e., identify recognition?
  • Is the identify future proof? Can the identify develop with the group and keep related with extra places?
  • Does it symbolize all places?
  • Does it align together with your imaginative and prescient and values?
  • Does it create a optimistic picture or convey a profit?

4)      Select the Proper Model Structure 

Armed together with your aim, analysis, and perception from interviewing your stakeholders, now you can use this data to determine on the most effective model structure to your multilocation group. 

Your model structure is the connection between the assorted places inside your healthcare group. It contains model naming and the way the websites work together with each other. 

Listed here are the 4 foremost approaches to model structure and a few recommendations on why you may select one over the opposite. 

Branded Home

On this mannequin, the agency is the model. Companies and market sectors (or apply areas) are subsets of the first model. One well-known firm with this mannequin is FedEx. In Healthcare, consider Kaiser or Windfall Well being

Utilizing this method, your multilocation group would have a single model: brand mark, market place, and messaging. Nevertheless, the subset manufacturers would share these model parts however comprise their distinctive messaging factors. 

A branded home mannequin is a wonderful selection for healthcare organizations if the dad or mum model has a robust viewers and status, and if the person location(s) wants model fairness. 

Endorsed Model

An endorsed model structure has particular person and distinct product manufacturers linked collectively by the endorsing dad or mum model. 

On this mannequin, the dad or mum model performs a supportive and linking position and presents a shared high-level promise valued by goal clients. 

For our shopper who had 36 places, we advisable this method for the next causes:

  • Builds fairness of the dad or mum model
  • Permits for unbiased naming buildings and minimal change to established practices. 
  • Permits alternative for future enlargement, no matter geography
  • Permits for location visualization
  • It’s a better transition for current sufferers 


Sub-branding is when the main model creates a subsidiary or secondary model. For instance, Weight loss program Coke or Nacho Cheese Doritos. 

For instance, as a Branded Home, Apple has many sub-brands: Mac, iTunes, and iPhone. 

Sub-brands are created as a possibility to succeed in a brand new viewers and may help construct and maintain relationships with this new viewers.  

Home of Manufacturers 

In a Home of Manufacturers structure, the branding is targeted on the subset manufacturers, and the dad or mum model will get little or no consideration. Proctor and Gamble, the proper instance of a Home of Manufacturers method, makes Bounty, Charmin, Crest, Daybreak dishwashing liquid, Downey, and plenty of others.

One other instance is Newell. Whilst you’ve most likely by no means heard of the dad or mum, you most likely know their manufacturers like Rubbermaid, Sharpie, Coleman, Elmer’s, and Mr. Espresso.

This model method requires loads of devoted assets as a result of every model operates with its personal model parts, messaging and advertising efforts. 

On the similar time, this method lends essentially the most flexibility to subset manufacturers as a result of it’s indifferent from the dad or mum model. On this method, subset manufacturers are free to find out their very own model identification and messaging and are usually not obligated to match a dad or mum model’s mission, goal, and values. 

This flexibility may also be appropriate for grasp manufacturers who may need to have competing manufacturers beneath them.

In healthcare, Pacific Dental is a dental service group (DSO) with lots of of places, all with particular person community-based names. The home of manufacturers method permits them to construct an area presence with a neighborhood really feel.

One closing benefit of the home of manufacturers method is that it mitigates the chance of 1 problematic location from affecting the bigger “franchise.” For instance, a 50 location expert nursing chain with a home of manufacturers method efficiently restricted the PR impression from a single COVID breakout to the placement in query.

5)      Carry Collectively the Proper Artistic Workforce

With the 4 steps above, it’s simple to see why you want a workforce with the healthcare and advertising data, experience, and communication expertise for a branding venture. There are a lot of shifting components, and the method can break down shortly. 

Who’s your artistic model workforce? You’ll want a artistic director, graphic designer, healthcare content material strategists, and healthcare content material writers. You’ll additionally want net builders, website positioning analysts, and different advertising professionals to make sure optimum outcomes.

6)      Develop or Advantageous-Tune Your Model 

As soon as you compromise in your model structure method, we suggest growing or fine-tuning your model identification and messaging.

Your Model Identification 

Listed here are just a few methods to do that:

A model workshop to find and develop your model coronary heart, together with your:

  • Goal
  • Imaginative and prescient
  • Mission
  • Core Values

Model Essence & Messaging

You realize who you’re, however how do you categorical it, and the way do you discuss who you’re?

You’ll must develop the next:

  • Model character
  • Model voice
  • Model tone

Your Model Messaging

  • What’s your worth proposition?
  • What’s your tagline?
  • And what are your messaging pillars?

Create Your Visible Identification 

Your visible identification contains your brand, typography, colours, and imagery. When most individuals consider branding, they consider the visible parts of a model. That is how vital the visible identification is to your multipractice healthcare group. 

Each facet of your visible identification have to be purposeful. 

Develop Your Model Pointers

When your whole model parts are created and able to go, your model tips would be the final information on easy methods to use your model in content material and communication. 

Model tips can embody each verbal and visible procedures. 

7)      Launch Your Branding

If you happen to’ve made it via all six steps above, you’re lastly able to roll out your model. Nevertheless, launching your model the fitting method is simply as vital as doing the branding work. 

Here’s a totally different guidelines of issues to do for rolling out your model:

  • Decide a launch date; create timelines, so everyone seems to be on observe. 
  • Talk launch to the suitable individuals and departments (e.g., workers, referring and admitting medical doctors, donors, neighborhood leaders, sufferers, and so forth.)
  • Develop your distribution plan.
    • Share information with stakeholders and inner groups.
    • Put together press releases, weblog posts, and associated announcement supplies. 
  • Replace acceptable content material:
    • Web site
      • website positioning/key phrases
      • Area Names
      • Redirects
      • Meta knowledge/Title tags
      • Logos
      • Favicons 
      • Tags
      • Content material
      • Photos/Images 
    • Advertising and Communications
      • Model fashion information
      • Content material fashion information
      • Media Equipment
      • Brochures
      • Newsletters
      • Podcasts
    • Social Media
      • Profile biographies
      • Handles
      • Photos
      • Hashtags

Multilocation Branding Carried out Proper in Seven Steps

As healthcare entrepreneurs, we’ve seen extra modifications and market disruptors prior to now 5 years than there have been within the earlier 30, and it’s taking place at an accelerated tempo. Mergers and acquisitions are shaking up the trade. We’re witnessing a mega-trend of consolidation, the place a number of places come collectively as particular person practices or teams which might be acquired and rolled into a bigger entity. Consolidation is in all places, and the gamers embody personal fairness companies, physician-led teams, hospitals, well being methods, and retail companies. 

All these newly aligned places have to be correctly branded and marketed to their respective communities. Use this guidelines to develop a greater healthcare model — irrespective of what number of places you’ve gotten!

Stewart Gandolf

Chief Govt Officer at Healthcare Success

Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Govt Officer of Healthcare Success, one of many nation’s main healthcare and digital advertising companies. Over the previous 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare purchasers, starting from practices and hospitals to multi-billion greenback firms. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his experience at over 200 venues nationwide. As an writer and knowledgeable useful resource, Stewart has additionally written for a lot of main trade publications, together with the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Perception weblog. Stewart additionally co-authored, “Money-Pay Healthcare: Begin, Develop & Excellent Your Money-Pay Healthcare Enterprise.” Stewart started his profession with main promoting companies, together with J. Walter Thompson, the place he marketed Fortune 500 purchasers akin to Wells Fargo and Bally’s Whole Health.



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