Healthcare companies who understand the rising importance of healthcare consumerism know that product and brand positioning is critical. Pressure to reduce healthcare costs has shifted the focus toward consumers. Patients play a role in managing their health inside and outside of the healthcare setting. Targeting patients and effectively engaging them requires an effective brand positioning strategy. A strong healthcare brand position communicates the brand value proposition with consistency, clarity, conviction, and credibility in a way that has meaning for consumers and is unmatched by other companies.
What is Positioning? It is:
Succinct (ideally one sentence)
Communication of what the brand has to offer in relation to the market
Translation of product/service benefits into meaning for consumers
The company’s core idea
Relative to the wants, needs, and desires of key stakeholders
Relative to the market’s alternative choices (your competitors)
How a company’s offering is perceived by consumers; the place it takes in the consumer mind
Positioning Serves To
Establish an internal, unified understanding of the brand/li>
Provide direction for product/service development
Provide direction for identity and marketing communications
Distinguish a corporation from competitors
The Importance of Brand Positioning in Healthcare Marketing
A succinct, well-defined positioning statement helps a company rise above the noise with a distinguished, valuable offering. It helps to communicate the value of your product/service effectively to consumers.
Important Steps in Brand Positioning
1. Define your brand
What is the brand value proposition and how will you deliver on it? What are the brand values, benefits, and attributes? Who is your target market? Create personas.
2. Outline market segments
What market segments exist? Research and analyze the marketplace to determine how consumers can be grouped based on similar needs and how they can be served.
3. Choose what segments to target
Determine what market segments you are best equipped to serve. You want to match products/services to customer needs/wants.
4. Consumer insights research
Find out what matters most to consumers and how your brand value proposition fits into the consumer mind, values, wants, and needs. What do consumers care about? What worries them? What do they want? Find out as much as you can about the consumer.
5. Competitive audit
Do a thorough reconnaissance of the marketplace to understand what is currently being offered, what unmet needs exist, and how you can better serve consumers.
6. Effectively communicate your positioning
Positioning is about how consumers perceive your brand. Brand positioning in marketing evokes emotion and is “sticky,” earning mindshare. It’s not enough to define your positioning, you have to make it happen by influencing emotion, thought, and ultimately perception.
For more information about why branding is important in healthcare and healthcare branding strategies, access our White Paper below:
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.