This is a question we often get asked and it’s become one that’s more relevant in recent months with the COVID-19 pandemic. For many healthcare business owners and directors, the pandemic has created time and an opportunity to take a step back from their businesses and reflect on where they are.
Upgrading your brand is far more than just a logo refresh and is an overhaul of every touch point that your customer, or potential customer interfaces with – even down to how they are greeted on the telephone.
So, when is a good time to take a fresh look at your brand? And how do you know when this is something you should be looking at? Wait too long to refresh your brand and you might lose market share to a new competitor but at the same time, why tinker with something that isn’t broken?
Ensuring your brand remains relevant
When it comes to branding, one of the most important points is ensuring that your brand(s) continue to remain relevant to their customers and target audience. This is vital for 2 key reasons.
The first is customer retention and to ensure that your customers remain loyal and stay with you and don’t get tempted to move to a competitor. The second is customer acquisition and to ensure your brand appeals to potential customers and can stand up against the competition and be successful in attracting new patients or customers.
In our experience, there are a number of situations that would prompt serious consideration for having a brand refresh:
1) Your brand identity looks tired and outdated
In these extraordinary times, transformation in the healthcare world is happening at a rapid pace and consumers’ behaviour is changing to adapt to the new world we’re all living in. It’s therefore more important than ever to keep track of your brand and perhaps refresh it more often than would have been the case 10 years ago. With customer and market tastes changing frequently, we’d recommend that you build simple market, customer and competitor research into your annual operational plans to ensure your brand doesn’t become tired, outdated and not reflective of what you offer.
2) Internal discontent
One of the early signs of a brand needing a refresh or revamp is often internal discontent and disagreements within the business. This often starts with the sales or customer services function because they are generally in contact with customers on a daily basis and will hear direct feedback on the business, the market and the competition. If patients or customers aren’t returning or renewing and there’s signs that your brand, and aspects of it are potentially is slipping behind, nip it in the bud early and discuss a potential brand refresh with your leadership team or partners.
3) You’re not generating the right volume of quality of new customers
We recommend that our clients have a monthly set of metrics and KPIs they’re working to and it’s very unusual not to have new customers/patients on that list. If you’re finding that you’re not reaching your desired goal of new customers each month compared to previous months and years, it could be your brand that is holding you back. We recommend that you go back to your original vision for your brand, its values, personality and tone of voice and make sure that your current brand identity is aligned with that vision. If you’re vision for the business has changed, it’s probably time to go back to the drawing board and look at a refresh.
4) Consistency with online and offline branding
It’s important to understand that customers – or potential customers – will experience of your brand across a range of online and offline touchpoints. They may first experience your brand on a social post on Facebook before visiting your website, calling your patient care team and then seeing a consultant face to face or via Zoom call. Consistency is key here and it’s the person responsible for marketing and the customer to ensure that the customer experience is aligned across all online and offline touchpoints. Going through a ‘mystery shopper’ journey yourself every 6 months or asking a family member or friend can be a good method of spotting inconsistencies.
Need help with your brand refresh?
As we’ve highlighted above, consumer behaviour is changing quickly and constantly evolving. Healthcare start-ups are launching every week and technology continues to drive change across the sector. It’s therefore vital that every healthcare business keeps in-step with the market, its customers and their ever-changing needs. The days of stability and having a brand that will remain relevant for 10+ years is a distant memory in the world of effective marketing.
A brand refresh can be a powerful tool for any healthcare business and can help re-energise a company, lift new patient/customer numbers and motivate internal teams by bringing everyone together under a common vision.
If you think your brand or business might need a refresh and you’re not sure where to start, get in touch with us first. We provide a free 60-min business ‘health check’ and can help guide you through some of the key steps you should be thinking about when it comes to revamping and reenergising your brand.