Novant Health, a multistate integrated health system, kicked off a rebranding campaign as part of its strategic plan, and one of the keys to its success was marketing messages tailored to different patient groups.
Novant includes 13 hospitals, 500 clinics and 1,300 employees in four states thanks to a series of mergers and partnerships. Initially the organization worked under more than 350 different brand names, David G. Duvall, senior vice president and marketing and communications officer, wrote in a blog post for NEJM Catalyst. Its rebranding strategy aimed to increase consumer awareness by "segmenting" the consumer base, a tactic often deployed in other industries but not frequently used in healthcare.
Through this process, Duvall said Novant’s marketing team identified six patient groups, each with different engagement levels:
- People actively involved in healthcare, often members of the “sandwich generation” who are both raising children and caring for aging parents
- People who want to improve their health and interact more with healthcare
- Healthy people who only interact with providers when necessary
- People who are concerned with cost but will pay for services they value most
- People, particularly of the Baby Boomer generation, who prefer one-on-one interactions with their doctors and who do not embrace telehealth and other digital innovations
- People who are fully disengaged from healthcare and their own health
Identifying these groups allowed Novant to target the ones who can offer the most value, according to the post. And the process has paid off. Novant ranks in the top 5% of the Epic clients that use patient portals for scheduling, and more than 10,000 price estimates have been requested by patients through its digital apps.
Hospitals are taking a new approach to marketing their brands. Some hospitals push the envelope with edgy brand campaigns to increase awareness, while others invest in “brand czars” who can shepherd the team through a rebranding effort.
Just this week, Hackensack Meridian Health, an integrated health network in New Jersey, launched its new brand, which aims to clearly depict its “commitment to innovation, research and forward-thinking healthcare initiatives.” The key element is a new tagline: “Life Years Ahead.”
“Each and every member of our team at Hackensack Meridian Health is important to creating a seamless patient experience and better patient outcomes,” system co-CEO John K. Lloyd said in the announcement.
The new brand is meant to emphasize the delivery of experiences that consumers expect from healthcare, noted Chrisie Scott, chief marketing officer of Hackensack Meridian Health. “Our brand isn’t just about the healthcare we deliver and the innovation we spark, though they are extraordinarily important. It is about the joy and anticipation someone has of being well enough to fully participate in life, to look forward to the moments when he or she feels best and is truly alive. How we intersect around those expectations and personalize and humanize that relationship. That is the essence of our brand. Did we orchestrate excellence at every opportunity for that person?”