Jeter's branding philosophy can be a home run for hospitals

Hospitals and other organizations can learn a lot from newly retired Yankees great Derek Jeter when it comes to branding themselves as winners, according to an article in Forbes.

Citing the Jeter quote, "Your image isn't your character. Character is what you are as a person," the article contends the same holds true in the relationship between a company's character and its image.

"Building a brand in sports is really about performance consistency and creating a unique identity," George Barrett, chairman and CEO of Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health, told Forbes. As Cardinal repositions itself to serve patients in the home, Barrett wrote, its brand is evolving from "the business behind healthcare" to the "business of healthcare."

Good brands appreciate their fan base, which influences how brands are built, added Patrick Connolly, president of Sodexo Healthcare in Gaithersburg, Maryland. "Almost every hospital CEO in America knows who Sodexo is and [has] probably interfaced with us at some point in time," he said, adding, "You have to assure that your fan base begins to see that there's something significantly different about your organization."

Hospitals also can learn branding and marketing lessons from this summer's ubiquitous ALS ice bucket challenge. The viral campaign was simple, immediate, made those challenged feel obligated to participate, educated the public on ALS and included video, which is easy to share on social media.

But old-school marketing can pay off, too. Flint, Michigan's Hurley Medical Center used highway billboards to increase hernia-surgery business by 140 percent for its Hernia Center of Excellence.

For more information:
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