Add up this seemingly endless pandemic, unexplained wait times, confusing web portals and tiny gaps in process, and even perfectly rational people transform into raving monsters. Add the stress of sickness to that equation and things get ugly fast. Small hiccups that were easily forgiven pre-COVID, might become brand-killing burps today. A clearly articulated brand remains important, but reducing friction in the system and having every piece of communication aligned has never been more vital.
An integrated communication plan mapped to your digital pathways will help you pinpoint the drop-out points in accessing care. You’ll also see where a lack of operational excellence is causing defection and leakage in your system. While you’ve been putting out pandemic fires, your consumers’ expectations have been rapidly evolving. Online grocery shopping, curbside restaurant pickup and goods delivered to doorsteps increased their comfort and expectations for seamless experiences overnight. In fact, 60% of Millennial and Gen Z consumers “plan to continue using the digital channels they adopted during the pandemic” (WPengine Generation Resilience 2022). Most systems we work with have plenty of digital options available, but communicating where, when, and how to use them and in what order is still an issue. Getting alignment can reduce stress for consumers and even your staff. It’s no surprise that it can also improve health outcomes.
The essentials remain the same in delivering the triple aim of better health and lower costs while improving the patient experience across the continuum of care. We know that an educated and empowered patient will have better outcomes. As your digital pathways have become more robust, sometimes patients simply need to be reminded what’s available to them. As the pandemic dust settles there will be time to infuse a high-level brand message into the whole experience, from initial contact to final follow-up.
As we mentioned, brand advertising alignment with operational follow-through is an increasing necessity. Saying the right thing is always important but being truly useful in the right moment is golden. On the operational-excellence side, when the details work, the payback is almost instantly measurable. For example, we advised Catholic Health Initiatives on the selection of a sophisticated provider search platform to help their 22-state system match doctors with patients. We then developed the UX design to consistently show those choices. For thousands of doctors in multiple systems, having a common selection process was critical. For all the reasons mentioned above, we see small functional improvements like this as branding opportunities just as much as operational ones.
Are you ready to start working hand in hand with your internal and external teams, weaving together tech stacks and emotional intelligence to get your consumers the care they need? If so, you will have a modern approach to branding that is relevant and provides a measurable return on your significant investment. Your waning brand mojo will return in full, your momentum will accelerate and your team will breathe a collective sigh of relief.
Start branding healthcare from the inside out. We guarantee the change will do you good.