Healthcare Brand Growth Blog

 December 04, 2014

Brand = Promise + Performance

In my post, "Brand Choice: Consumers Choose Wisely, Tell Them Why to Choose You", I presented quite a shift away from the typical Branding archetype for many organizations. After all, I flipped the typical Brand building process on its head.
Brand Differentiation: Discover Your Claim of Distinction

If I was successful in getting you thinking, you've spent some serious time considering how you can build your Brand from the inside out. Starting with “why” (the reason you wake up in the morning and do the work you do) instead of starting with “what” (your product or service).

I have a confession, however: I didn’t tell you everything.

While it is fundamental to start with why, it's only that — a start. To get any mileage from this new perspective, you must take action to identify what it is that sets you apart — your Claim of Distinction — which is where we pick up today.

What is a Claim of Distinction?

I'm glad you asked. My favorite response is, “the combination of tangible and intangible characteristics that make a Brand unique.” It's what consumers think and feel when they interact with your Brand. That’s you, your Brand differentiation – not just your logo. 

Consider John Deere; its iconic logo and catchy slogan, “Nothing runs like a Deere,” wouldn't mean much without the underlying “why” principle that sets the company apart: performance. But the principle would be nothing without proof — and John Deere has built an exceptional reputation around that principle. Performance is the evidence of distinction.

A Claim of Distinction, backed by a promise of performance, anchors your strategic marketing initiatives to the bigger picture — the essence of who you are, and what differentiates you from the competition. How do you go about discovering and defining this monumental information? By Turning the Telescope™ on your organization. Here's a peek under the hood of our tried-and-true process:

Step 1: Discovery: It all starts with a casual off-site meeting with 8-10 company leaders. We unpack the facts – and lots of them. Facts about your company, its people, products  and services. We eliminate those that don’t set you apart and ultimately find those that are absolutely unique to you. The stories and information from various perspectives are invaluable to identifying unique attributes, and we find that much of the Brand's essence often stems from the personalities of the leaders.
Step 2: Assessment: After uncovering Claims of Distinction from your company leaders, our next step is to determine whether these Claims align with the rest of your company. Through our proprietary Brand Insight Assessment and interviews with members of your team, we answer key questions: Are your business strategy and Brand aligned? Are there underlying issues undermining the success of your Brand? How well does your organization know its Brand? The resulting information determines priorities for resource allocation and provides a set of benchmarks to guide future efforts.
Step 3: Channel Understanding: No one understands the day-to-day interaction between your Brand and your customers and patients like your sales channel or in the case of a hospital, your doctors. Discussions with these groups round out the information gathering process.

Knowledge is Power

We rely on these techniques because we've harnessed its power time and time again. One of our clients, Pekin Insurance, kicked off its Brand development program with a variation of this process. It was this comprehensive discovery process that uncovered an overwhelming theme: that Pekin Insurance consistently goes above and beyond the expected for its agents and policyholders.

The Beyond the expected® theme laid the groundwork for the company’s refreshed Brand, which was overwhelmingly embraced throughout Pekin Insurance.

As Scott Martin, CEO of Pekin Insurance, put it: “The response to the reBranding has been 99.9% positive, and the buzz with employees made it worth it all. We have hit it out of the park!”

Attracting Loyal Brand Followers

In the end, the benefits of identifying your Claim of Distinction extend beyond a one-time marketing initiative. It achieves something larger, something that continues to pay dividends long after your initial Brand Development.

It's through this process that a strong, clear and positive message about your Brand reaches consumers—and that distinction has been found to create Brand loyalty. First-time customers and patients become repeat patrons. We don't need to explain the effect that will have on your bottom line.

Backing Up Your Claims

After identifying your Claim of Distinction, it's time to prove it. The identification process is only useful if you proceed to back it up with Evidence of Performance. That means living your promise every day — and clearly communicating that to your customers and patients.

Analyzing yourself can be tricky, let’s touch base and I will put the Hult Team's experience to work for you. We can connect at 309-673-8191 or together we can create a better focus on your Brand. 

          Empowering Your Healthcare Brand Distinction   Download the Enhancing Your Brand Experience eBook Now!