If your organization has gone off track, you have the power to change course for the better.
The entire objective of branding is to inspire your community and the public to find value in what you do and who you are. But if you’re brand isn’t actively trying to reach people on an emotional level, then you’ve gone off-track and your mission has been compromised.
It’s in the nature of a Nonprofit Healthcare Organization to appeal to their audience’s mission-minded sensibilities, so it’s incredibly likely that you’re doing what you’re supposed to do. You help people and you want people to know that you help people. You’re not like other types of businesses that have to convince consumers that they have good intentions and consumer benefits. Just being a combination nonprofit and healthcare organization makes a statement about who you are before someone intimately gets to know you.
All of that being said, there are a few missteps you can make here and there that can hinder your brand from running in tip-top shape. But with a little oversight, you can correct your corse for success. Here are 6 Ways To Correct Your Brand:
1. Put Your People First
Wouldn’t it be nice if your business had a bunch of intelligent, caring, invested employees to say nice things on behalf of you? Oh wait. You already have those. The people on your team are essential to attracting community buy-in. Their loyalty can become an ownable part of the overall brand. And from a business perspective, it makes sense to market their loyalty as part of the brand’s image. Encouraging your employees to embrace the brand in public and on social media is a no-brainer for deputizing trustworthy brand advocates.
2. Correct Others When They Get Your Name Wrong
It’s astonishing how many healthcare organizations we encounter that are virtually unknown in their own communities because the public doesn’t know their name, or knows them by the wrong name. Unless you’ve made the branding decision to embrace a nickname or a shortened version of your primary moniker, always use your actual name. You have no idea how confusing it can be to refer to one hospital by several different names within the same community. The use of various identifiers is most often seen on the web, where brands sometimes use weird abbreviations or variations on the proper name over several different social media platforms. If you want the public to know who you are, you have to maintain a solitary name that they can keep top-of-mind. Do not be afraid to correct people when they get it wrong. It’s not rude. It’s your name!
3. Keep Your Mark Intact
There is nothing more hurtful or offensive to a graphic designer than seeing the logo he/she labored over abused. And more often than not, the abuse doesn’t come from outsiders. It comes from within the company. Stretching out the mark, using the wrong colors, or simply pairing the icon with the wrong font are all grave mistakes that a lot of businesses make. And chances are, you’ve got your brand identity all over everything from signage to countless pieces of your paper system. But there’s got to be strict standards for how you use and deploy your identity. With every identity we create, we deliver a graphic standards manual to show you exactly how to use your logo. But it’s up to you to stick to the standards.
4. Respect Your Competitors
Every business faces competition, and none of us like the competition. But when it comes to coordinating public relations on behalf of your brand, you’ve got to play nice and you’ve got to teach your staff to do the same. More often than not, when we take on a new client, we quickly find internal issues of vocalizing resentment about the competition. When this happens, we get everyone together and facilitate some message training. It’s all about teaching your people to say the right things online and in public. And that doesn’t just apply to reigning in all the bad-mouthing. It’s constructive for basic messaging dissemination.
When someone asks you, “What’s so great about your organization?” You can’t just say: the staff, the service, or the technology. Because guess what? Every company is saying the exact same thing. In fact, every business, regardless of industry, thinks they offer the best service, quality products, and something that makes them appear cutting edge [like technology]. Your brand has to be more emotional than that. Dig a little deeper and find out what attracted your most beloved customers and staff to you in the first place. Pull out the nuanced, special elements that differentiate you from other businesses.
6. When In Doubt, Consult Your Brand Managers
I’m sure you’ve got some questions and I’m sure I’ve only slightly hit a nerve or two. And if you feel a little misdirected, give me a call. We can talk about correcting your branding missteps. It would be my pleasure.