Do Brand Values Make a Difference?

The following is reprinted with permission from AchieveIt.

Does your hospital's brand have defined values — brand attributes — that drive your brand promise? Are brand values even necessary? Do they make a difference?

The short answer to both questions: Yes and yes.

Consider two hospitals, each anchoring itself to a brand platform of customer service. The first hospital identifies its brand values as excellence, compassion and respect. The second hospital, meanwhile, defines its customer service experience around the values of responsiveness, accountability and accessibility.

If each hospital operationalizes a brand experience and articulates a brand promise based on their respective brand values, then each will offer a unique experience that is distinctly different from the other — even though both hospitals are building their brand strategy around a customer service theme.

The benefits of knowing your brand values are multi-fold.

First, it richly defines your brand promise, allowing your organization to inculcate those values into the organization — from back-office processes such as recruitment and retention to front-line process such as patient care.

Second, it provides your organization with a touchstone for making strategic planning decisions. By asking the question, does this decision erode our brand values or strengthen them, you are assured of charting a much truer course.

And third, it gives you something to measure against. You want to "own" your brand values in the marketplace, and if your values are clearly defined, then it is relatively easy to determine if you do. For the hospital whose brand values are excellence, compassion, and respect, questions regarding these values can be included on patient, employee and physician satisfaction surveys. Consumer preference surveys can ask, "When I say the word compassion, what is the first hospital that comes to mind?" Through these methods, you can actually quantify the strength of your brand.

And knowing the strength of your brand allows you to make it even stronger. After all, you can't manage what you can't measure. Having defined brand values allows you to do both.

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