Health, Wellness & Mountain Dew: Does Your Brand Image Match Reality?

Health, wellness, and convenience. Those words and the corresponding imagery were liberally peppered throughout the clinic’s commercials. So when my child’s temp spiked to 103 on a Saturday, I headed to one of the chain’s local outposts.

Within an hour we had a double ear infection diagnosis and a prescription in hand. A satisfied patient, right? Not really.

Twenty-two empty Mountain Dew cans were stacked on the exam room counter (yes, I counted them). From a mom’s perspective, that didn’t evoke feelings of wellness and health, or frankly, cleanliness.

A brand is much more than a logo and catchy tagline. Essentially, it’s a promise for what a patient can expect from you. Every point throughout a patient’s engagement – from the parking lot to the nursing staff to the billing process – is part of your brand. And, if everything doesn’t sync with what you’ve told people they should expect from you, it can lead to a disappointing experience.

As you’re developing your brand, consider what characteristics you want it to portray. Trust? Compassion? Innovation? Then, make sure you can embody those characteristics. For example, if you tell people you deliver “the most advanced medical care” you should be willing to invest in the technology and equipment to make that so.

Most patients have a basic assumption that they will get quality care from a healthcare provider. Oftentimes, it’s the other stuff, like the comfy waiting room chairs, the ease of check-in, and the physician’s willingness to patiently discuss the latest “miracle” supplement, that solidifies patient loyalty. Combined, all these elements make up your brand. And, your real brand needs to match what your marketing brand is selling.

Yes, the urgent care clinic addressed my son’s medical need. But the disconnect between their advertising and the reality of the experience is the reason we won’t be repeat customers.