Every business manager can lay her hands on plans and policies and can probably recite the ‘vision statement’. I like the one for Lexmark printers because I think it works for healthcare clinics:
Customers for life. To earn our customers’ loyalty we must listen to them, anticipate their needs and act to create value in their eyes.
The manager’s shelves might house annual accounts, a policy for Human Resources, a policy for health and safety, a policy for recruitment. The practice may have a chartered accountant, a registered financial advisor, a recruiter and an HR manager. Rarely if ever does a clinic have an appropriately qualified research consultant or a five year R&D plan or policy.
Therefore the manager relies on anecdotes and other people’s data to decide if the practice is delivering accessible and effective services. The practice relies on others to advocate for them and to defend the charges that are levied on their behalf. It’s all left to persons unknown in a far away bureaucracy.
The consumer relationship starts with the brand. Before you even meet the consumer, you must fully understand your brand. If you don’t know who you are as a brand, and what makes you different, better, and special, how do you expect a consumer to? You must clearly define a brand’s product benefits to set up more intimate, emotional bonds. It is these emotional bonds that will form the basis of a lasting consumer relationship. HBR
If you are a clinician in a practice what aspects of the practices’ vision are non-negotiable and how will you know if something is undermining that vision? How reliable and valid is your understanding of the following:
- What is the context in which the practice is located? What drives morbidity locally?
- How are people greeted at the practice? What do they notice about your premises?
- What is the commonest reason for attendance?
- How long is the average consultation?
- What is the outcome?
- How many people receive less than evidence based care? Why? What are the consequences?
- How many people take your advice? How many go elsewhere after coming to you?
- Which innovation is going to be introduced and tested in your practice in the next five years?
- What information will guide investment decisions in the practice?
- Are you participating in externally funded research? Why those projects and not others?
These questions are of great interest to the better companies. Companies that are ‘lovemarks’:
Lovemarks reach your heart as well as your mind, creating an intimate, emotional connection that you just can’t live without. Ever. Lovemarks
Never let innovation for a brand be something that happens randomly. It should fit strategically under the brand. At Beloved Brands, we believe the best brands build everything that touches the brand around a Big Idea, that guides the 5 magic moments to create a beloved brand, including the brand promise, brand story, innovation, purchase moment and the brand experience. beloved brands
If these issues are of interest to you I invite you to contact me to develop a plan for your practice.
Picture by UCL Mathematical and Physical Sciences