Why Do I Need Service Line Branding?

 Michael Marino

Michael Marino / Founder & CEO

When a corporate brand makes a promise, who lives up to it?

It is easier to make a promise than it is to keep it. A corporate brand frames the overall hospital’s value proposition and acts as its face to the world. It tells consumers who you are, what you do and what you will do for them. But the service lines make this promise real: It’s where corporate promise becomes live demonstration. It’s where relationships are bolstered or broken, and reputation and advocacy for the corporate brand is established or eroded. Specifically, does the patient actually experience what the brand says it offers?

What is your ideal service line experience?

Is the experience visible and tangible? Is it reproducible and consistent across locations? Across services? Consider an internal brand review that includes an experience audit to illuminate inconsistent delivery of your brand and opportunities for improvement across all touch points.


No one size fits all.

Each service line has a specific audience with a specific set of needs. This can make it tricky to keep one corporate-level brand relevant and engaging across so many unique audiences. So what’s the best way to create a consistent, positive patient experience? First, look up…


…Establish the highest common vision.

Identify those key service line equities necessary to sustain overall corporate reputation. Next, understand which corporate equities are critical for service line success. Then consider auditing your top five service lines through an employee workshop. Determine each service line’s strengths and weaknesses, analyze patient surveys, and ask employees what they do well and what can be done better. Finally, benchmark the service line output against the corporate brand platform.

Feed the foot soldiers.

When it comes to delivering a brand promise, it’s your employees who do the heavy lifting, not your ad budget or website. Patient-facing physicians and staff should understand the brand and its rationale as much as your marketing department. In actuality, who’s closer to the patient, and therefore, able to deliver the brand story on the spot than a clinician? Brand training should go right alongside delivery of care and service excellence education.

Begin with these basic steps and you’re well on your way to building a strong hospital brand, ready to sustain the headwinds of change raging through the healthcare marketplace.

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