For Innovators, Health Reform is a Business-Wide Venture

Kevin Campbell Head ShotBy Kevin Campbell

There’s danger in a routine. It can lull you into a false sense of security, seducing you to believe everything is fine even while the winds of change nip at your assuredness.

It’s that way with brands, too. When the work hours and marketing dollars are spent, and a brand is born that wraps core values and promises around a corporate personality, it’s easy for companies to rest on the laurels of their newfound identity.

The truth is brands are living things. They change through the years and require constant attention. The brands that thrive are measured persistently at different points in time. They adapt to dynamic marketplaces, shifting business priorities and organizational changes. It’s how they stay relevant and continue to excite the customer base.

Maybe that’s why many brand marketers should have their eyes on sweeping federal changes that are reshaping our healthcare landscape. Companies will win or lose because of their ability to learn quickly and translate that learning into business results. They’ll have to re-evaluate infrastructure, from the employees they appoint to the healthcare management structure they deploy.

And, they’ll have to show razor-sharp focus on reshaping the brand early enough to move the company and its customers in a new direction.

One early adapter of health care reform is Mid-Atlantic Behavioral Health (MABH) with offices in Newark and Wilmington, DE. The company delivers outpatient therapy for individuals and groups, testing and psychiatric services and education.

“We’re excited about the pending healthcare changes,” says Director of Practice Development, Curtis Bolander. “For MABH, they are an opportunity to rethink our entire business model. The rewards will impact everyone, from primary care providers and specialists to the patients. Healthcare providers must begin making changes now to stay ahead of the curve. For us, challenging our brand was every bit as important to our long-term success as adjusting our data management and business model.”

The MABH leadership began preparing for healthcare reform by turning a critical lens on its own infrastructure and service model. They learned that a fresh approach was in order for its talent acquisition, data management and forecasting. This introspect of the entire business also revealed issues with the marketing. They found the company was slowly outgrowing its original identity after seven years of growth, a discovery that led them to MKJ Creative for a brand makeover.

The MKJ charge was twofold: first, determine how healthcare organizations will reposition themselves to better serve their customers in the new healthcare landscape; second, create a brand for MABH that communicates its value proposition in this changing marketplace.

It was a unique challenge that required an in-depth approach to creative assets: the company logo, core marketing messages, the MABH identity system and sales support collateral.

“There’s a process to updating or creating a brand,” says Oz Whitesell, Director of Business Development at MKJ Creative. “However, each case has its own unique concerns. These concerns are industry and company specific and require us to listen to the client and allow them to become our teachers. In this case, we needed to learn how the service model was going to be altered by healthcare reform. We had to learn what matters to patients now and what will continue to matter to them in the future.”

Ultimately a company’s brand will still be about its business; keeping the brand fresh must be a business priority.

Kevin Campbell has more than 20 years experience writing about trends in health care, marketing health insurance products, and branding regional and national healthcare companies.

Founded in 2003, MKJ Creative is a full-service print and digital graphic design studio based in Doylestown, PA.  MKJ Creative delivers dramatic results for clients across a wide range of industries including the life sciences, healthcare, the arts, community development finance institutions and more. Through a diverse knowledge base and commitment to service, MKJ Creative creates innovative, cost effective, and results-driven solutions for each client’s individual needs. For more information, visit www.mkjcreative.com.

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