Standing Out in a Crowded Healthcare Marketplace


Imagine you are walking down Main Street in Healthcare Town, USA. Stores of all sizes are all around you. The big box stores draw your attention first, with their fancy backlit signs illuminating names like HCA, Tenet and Community Health Systems. Then you see the midsize stores. Their signs are smaller and a little harder to distinguish, but you can pick out a few familiar names. Finally, your eyes move to the rows of small stores stretching out as far as the eye can see. But try as you might, you can’t distinguish one store from another in the healthcare marketplace. So, off to the big box stores you go…

This is healthcare’s growing identity problem. More and more companies are organizing into mega-conglomerations, and it’s easy to stand out on Main Street when you now own half the block. But when you’re a small to mid-size healthcare company fighting for market space in the big boys’ shadow, getting noticed in the healthcare marketplace is much more difficult… but not impossible.

Define your Purpose and Positioning

First things first, make sure your company’s positioning is clear and differentiated. Start by defining your purpose—i.e. why your company exists. Not what you do or how you do it but why you do it. To make the world better? To change how people are treated? Starting from a lofty, inspiring “why” will help you define “who” your company is and “what” you do that differentiates you in the marketplace. (Google “Simon Sinek It Starts with Why” for a great TED talk on purpose.)

Find your Brand Voice

Now that your new positioning is in place, put it to good use by creating a unique brand identity. There’s never been a better time to invest in a strong, distinctive visual ID and brand voice. Most small to mid-size healthcare companies’ logos neither reflect their brand positioning nor work to set the organization apart. Color theory is often ignored, as is brand tone and voice. A well-designed, unique, powerful visual ID combined with a distinctive brand voice that reflects your positioning will elevate your brand above the sea of sameness.


Now that the back of the house is in order, let’s work on the front—your marketing. In healthcare, content is king. Creating quality content is key and will quickly differentiate you in the healthcare marketplace. When defining your content strategy, go back to your positioning and create content that ladders up to it. In healthcare, content intended to purely entertain rarely works. But content that’s useful or helps solve a problem is always well-received. Content that checks off both those boxes and has some entertainment value to it that makes your brand more approachable, well, that’s the holy grail.

For example, let’s say you’re a thriving orthopedic clinic. One part of your content strategy might be to write a blog that delivers preventative tips designed to help weekend warriors stay OUT of the orthopedics office. Doing it in a fun, entertaining way will not only improve readership, it’ll help keep you top of mind when someone does eventually (and inevitably) sprain a knee.

Build Trust

You might also want to feature some compelling patient success stories (staying within HIPPA compliance, obviously), create educational videos, write case studies – even go live on social from a local event. In healthcare, the opportunities to create engaging, compelling content are endless.

Get Local

Speaking of local events, another great way to stand out is to “own your own backyard.” That is, making sure you’re marketing to your community at the grassroots level. Be involved in community events. Cultivate some local sponsorships. Partner with local charities. Integrating your brand into people’s lives at a local level and they will repay your efforts many times over.

Create a Buzz

Finally, generate some good ol’ word of mouth by making sure your customer experience is on point. With the emerging importance of patient satisfaction scores and other value-based metrics, meeting your customers’ needs and expectations are now table stakes. Elevating the patient experience will get people talking about you.

In fact, with all the changes in the healthcare marketplace, one thing remains the same: There’s still no better way to differentiate your company on Main Street than on the level of service you provide. Take a look at our healthcare clients, and how we have helped them rise above to make a statement.