Turning Healthcare Consumers into Loyal Patients

Is there any brand you love so much that you would get its logo tattooed on your skin? Think about it. The car you drive? A favorite fashion house? What about a hospital or physician practice? That last one may seem like the craziest of them all, but one man in Syracuse, N.Y. did exactly that.

Brian Andrianos got a tattoo on his chest of the Crouse Hospital logo and the tagline, “Take Me to Crouse,” developed by Eric Mower + Associates. Andrianos said he got the tattoo to pay tribute to his physician: “I’ve always had great care when I’ve been there. And, obviously he’s done so much for me health-wise. I truly believe I probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him.”

It’s typical for a patient to bring their physician baked goods or send a heartfelt thank you letter, but a tattoo takes gratitude to a whole new level. And this is what EMA strives for when developing an identity and messaging for each and every one of our clients: to help brands make new friends that turn into loyal customers.

To put it simply, we call it Brand as Friend® and it’s based on one key belief: to make a brand truly magnetic in the digital age, you have to build affection, relevance and trust. Our goal is to get patients and consumers to interact with brands in the same way they do their own friends. This approach evaluates brands using the following nine friendship drivers: caring, listening, surprise, story, style, connecting, honesty, advising and loyalty.

Does your hospital or physician practice connect with its patients on any or all of these levels? Does its messaging and positioning communicate these drivers? More importantly, do physicians, nurses, and staff treat patients the same way they’d treat a friend?

If not, it may be time to rethink your strategy. While patients are more focused on facts, numbers and ratings, they still need someone to hold their hands when physicians deliver bad news. They still value genuine human interaction and good bedside manner. And they still need a healthcare brand they can trust. Aiming for permanent ink may be a bit of a stretch, but a positive word-of-mouth referral from a friend or family member is worth more than a Super Bowl ad.

Learn more about Brand as Friend®.