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Inside Job

October 9, 2019 | Engagement

The Art of the Inside-Out Brand Strategy

This past September, a few members of the Ten Adams team polished up our belt buckles and headed down to Music City Center as Nashville hosted the 2019 Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD) Conference.

Our team was lucky to have a little insider’s perspective along the way thanks to Account Coordinator Haley Murrah, who has called Nashville home for the past two years. Haley was happy to play tour guide, showing off her favorite hotspots (and, of course, all the best eats). Haley was the ultimate Nashville brand ambassador, giving us a glimpse of the ideal Music City experience through her unique and passionate insider’s POV.

Seeing Haley in her element reminded our team of the importance of having committed and passionate internal brand ambassadors within a healthcare organization — a philosophy long held by Ten Adams — and a message that happened to be a recurring takeaway from several SHSMD 2019 sessions. 

Brand ambassadors are change agents strategically put in a position of influence to establish the ideal and ignite sparks within an organization...

Brand ambassadors are change agents strategically put in a position of influence to establish the ideal and ignite sparks within an organization, helping ensure that the brand promise takes root inside before it ever makes its way outside. For Ten Adams, emboldening the support and trust of the internal team is the most critical step to any brand-related effort — because the experience must absolutely live up to the promise.

A beautifully remodeled lobby is quickly forgotten if the visitor’s first interaction with an organization is with a rude or dismissive staff member. A lovely, emotionally-charged television spot is wasted dollars if the clinical staff lacks the compassion and empathy shown on screen. The experience matters. And so, brand ambassadors that demonstrate that experience matters. 

This inside-out approach best begins at the top. With senior leadership on board, the marketing department is fully aligned with the support and funding necessary to make true transformation possible. Once senior leadership is behind the effort, they can then encourage directors to nominate staff members for the important role of brand ambassador.

This inside-out approach best begins at the top.

During one memorable SHSMD session, our belief in the power of brand ambassadorship was reinforced as we learned about a recent rebrand experience from a children’s hospital. In the session, they  pressed upon the importance of encouraging brand ambassadors to clearly understand their role as standout leaders among peers, living as the ideal embodiment of the culture — from housekeeping details, like adhering to dress code requirements and environmental standards to the more important character traits that help ensure the ideal patient experience at every interaction.

In their experience, as well as our own, the brand ambassador takes great pride in being nominated for such a role, and that sense of honor translates to incredible leadership traits as well as positive interactions between employees and management — because the ambassador’s role is also to serve as the collective voice of the staff in key meetings with leadership. 

After engaging in a yearlong brand launch, which was led by brand ambassadors initiating an inside-out approach, they saw a significant shift in the culture from start to finish.

This internal uptick eventually made its way outside, leading to increases in both consumer and referring physician perception, especially concerning the following key attributes: modern, specialized, accessible, technologically advanced, friendly, and goes above-and-beyond.

Ten Adams has also been there a time or two. And we’ve long understood that employees can serve one of two roles — as a brand’s greatest advocate — or as its greatest liability. In our experience, every interaction between the inside and the outside — between staff and patient, between hospital and community — can significantly impact a brand’s believability. And so, engaging staff early and often is a must-do on our list. Focusing on an inside-out approach will not only ensure a strong foundation, but it will also show the world our moms were right all along — it’s truly what’s inside that counts.

About Ten Adams

Ten Adams is a healthcare branding, marketing + advertising agency. We are strategists and creatives that transform business challenges into powerful brand experiences for hospitals and healthcare organizations. Relax. We know healthcare.

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