5 Apr 2017 RB Marketing Series

Seven Questions to Ensure Consistent Branding

Shelby Ray
Shelby Ray
Senior Public Relations Specialist

You hear someone sneeze and offer that person a Kleenex. But, wait, it’s not actually the Kleenex brand, but rather another tissue company. Why are tissues often referred to as a Kleenex regardless of the company behind the paper product? It’s because of accomplished branding. Kleenex is a household name even though not everyone purchases or uses this particular product.

Good branding is recognizable. Better branding leaves an impact. The best branding is memorable.

So how can treatment facilities build a healthy brand? It’s all about consistency.

Why is consistent branding important?

Beyond your treatment center being remembered, consistent branding can deliver many benefits including:

  • Strengthening your facility’s image. Consistent branding reinforces positive representations of your treatment facility, so potential clients know what you stand for before they even step through the door.
  • Managing perceptions. Do you think the public’s impression of your organization is accurate and positive? If you determine the real perceptions people have of your facility, then you’ll have the opportunity to take control and either manage or change those beliefs through consistent branding.
  • Representing your organization. An unwavering brand can act as a steady spokesperson for your company. Ratings and reviews from alumni are social currency and can majorly impact attitudes about your facility. Make sure your brand voice is front and center in all messaging including your responses to reviews and outreach efforts in the community.
  • Building trust. Entering treatment is a vulnerable situation; however, a repeated and unfaltering message from your center can deliver a sense of reassurance to potential clients. Ellen DeGeneres is a great example of someone who has built trust with a strong, unswerving brand. Her trademark image is genuine and full of humor, and her audience knows what to expect each time they tune in to watch. Similarly, treatment centers can foster reassurance through consistent, authentic messaging.

Consistent branding means everyone within your organization knows and embraces your values and key messages. Encourage all employees to understand your facility’s background, why your treatment center exists, its mission and its desired image among all stakeholders. The more understanding employees have about the company, the more likely they will live and breathe the brand standards.

A universal allegiance to your brand can cement your messaging and values across all touchpoints with clients, their families, and the community. For example, the human resource department can represent your brand internally to cultivate employee morale which then extends outward to any client, or a clinician can adhere to your brand tenets when they interface with a client to reinforce your treatment center’s core principles and build trust.

How can a treatment center ensure consistent branding?

It’s evident that brand compliance is important not just for the marketing team, but for the entire organization. So how can facilities establish uniform brand standards across all departments? Below I’ve outlined seven questions to consider for both internal and external messaging to ensure your brand resonates in all communication.

  1. What are other ways of framing this message? It’s easy to get stuck in a repetitive motion in our workflow. Perhaps a team member has communicated a message in a particular way for years, but is there a way to reframe the message to make it more aligned with your brand and your center’s values? Keep branding at the forefront of your mind –even in the small day-to-day tasks.
  2. Does this relate to our mission? Your organization’s mission is the foundation of the company. It’s what the company is most proud of and believes in. The mission should not be overlooked and should be considered in every message your treatment center delivers.
  3. What are our goals? Simply put, each staff member should have goals that directly impact the company. By working to reach those goals, the brand’s image will be inherently be considered.
  4. Have we done something similar? Looking to past efforts as guidance can help confirm you’re meeting brand standards. If you’re working on a community project with local partners, have you worked with similar partners in the past? If you’re questioning whether partnering goes against what your brand stands for, ask if you’ve had any similar partnerships in the past as this may help guide the way.
  5. How will our audience feel about this information? The marketing, counseling, design, communications and administration teams all have an audience to consider. If your audience will feel averse to or confused about your message, then you’re likely not on-brand.
  6. What information is most important for our audience? It’s easy to get too granular in your work. I often find myself having to take a step back and look at things more high-level. Let’s face it, we’re in the digital age where we don’t have people’s attention for very long. Making sure your key messages are not buried within insignificant details will help ensure that you’re on-brand.
  7. Does our team have access to corporate messaging? This one may seem like a no-brainer, but your marketing team and the entire staff should have access to your corporate messaging guidelines to ensure everyone in your organization has a firm grasp of your facility’s core tenets.

The main takeaway is to nurture, communicate, protect, and value your facility’s brand. Consistent branding is strategic, purposeful and intentional. Over time, it’s woven into each department so your brand becomes not just a logo, but a portrait of your organization.

Does your entire organization embrace your brand? Share the value you’ve witnessed from consistent branding in the comments below.

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