Anatomy of 3 Health System Rebranding Efforts

Marianne Aiello, July 30, 2014

There's more to rebranding than picking a new name. A closer look at this summer's rash of hospital and health system rebranding efforts finds three organizations that are much more than window dressing.

There's a surprising amount of marketing strategy discussed in HBO's "The Wire," the illustrious and now classic drama that centered around Baltimore's battle with drugs and police corruption in the early 2000s. At one point in the series the central drug lord is faced with the dilemma of selling an inferior "product" and, as a result, losing much of his territory.

To make up for his falling profits, the drug lord turns to a tenet he learned in business class—if your product has lost credibility in the marketplace, just change its name.

It's a short fix, of course, and the drug lord in question quickly finds that out. But it's a scene I often think about when I read press releases about hospitals that are changing their name but don't make any mention of updating or improving their services.

There have been a rash of hospital and health systems rebranding this summer so, in an attempt to suss out what the name change means for marketers—and patients—I've broken down three of the latest rebranding announcements.

Port Huron Hospital Becomes McLaren Port Huron (MI)

Why the name change?

McLaren Port Huron unveiled its new name last week in order to better reflect its new partnership with McLaren Health Care. The 11-hospital system says it chose to partner with the 186-bed Michigan hospital over 10 other proposals and will use the facility as its eastern anchor.


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