Healthcare organizations that go through a rebranding process learn a number of things quickly. Perhaps the most valuable lesson is that rebranding clearly identifies the organization's vision and mission.
Putting a fine point on the term "marketing" can help a hospital define its strategy and vision. Too often, and for too long, the term has been a catch-all for branding, public relations, communication, advertising, and outreach. Those individual activities are part of the functions of marketing, but the terms are not interchangeable, and organizations that go through a rebranding effort quickly find out the definitions of each.
For example, Greenville Health System (GHS), a nonprofit, integrated network of hospitals and physicians in South Carolina, launched its new brand and logo this past March after months of working on defining its marketing goals.
Before taking the step to formalizing a marketing strategy, GHS had to find out who it was, according to its employees, patients, and community.
GHS was once known as Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center, which according to Sally Foister, director of marketing services, was confusing because the system isn't part of any university. As GHS continued to grow and acquire physician practices, so did the system's inventory of logos (at least 30 different logos at one count!).