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How a 110-Year-Old Hospital Rebranded Itself

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media, April 9, 2013

Making sure that all the rebranding and advertising work the team was doing could be tracked back to measurable results, Marshall set out on aggressive path to start tracking important marketing metrics: top of mind awareness, market share, and brand awareness.

"It's incredibly important to make decisions based on real data, especially in Los Angeles. It's expensive, I can tell them [leadership team] whether we're moving the needle forward," says Marshall.

In 2011, baseline numbers showed Marshall and hospital leadership that Children's Hospital Los Angeles had 37% brand awareness in comparison to its peers. Its pediatric advertising awareness registered at 33.8% of the market. Both figures, says Marshall, showed the hospital leading in comparison to all hospitals in southern California.

Nearly a year and a half out, the rebranding campaign has increased brand awareness by 8%, and Marshall expects that to go higher when it surveys 40,000 households with children later this year.

"This is a journey, a marathon, not a sprint," says Marshall.

She attributes the increase in brand awareness to the advertising campaign premise of "It's the best children's hospital in California," which accompanied the brand re-launch.

"What people in L.A. want is the best of everything. They want the best shoe stores for their kids, they want the best schools, they want the best neighborhoods; it's very much an L.A. mindset," says Marshall.

Marshall cites the hospital's list of accolades from outside quality rating organizations as the reason they can make such a bold statement.

"What we use in our marketing materials and our advertising is our U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll status, which no other hospital in California has, other than us. We are [also] ranked as the fifth best children's hospital in the country by U.S. News and World Report," she says. "We are also a Magnet hospital, which is the highest designation for high-quality nursing care; we are also a Leapfrog hospital … so we're, quite frankly, very comfortable moving forward with the brand platform that we are the best children's hospital in California for the care of your child."

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