How Data Helped a Multifaceted Specialty System Strengthen Its Brand Identity Both Internally and Externally
// By Lisa D. Ellis //
Does your brand fully resonate with your employees? If the answer is “no,” and your mission and goals aren’t connecting internally, it’s important to invest time and resources to capture and distill market research data to create and validate a unified vision. Then you’ve got a brand to promote externally.
Look at Spectrum Healthcare Partners, a physician-owned multispecialty system in Maine, which recently recognized confusion over its brand image internally and had to come up with a way to address the problem and get everyone on the same page. Spectrum turned to data to convince its leadership and owners to abandon a variety of individual brands and instead embrace a broader, common vision. This approach, although still in its early days, seems to be highly effective in helping to strengthen the system’s reach—not only internally but also within its target communities.
Over the course of Spectrum Healthcare Partners’ 20-plus-year history, the organization has grown through a series of mergers with physician specialty groups. As Spectrum has continued to expand, the physician groups coming on board have traditionally maintained their own identities, with physician owners making decisions for the system based on their own practice’s circumstances. As a result, the Spectrum Healthcare Partners brand has been quite diffused. Having so many identities has also been confusing for physician groups within the system, since until recently, many of them didn’t have a clear picture of how the system as a whole worked together, according to Kelly David, director of marketing and public relations for Spectrum Healthcare Partners.
Further, in recent years the system has added more groups like orthopedic practices that work directly with patients (as opposed to the anesthesiologists, radiologists, and pathologists who founded the organization), and the lack of clear identity has become more obvious and more problematic.
Recognizing a Growing Problem
“Our internal audience didn’t understand how our varied divisions worked together and how that benefited patients,” David explains. “This meant that on the external side, we didn’t have a solid foundation from which to tell our brand story.”
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