New York Proton Center’s Purpose-Driven Brand

March 23, 2020

// By Wendy Stark Healy //

Dan Greenwald, CEO and chief creative officer, White Rhino

Dan Greenwald, CEO and chief creative officer, White Rhino

It’s easy for health care organizations to articulate what they do and how they do it. But they sometimes struggle to understand their brand purpose — their “why” — especially in connecting with patients.

Purpose-driven organizations outperform competitors, increase market share, attract better talent, and do better overall, according to Dan Greenwald, CEO and chief creative officer of White Rhino, a health care branding and marketing agency.

What’s the secret to understanding brand purpose — your why? “Flip the lens and look at what you do from a patient’s point of view,” Greenwald says. “What you think is important and what’s important to patients are often different. You’ll get to the ‘why’ if you look at it from the audience standpoint.”

Patrick Curry, marketing and communications consultant, New York Proton Center

Patrick Curry, marketing and communications consultant, New York Proton Center

Greenwald spoke at a Healthcare Internet Conference (HCIC) in November on “Finding Your Why: How Leading Brands Unlock What Makes Them Unique.” He discussed the brand strategy for the first proton radiation therapy center in New York, opened in 2019. The agency worked with Patrick Curry, co-presenter, who leads marketing and communication for the New York Proton Center.

“As I looked at the proton center, and how we needed to position it, it was about putting the patient first,” says Curry. “It’s not about us, or service lines, or the things we think are important. It’s about the patient experience.” Greenwald added, “It’s not about what we’re dying to tell a patient. It’s about their wants and needs.”

The crux of the communication strategy was to tell patients what they wanted to know, not what the center wanted to say. Curry had a fast eight months to establish branding and messaging for the center, which cut its ribbon last June.


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