healthcare branding strategies

How to Bring Your Healthcare Branding Strategies To Life

Published on: November 7, 2019

Healthcare consumers have a lot of choices in providers these days. And, within that landscape of increasing competition, you need to do what it takes to stand out. Patients may be influenced by a variety of marketing touchpoints but what matters most for retaining brand loyalty is their actual experience in your healthcare facility. 

And there’s no better way to influence a patient’s experience than by extending your healthcare branding strategies into your facility’s environmental branding. Environmental branding through architectural and wayfinding signage uses design to subtly work visual elements into the surroundings that represent your brand’s culture and values while also improving facility navigation. But, most importantly, environmental branding creates a welcoming atmosphere that puts patients at ease and creates positive healthcare experiences. 

Effective Healthcare Branding Strategies For Retaining Patient Loyalty

Your healthcare organization focuses so much of its efforts on improving health outcomes through the standardization of systems and the implementation of best practices. But your wayfinding programs must be also be carefully thought out and designed as a part of this overall effort to create positive patient experiences. It’s especially important that the physical environment matches the values used in your healthcare delivery, reflecting the image you want to project to patients. 

Combining a distinctly branded environment with easy navigation queues gives patients and their visitors a positive brand experience whenever they visit your campus. The physical environment your facility maintains says a lot about your healthcare organization to patients, visitors, and staff. So think of environmental branding as an opportunity to use the physical environment to make a statement. By using elements such as colors, words, symbols, and designs you can convey the values and purpose of your brand to everyone who steps inside your facility.

Here is an excellent example of effective healthcare environmental branding strategies that reinforce other marketing efforts.

Case Study: San Mateo Medical Center

San Mateo Medical Center, a community-based provider in California, wanted to express their values of empathy, equal access, and support throughout their physical environment. So they partnered with an architectural signage and wayfinding design firm that started by conducting focus groups and interviews with patients and staff to develop ways of making the environment inclusive. The initial ideas were prototyped, tested, and validated. 

healthcare branding strategies

As a result of that initial care for the project, the medical center will be implementing multilingual signage and universally-understood alpha-numeric iconography. The project also included landmarking through color and graphics integrated into the interior architecture. Now, everyone visiting San Mateo Medical Center can find their way around, which expands the demographics of patients the facility can inclusively serve. 

healthcare branding strategies

But San Mateo Medical Center took its environmental branding a step further with brilliant architectural signage. The environmental branding design firm created a “Patient Story Gallery” that included large-scale portraits of patients and their families alongside personal mementos encased in shadow boxes. This display, set in a quiet area filled with natural light to encourage respite and reflection, tells the narratives of each patient’s life experiences and healing journeys. The addition of interactive boards encourages the spontaneous sharing of stories to the medical center’s collective community. 

The medical center’s new architectural signage and design communicate precisely the branded message they hoped to send to their diverse community: We see you, we support you. 

When patients feel valued and cared for, they have improved healthcare experiences. This, in turn, leads to them choose your healthcare facility over the many other options they have—again and again.

Leave Lasting Impressions With Environmental Branding

Implementing healthcare branding strategies in your physical environment is not as straightforward as is may seem—especially if you want the results discussed above. For that, you need an expert environmental branding firm to guide you through the process. From hospitals to clinics, we know how to visually represent your healthcare organization’s culture and values to facilitate better patient experiences and brand loyalty. 


GNU Group has extensive experience branding healthcare facilities through environmental graphics and wayfinding signage to improve the patient experience and build brand loyalty. To learn how we can help enhance your healthcare environment, connect with our team.