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Branding In Healthcare, Term Paper Example

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Term Paper

In an age where consumers of healthcare are given more choices and have more resources available to them in the past, one way that healthcare has found to cope with this is to market itself in the way, for instance, a brand of clothing might market itself.  While this can have many potential benefits, there are also ethical considerations to consider in the branding of healthcare.

Benefits of Healthcare Branding

There are many potential benefits to healthcare branding.  One of them is that consumers will recognize a brand name and know what to expect from it, no matter where they are, much as they know what to expect in quality form a chain restaurant or a hotel.  In this sense, healthcare is seen as a need that must be met and the meeting of this need must be efficient. In his paper, The Role Branding in Healthcare, Acton writes that “the rewards of branding can be great as it provides an opportunity to truly assess the needs of their members, develop capabilities to meet those needs and more effectively communicate the ability of meet those needs” (Acton, 1998, p.15).

Secondly, branding to work as an influence to improve the quality of healthcare. There are many industries now, such as Prophet Industries, who work to help healthcare develop a more business-like approach to branding and marketing their product. Companies like Prophet believe that developing a brand will distinguish a clinic, for instance, in the marketplace and maintain and expand their patient base.  If the company can deliver consistently on the brand promise of quality healthcare, this will strengthen the power of that brand and also motivate employees to maintain their high standards to keep the brand relevant for financial reasons (Prophet, 2014, p. 6).

Thirdly, branding and good marketing of healthcare can have on overall beneficial impact on the health of the community as a whole.  Health branding and other marketing strategies can lead to the “application of proven techniques drawn from the commercial sector to promote changes in diverse socially important behaviors” (Evans, 2006, p. 55).  In other worlds, good branding and marketing of quality healthcare can lead to people making overall healthier choices.

Potential Negative Consequences

There are, however, potential negative consequences for branding in healthcare. The most important one that needs to be addressed is the possibility of false or misleading information being given to the healthcare consumer for financial reasons.  A recent article in the Journal of Business Ethics worries that healthcare branding “will run counter to the public health efforts to equip citizens with proper skills and knowledge…because health care brand messages aim at getting a positive emotional response in order to produce a purchase intention” (Anker, T., 2013, p.36).  This is a potential negative that should be carefully monitored for the sake of overall public health.

Conclusion

Branding in health care has the potential to can help produce reasonable patient expectations in regard to care, and can also improve the quality of healthcare and even the health of the community at large.  However, this must be monitored due to the possibility that healthcare marketing will be less motivated by consumer health than by profit and give patients misleading or false information in order to achieve this end.  Branding should only be put into play when it truly benefits the patients and the healthcare system overall.

References

Acton, V. The Role of Branding in Healthcare.  (1998). Managed Care Quarterly. 6(4) 15-19

Anker, T. (2013).  Ethical Problems in Health Branding. Journal of Business Ethics. 104(1) 33-45.

Evans, D.  How Marketing Works in Healthcare.  The British Medical Journal. 332 (75) 55-62

Prophet Industries. (2014). Addressing the Healthcare Industry’s Strategic Challenges. Prophet Industries Website.  Retrieved from www.prophet.com/services/healthcare

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