How Isolating Product and Service Lines Squanders Your Brand


The trending efforts of marketing staffs to concentrate on promoting specific consumer product lines, or healthcare service lines, depending upon their respective industries, often puts them at odds in a race against their own organization’s leadership. And, because their sights are set on achieving narrow goals separate from those of their CEOs and directors, it is likely a race that no one can clearly win.

For example, marketing a healthcare service line entails focusing on a particular form of care, such as orthopedics. Marketers try to sell that to the public by stating that their medical facility offers better care than the one across town. They focus on data-driven evidence, or whatever large or small factors set them apart – be they awards, or rankings, or number of specialists on staff, operations performed, and so on. They use those factors to try and create a reputation for excellence, while also boosting revenues. But, in the process of touting one or two service lines, they can be severely limiting the growth potential of their brands.

CEOs, meanwhile, don’t look at the future through a microscope. When they want to look ahead at the big picture, they use binoculars. That delivers clarity yet provides a broader horizon. Instead of restricting their brands’ futures to one or two product or service lines, they want to set a more expansive course where every element of their vision, which touches on all layers of their organization and every service line, has a better opportunity to succeed.

Step Out of the Weeds

How can you bring your marketing staffs and your upper-level management together? Begin by getting everyone to step out of the weeds and into a clearing by developing a specific marketing plan. Having a targeted, comprehensive plan, rather than a hodgepodge of ideas regarding distinctive but separate products or services, will articulate a broad vision and point everyone in the same direction.

The plan itself may be multi-faceted. It could involve a change to your overall brand platform and expression, or it could call for the application of particular design principles and design concepts to your comprehensive marketing efforts. The development of a marketing plan that isn’t driven only by data, but by creative thoughts and ambitious goals, puts human emotions and responsiveness back into the equation. In any race, that gives your brand a leg up on the competition.

How Children’s Hospital Advanced Its Entire Brand

One way to shift your brand into higher gear is to advance the entire brand. While promoting service or product lines can be effective, that strategy threatens to weaken your brand by reducing it to bits and pieces. There is also a danger of promoting a product that falls from favor with consumers, or a service line whose outcomes fail to meet industry standards. That can harm your brand’s overall image, and its position in the marketplace.

Building a complete brand identity often begins with an image. Children’s Hospital had a problem with its brand identity, starting with its logo. While the Omaha medical facility was adding staff and clinical care in an effort to become a regional destination for pediatric care, the Children’s brand was lagging woefully behind. Creating a new, relevant and impactful identity required a fresh perspective, and our design team provided that perspective. We guided the brand’s renewal by capitalizing on the unique aspects of a full-service pediatric medical center with top-quality physicians and staff, specialty services, innovative facilities and ground-breaking research.

By not focusing on one service line, we were able to design a brand strengthened by all its services and the people behind them. Children’s Hospital & Medical Center is now setting the pace for others like it. This year, Children’s has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report among the “Best Children’s Hospitals” in not one or two, but five pediatric specialties. That is the promise of one powerful brand.


Read more about our work with Children’s.


About Daake

We are brand design experts who deliver transformative ideas to the nation’s marketing professionals and CEOs as they seek guidance, clarity and excitement for their brand.

We would love to hear more about what you have in mind for your next project. Call Greg Daake at 402.933.1094.

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