Emotional Branding – How to Win Your Patient’s Hearts

, ,
hands holding heart for healthcare emotional branding

The most loyal customers are the ones that love you. They chose you because of how you make them feel and that feeling is uniquely associated to your product, service, or organization. It’s almost impossible for a competitor to replicate or replace.

For healthcare marketing professionals looking for ways to reach patients in a dynamic and competitive landscape, emotional branding is the key. Beyond the latest technology or your impressive statistics, emotional branding taps into the human side of healthcare and creates meaningful connections between providers, their patients, and the community.

What is emotional branding?

Emotional branding is more than clever taglines and impactful imagery; it’s about tapping into deeper human motivators like freedom, love, protection, fear, power, security, gratification, and belonging. In the context of healthcare marketing, emotional branding appeals to natural human instincts and desires, not just the clinical aspects of healthcare. By recognizing and tapping into their emotions, your marketing makes patients feel seen and understood.

Why does emotional branding work?

Neuroscientists have long studied the emotional impact of marketing with tools like eye tracking, facial coding, and electroencephalogram (EEG), so there is data to support that it works.

  • Emotions play a pivotal role in decision making. Neuroscientific studies show that emotions influence our perceptions and decisions more than rational thinking does. Harvard Business Review research estimates that 50% of a brand experience is driven by emotion and 90% of the buying decisions happen in the subconscious.
  • We have a shared human experience. For as diverse as we all are and as varied as our backgrounds, it turns out that basic human motivators and emotions cross social, racial, religious, and geographic backgrounds, making them universal.
  • Stories are the heart of connection. Storytelling is the operating system of the brain, and for healthcare marketers, stories activate parts of the brain associated with empathy.

How to create emotional branding

  • Find a problem, then identify the feeling. Marketers are good at identifying the problems their product or service can solve and take it one step further. When your patient comes to you, how do they feel? Promoting a new mother-baby unit? Tap into the unique combination of excitement and trepidation. Enhancing family care services? Consider the need for certainty and stability. Focusing on cancer care? Reduce fear and provide a sense of control.
  • Find stories. Healthcare marketers have amazing stories to share, so find patients and providers that can reflect those emotions in an authentic and relatable way. Connect those stories back to your organization in a positive and inspiring way.
  • Create the connection. Help move patients from perceiving your brand to connecting with your brand. Create calls to action that are simple, effective and produce a sense of urgency.

Outcomes and Success

How do you measure an emotional connection? It can be difficult to measure the direct impact of any marketing effort, and emotional branding is no different. Here are tools that can set an important benchmark and the outcomes of your efforts.

  • Surveys and Feedback

Implement pre- and post-campaign surveys that collect feedback directly from patients to gauge emotional resonance. Ask about their emotional experience with the brand and the impact of the campaign on their perception.

  • Social Media Analytics

Monitor social media engagement metrics in the form of likes, shares, and comments on social platforms to measure connections. Analyze sentiment to understand how the audience perceives the emotional aspects of the campaign.

  • Patient Retention and Loyalty

A successful emotional branding campaign should result in increased patient loyalty, so analyze the increased lifetime value of a patient. Also look at patient-to-patient referrals as a sign of loyalty.

We know that emotional branding pays dividends. Patients that are connected emotionally are 52% more valuable than those who are just satisfied with your services. In healthcare marketing, emotional branding is a powerful tool for fostering a connection between providers and their audience. By understanding the science behind emotions and implementing strategies that integrate patient stories, healthcare marketers can elevate their campaigns to resonate on a deeper, more personal level. Emotional branding both captures attention and creates a lasting impact on the hearts and minds of patients.

If you want ideas for creating more emotional connecting in your marketing and branding, Chartwell’s healthcare marketing division would love to assist.