Marketing Inside and Out.

7 02 2011

Environmental branding. Is it a part of your overall brand management strategy? Not to be confused with green marketing or sustainability, environmental branding can be defined as the purposeful application of your brand to every point of contact within the market. 

It goes beyond corporate stationery and signage, and blends the disciplines of graphic, architectural, interior, landscape, and industrial design to develop and communicate the idea of “place.” Environmental branding can literally delight the five senses and provide memorable experiences but must include all front-line personnel. It’s complementary to product design, advertising, merchandising, web design, PR and generally everything that the customer can see, touch or perceive. It’s the “total experience” of your stakeholders and should be consistent over time.

If you’re focusing on enhancing the patient experience, you are likely focusing on one or  more of the elements of environmental branding. In the healthcare arena, environmental branding addresses the creation of a healing environment — a multisensory setting that engages the physical, emotional, spiritual, and social dimensions of an individual for the purpose of restoring and maintaining health and well-being. But like all other organizations, the key is making every experience real, authentic and true to who you are as an organization.

While environmental branding includes wayfinding, brochures in the front lobby and the greeting you receive upon entry, it is bigger than a marketing or PR project. It also includes the condition of the parking lot, the aroma outside the cafeteria and attitude of every employee within your walls. It requires the attention of the entire leadership team as it can significantly impact customer satisfaction. 

A survey conducted in the hospitality industry found that overall satisfaction was directly correlated to the impression a guest held after spending only two minutes inside an organization. Are maximizing your two minutes?

To help it’s members get their hands around the task, AMA Milwaukee has lined up Jill Morin, 3EO (one of 3 CEOs) of Kahler Slater, as the featured speaker for its February luncheon (February 15 from 11:15 a.m.-1:00 p.m.). Jill is the author of Better Make It Real: Creating Authenticity in an Increasingly Fake World and my bet is her presentation will offer great insight for healthcare marketers. 

Why? Because Kahler Slater specializes in healthcare as one of its verticals, because they often use National University Hospital of Singapore as a case study and because Jill and Jim Rasche of Kahler Slater presented at Transform 2010 hosted by Mayo’s Center for Innovation. (Their presentation can be viewed at http://centerforinnovation.mayo.edu/transform/james-rasche.html.)

And if the chance to see Jill present close to home is not enough, her book (valued at $32.95) will be provided to all attendees.In it, Morin references the trade marked 4P Model which guides the the total experience design process — Perception, People, Products/Services and Place. In addition she offers nine truths of authentic, total experiences and helps you understand what you need to know and manage as a marketing leader so you can use “experience” as a differentiator for your organization. (Get a sneak peek in an introduction to Better Make it Real).

 Register for the AMA event now – the deadline is February, 11. ($35 for AMA members, $55 for guests and $30 for students or those between jobs). The event will be held at the Italian Conference Center (631 East Chicago) and begins at 11:15 with a chance to network until the formal program begins at noon.

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