Turning Brand “Leakage” into Brand “Keepage”

Turning Brand “Leakage” into Brand “Keepage”

From healthcare marketer to secret shopper, I recently experienced the effects of brand “leakage” with my physician. What I witnessed was how easily my symptoms translated to the pain of lost market share. Brand “leakage” is the loss of revenue, volume and consumer engagement as a result of your patients being referred outside of your system – by your own referral sources. Why is this important? “Leakage” estimates range from 30-40% in many health systems. That means a $500 million system with 30% leakage sees $150 million walk out the door. Got your attention? After discussing a persistent lower back issue with my primary care physician, he suggested I have an MRI. He thoughtfully explained the benefits of staying within the health system – let’s call it System X. I did so and appreciated the benefits of being able to discuss the results immediately with him. That’s as far as we got in terms of system loyalty and when the brand “leakage” began to take place. Along with his evaluation of my MRI came the recommendation that I see a couple specialists. I requested he send me to “the best” – not wanting to settle for “convenience” or “cost”. In my physician’s mind “the best” orthopedic surgeon for me was not in his System X, but at System Y. And “the best” neurosurgeon for me was at System Z. So much for keeping the business in the family! How can hospital marketers help prevent this kind of brand “leakage?” Marketers can help protect against brand “leakage” by building a strong and differentiated brand with both external and internal audiences...
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