A new way to think about extending brand messages.

As healthcare brands expand, the need to translate messages

to different audiences is even greater.

A new way of thinking about messaging sheds the myth that brands must conform and be consistent at every step. While the “McDonald’s” approach offers comfort and familiarity for many brands in different industries; healthcare brands still benefit from a local “taste.”  So, what happens when hospitals or health systems become regional or national? Does the messaging lose its local flavor in favor of global ideas?  Or, should it adapt to the disparate audiences it now serves?

Springboard’s work with the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS), a leading global medical society, and its Executive Director, Ken Slaw, Ph.D., resulted in the finding that “translational branding” is the key to reaching different audiences more effectively and efficiently. This concept and case study was presented at last summer’s American Association of Medical Society Executives (AAMSE) Annual Conference.


The translational branding model (B) adapts from the translational research model (T). Translational research is a discipline that examines new ways to apply clinical delivery to different settings and populations.  This methodology is gaining in performance and acceptance as new platforms of care emerge in our society.

Similarly, translational branding encourages healthcare organizations to adapt their messaging to the unique audiences and communities they serve; both influencers and end-users.

In this model, the brand starts by translating its unique position to audience segments, and to their optimal delivery channels.

At the heart of translational branding is relevance.

A brand’s ability to connect with its audiences more effectively is based on its understanding of audiences needs and desires.

To make translational branding more effective:

  1. A strategy shift from talking about yourself to one that engages with the target audiences based on what’s most meaningful to them at that point in their lives.
  2. A brand position that is consistent but flexible enough to allow for translation to its different audiences.
  3. Messaging management and insights from local brand representatives with “boots on the ground” that can help translate messaging that is most meaningful and relevant in their marketplace.

When healthcare organizations focuse on a Primary Service Area (PSA) mentality, a single value proposition and message are both doable and believable. However, in the age of regional and national healthcare brands, these organizations need to reach different audiences with relevant messaging while being true to a consistent brand position.  A tough balancing act, but one that is achieved through the concept of translational branding.   .

To learn more about how Springboard uses translational branding to make products and services more relevant and effective, visit www.springboardbrand.com or email me at mike@springboardbrand.com.

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