Selecting the Right Brand Strategy Services Partner

In this post, we provide questions to ask brand strategy services firms to ensure you select the partner who can bring your brand to life

Why This Matters

Most marketers would agree that your brand is one of your company’s greatest assets. In fact, some companies might say that their brand is their SINGLE greatest asset.

Healthcare Technology is no different than any other industry. Companies such as Epic, MediTech, Athena Health, McKesson, and Optum have built brands that have stood the test of time and the ups and downs of our market.

Selecting the right partner to help you refine your current or create a new brand strategy and expression carries great risk. Picking the right partner will help your firm build a powerful asset. Getting it wrong has ruined careers.

There are many different ways to develop your brand, and there is a wide range of choices when selecting the type of partner.

So, how do you select the right partner?

We hope that these questions will help you get it right.

1. Which Great Healthcare Technology Brands Do They Admire?

Once you have a candidate list of brand strategy services firms, ask each who they think has a great brand in healthcare technology and why.

This will help you understand who they think you should aspire to emulate and why. It will also give you a sense of how they think about brands and what goes into creating great ones.

2. What Goes Into a Good Brand Strategy?

As you select the right brand strategy services firms for you, you want to understand their beliefs about what goes into making a great brand.

There are many different terms used by brand strategy services firms: Brand positioning, brand equity, brand identity, and brand image. All of these are relevant and useful. The challenge is that there are many different ways of defining what a brand is and how you should express it.

You need to know what they believe are the foundations of a great brand and what are the strategic components.

3. What Makes a Weak Brand?

Ask them who they think has a weak or bad brand. Why is this brand weak? What mistakes have they made and why? If it were them, what would they do to correct this?

This will give you a further sense of how these different brand strategy services firms think.

4. What is Their Approach and Process for Creating a Great Brand?

Any good brand strategy services firm or brand agency will have its unique approach. While there are many similarities between different approaches to creating a great brand, one of the things that makes a great agency stand out is that they have a unique perspective and a unique process for creating brands.

At Health Launchpad, we have the following process that is designed to develop a brand positioning that brings a company’s mission to life in a differentiated way, capturing a unique spot in the market and is driven by customer needs and wants.

This is the point of departure for creating a brand strategy and story.

brand positioning framework

5. How do they bring the customer into the process?

In our view, the customer is the most important stakeholder for your brand. You want to understand how each brand strategy services firm brings the customer’s viewpoint into defining the brand. For example, what does the customer currently think about your brand versus what you want them to think?

Any effective brand strategy services firm will have a methodology for understanding customer needs, what they think of different brands, and what will motivate them to positively perceive your brand.

6. How Will They Reflect Your Company’s Mission, Vision, and Values in the Brand Strategy?

What steps do they take to understand and embrace your mission, vision, and values? And how that will be translated into a brand strategy.

How will they help you build alignment and buy-in to the brand strategy? This will include helping your executives understand the different roles of your brand strategy versus your mission, vision, and values statements.

7. How Will They Help You Create Brand Differentiation?

One mistake that some firms make is to jump straight to a compelling brand story before they have created a clear and effective brand positioning. Jumping to the story before doing this risks taking shortcuts in establishing competitive differentiation.

What will the brand strategy services firm do to understand your competitors and define the competitors’ brand positioning and brand strategy? How will they identify a unique opportunity for you to create differentiation?

8. How Will They Find a Voice and Language That Is in tune with the Market?

One of the key components of a brand strategy that many companies don’t grasp fully is the importance of understanding the way that customers, influencers, and reporters talk about your market.

Healthcare is different from other markets. It has its own language, and the key market drivers can be hard for anyone new to healthcare to get to grips with.

So, how do your shortlisted brand strategy services understand the language of your market, and how will that be reflected in a new brand strategy?

9. How Will They Define a Compelling Brand Positioning?

A brand positioning statement is the keystone of a good brand strategy.  How do your shortlisted brand strategy services firms define brand positioning? They should provide examples

We believe that the key elements of a brand positioning statement are:

  • A defined customer set with a clearly identified problem
  • A benefit that customers say is highly important to them
  • How this is different from the competition

10. How Will They Translate this Brand Positioning into a Compelling Brand Story?

Once your brand strategy services firm has created the rational framework of a brand positioning, how will they turn this into a brand story that will engage all of the key stakeholders? How will they motivate your management team, the rest of the staff, your partners, and last but not least, your customers to think differently about your brand.

They must show examples of how they translate the brand positioning into a brand story. There are many techniques for doing this, including “Start with Why,” “Story Brand,” and the “Challenger Sale.”

 11. How Will They Create Buy-in Across the Company?

When your new brand strategy is launched, the first important audience who needs to buy into this approach is your company’s employees. They can be ambassadors of your brand and the strongest advocates in helping you get customers on board.

What tools and techniques do they recommend to help you get your key brand ambassadors on board?  How will they help get your staff to tell your brand’s story in a consistent way that amplifies this across the market?

We often create compelling videos for staff that can be adapted to be relevant to your customers later.

12. How Do They Recommend You Manage the Brand Transition?

One of the things that many companies get wrong is how they transition the brand. If it involves a new name or a radical new positioning, this is easy to screw up. One thing many companies get wrong is failing to understand how much effort it takes to get your market and your customers and prospective customers to change their perception of your current brand.

The firms need to show you how you should do this, especially what the critical success factors are.

13. What Tools Will They Provide to Help You Successfully Manage Change?

For example, will they provide a brand style guide, and what are the key components of this? What type of tools will they provide so that you provide consistent language across all of your various channels? How will they ensure that your staff uses consistent language about your brand?

And last but not least, how will they help you measure that you’ve made this brand change successfully?

14. What Are Their Success Stories?

So the obvious thing you want to see throughout their process is examples of how their approach works and the results that it’s driven. Go beyond the 2-page case studies to review detailed deliverables

 Who are their references? And which customers will have a conversation with you to reinforce that you are, that they are a great partner to work with.

15. Who Will Do The Work?

Meet the team who will do the work. Who will interview the customers and your executives? What is the relevant experience that team member has? Are they passionate about the project, and why?

We hope this checklist helps you and by the way….

If you liked this post and want to learn more…

  1. Check out more posts like this in the Health tech MarketingLearning Center. It is chock-full of articles, use cases, how-to’s, and ideas.

  2. Follow me or connect with me on LinkedIn. I publish videos and articles on ABM and health tech marketing.

  3. Buy Total Customer Growth: Our book on how to win and grow customers for life with ABM and ABX.

  4. Work with me directly. Let’s book a growth session and we can explore ways you can improve your marketing using the latest techniques in account-based marketing

Posted by Adam Turinas
Posted in Brand Marketing on June 3, 2024

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About the Author Adam Turinas

Hi, I am Adam Turinas, Health Launchpad's founder. I am passionate about helping healthtech firms succeed through better sales and marketing. I have hard-earned experience in healthcare technolgy as I started two healthcare businesses in the US, the first with zero healthcare experience. We sold the second business to a strategic buyer seven years later. Over 9 years building a healhtech businesses, I have learned how to sell and market effectively to healthcare organizations. Prior to this, I spent two decades in digital marketing across healthcare and other consumer industries where I sold over $100 million in products and services to corporations and healthcare orgs. I would love to talk with you. You can book a call with me on the right hand side. Best Adam (This is page 0 of many)Enter your text here...