By Mary E. Maloney

What can you learn about brands and branding from an iconic company like the Mayo Clinic?

We daresay a lot

In this blog, we are going to first explore the “Mayo magic”—some key ideas about why Mayo Clinic has been named, again in 2023 as it has been so many times before, “among the best of the best” hospitals by U.S. News and World Report and listed as one of the “most trusted healthcare brands” by Beckers Hospital Review.

Then we will discuss the benefits of having a solid corporate brand like Mayo’s.

Finally, we will relate the branding principles established by this iconic corporate brand to why it is worthwhile to have a solid personal brand.

Successful Brands Are Built on Trust

Perhaps the most important lesson to take away from Mayo Clinic is that the best brands are built on trust.

A February 2023 Business Insider article titled, Mayo Clinic CEO: Here’s Why We’ve Been The Leading Brand in Medicine for 100 Years, asks Mayo CEO Dr. John Noseworthy how the clinic built its reputation and manages to stay at the top.’

“I think it all comes down to our core value, which is that the needs of the patient come first,”; Noseworthy says in the piece, “I know that might sound kind of trite in today’s world, but our staff is extraordinarily committed. If you spent a day here, and you grab(bed) anybody at the Mayo Clinic and ask(ed) them, ‘what’s the purpose of your work?’; they would say, ‘to meet the needs of our patients.'”

In other words, patients come to Mayo because they can—and do—trust their needs will be served.

The Best Brands Are Consistent

Based on the Mayo example, the best brands are consistent. In the Business Insider article, Noseworthy explains how the Mayo brand is expressed the same way across the organization.

“In my role, what I hear every day from patients and family members is that the minute they step onto a Mayo campus, whether it’s in Rochester, Minnesota; Scottsdale, Arizona; Florida; or in our large integrated health system, they immediately sense that there’s something different,” he says. “They feel it right from the first person they speak with, and it’s the physicians, it’s the science, it’s the engineers and technologists. It’s that patient focus and a relentless focus on quality. This goes all the way from the heart surgeons down to the cleaning staff.

Iconic Brands Stand for Something Significant

A few years back, a woman I know took her young daughter to Mayo Clinic’s Rochester, Minnesota, location for treatment for epilepsy. Ask her what words came to mind when she thinks about Mayo today, and she’ll say: “research, specialists, world-renowned.”

Top brands know what they stand for—and then they deliver on it. For Mayo, this is serving people first, and especially people experiencing special health concerns.

“Founded more than a century ago by two brothers in the rural Midwest, the Mayo Clinic has built a world-renowned reputation as an exemplary network of clinics and hospitals that has become the preferred destination of patients with difficult-to-treat conditions,” reads the intro to a 2018 Q&A article published in Knowledge at Wharton, a business journal from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

“As people live longer and have multiple different chronic diseases, the need for … advanced services will be ever greater,” says Larry Jameson, EVP of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, in the article.

The Benefits of a Strong Niche Brand

Being as famous and respected as Mayo would certainly be nice for any brand. But what are the deeper business benefits of having a strong brand in the home health/home care industry?

Qualtrics suggests that strong brands can capture greater market share, accelerate new patient acquisition through online rates and word-of-mouth marketing, and increase loyalty amongst a highly competitive set.

Here are some specific examples:

  • Having a strong brand can help an organization appeal to underserved or growing segments.
  • Having a strong brand that truly resonates with consumers can translate to patients promoting your organization through online reviews and social media mentions.
  • Having a strong brand can boost communication and help to create moments that matter with those the organization serves.
  • Having a strong brand creates “stickiness” and can mitigate employee turnover and improve retention rates. When employees feel like they are connected to an organization that is on-purpose, they are more likely to stay and to influence a healthy work culture.

Applying the Key Principles of Iconic Brands to Personal Branding

So how do these ideas we’ve garnered from an iconic brand translate into your personal brand?

As we have seen, consistently delivering on a brand promise helps people decide to do business with a brand. They trust that brand to deliver for them. At the end of the day, people do business with people if they have a choice.

Personal branding can help you excavate your very own brand manifesto and develop ways to tell others about it consistently and authentically. Being mindful of personal branding will help you answer mission-critical questions as: “What is my brand promise?” and “How consistently am I delivering on it?”‘

Personal branding can not only help you as a leader clarify what you stand for but also affirm it until you feel it with conviction. And it can help you to effectively deliver the same message about it in any situation—whether that’s the proverbial elevator, in an all-staff meeting, or in the field.

Imagine what your business would be like when everyone, whether it’s in the first 90 days or tenured staff, “owns” what they stand for and it aligns fully with your company core values.

You as a leader can

Knowing your “why” will also give you peace of mind to pursue your next act if you are in transition (on deck). Having a brand manifesto as your true north guide will enable you to more rapidly achieve your next career milestone and build your best exit strategy.

Once you get clarity, conviction and the ability to talk about your personal brand, maybe you’ll find yourself ranking on the Home Care Pulse 2023 Best of Home Care Awards or as part of the Modern Healthcare Hall of Fame.

Finally, a heartfelt thanks to all the healthcare leaders out there who are leading with purpose, no matter how tough it gets. It speaks volumes about your personal brand. You inspire us.

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Brands and Branding Mary E MaloneyAn executive advisor, educator, speaker and author, Mary E. Maloney is the founder of Revealing Genius and the expert that accomplished leaders trust for positioning, messaging and brand strategy. A former CEO and CMO, Maloney guides healthcare C-suite leaders, founders and physicians to powerfully and strategically message their expertise and “why” so they lead with conviction and achieve their most coveted career goals. 

©2023 by The Rowan Report, Peoria, AZ. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Healthcare at Home: The Rowan Report. One copy may be printed for personal use: further reproduction by permission only.