Branding for ”Customer“ Loyalty in Long-Term Patient Care
January 12, 2017
Branding and brand awareness is more difficult to establish for medical device and pharma companies in short-term care, but it is crucial if your company focuses on long-term care.
In long-term care, your company has more of an opportunity to develop a relationship and a sense of loyalty among patients. These patients are using your medications and devices for an extended period of time, often for years or for the rest of their lives. You want to make sure those patients are happy and well-informed.
Why Your Brand Matters
Patients in long-term care use your medications or devices on a daily basis. A good example of this type of care is a patient with diabetes. A patient with diabetes will need to regularly take medications and test their blood sugar to maintain their health. They are constantly reminded of your brand and your products every day. When your medications or devices work well for a patient, that patient may become loyal to your brand, just as people do with other products they use in their daily lives.
This is a great opportunity for your company. When patients are loyal to your brand, there is more trust involved. This in turn gives you a greater opportunity to educate and reach out to more patients. Branded educational materials like a direct to patient website and brochures have a greater impact because patients feel that they can trust you. These patients also tend to be more loyal to your physicians. If they like a particular medication, they will be more likely to stay with a physician who prescribes your medication or device.
When patients are loyal to your brand, they are also more likely to talk about your medications or devices with friends and family. This word of mouth is great for your company, because those people are more likely to ask their doctors about your products if they develop similar health problems. They’ve seen firsthand how your company has positively affected their friend or family member, so naturally they are hopeful that they too can have positive results.
How Patient Education Reinforces Your Brand
Patient education is just as important in long-term care as it is in short-term care. Educational materials help to ensure that your patients are well-equipped to make important health decisions.
A direct to patient website can be very helpful, but it’s still important to get your patient education into the hands of your physicians. Even if your company is well-known and has great brand awareness, patients will ultimately still turn to physicians for information about treatment. Your patient education can help those physicians with providing information not only about your medication or device, but also the entire care process. This is helpful for patients in deciding what is right for them and which physician to see.
When your company sets out to inform patients through all points in the care process, it reinforces your brand in the eyes of patients. Your medications and devices may already have a good reputation for having helped so many patients, and your educational content helps to uphold that reputation by helping patients along in the process of seeking appropriate care.
This educational content also helps your physicians vet patients before they make an appointment so that they see more of the patients who can benefit from your medication or device. Just because a particular treatment is right for one patient doesn’t mean it is appropriate for another patient. If patients are able to get information before making an appointment, they are better equipped to make those decisions.
Patients with long-term health problems are seeking answers. They want to be able to effectively manage their health and maintain a normal lifestyle as much as they can. If your company can provide them with the tools they need to do that, they are much more likely to remain loyal to your company and your physicians in the long run.
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