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May 23, 2024

Transform Your Medical Practice with These 4 Internal Branding Strategies

Mike Slusarz
Internal Branding Strategies

In recent blog articles, I’ve discussed how medical practices build brands and acquire new patients through creative marketing strategies. 

In this blog, I’ll dive into how a successful internal branding campaign, structured around four strategic phases, can boost morale, create a positive culture, and enhance your medical practice’s brand strategy. 

This approach aligns team members with business development goals and strengthens overall brand value, product lines, and organizational purpose. Engaged employees and a vibrant culture are the cornerstones of a strong brand. 


Here are the Key Components of an Internal Branding Campaign for Medical Practices:

The campaign is divided into four essential phases, each contributing to its overall success:


1. Comprehensive Internal Communications Guide

This roadmap ensures consistent and clear communication across your organization. It bridges the gap between leaders and staff, promoting unified messaging about programs, staff, partnerships, and support services. The guide connects your practice’s programs, vision, and core values, using strategic communication pillars to simplify and unify messages.


2. Engaging and Interactive Promotional Activities

Promotional activities are vital for engaging employees and fostering a sense of ownership and pride in the brand. Here are some examples:

Contests: Organize brand-themed contests to encourage creativity and participation. These can include brand storytelling challenges, brand value photo contests, innovative idea challenges to enhance services or patient experiences, brand ambassador recognition programs, and slogan creation challenges.

Promotions: Offer timed promotions that reward employees for demonstrating their brand knowledge through online quizzes or exemplary brand spirit.

Learning Exercises: Conduct interactive workshops and seminars that educate employees about the brand’s history, values, and goals. Rewards: Implement a reward system that recognizes and celebrates employees’ contributions to brand-building efforts.


3. Effective Communication Channels

Utilize various channels to maintain open and effective communication. To ensure the message reaches and resonates with all employees, a variety of communication channels should be utilized:

Workplace Posters: Display visually appealing posters in common areas to reinforce key brand messages, milestones, events and profile brand ambassadors.

Emails: Send regular, engaging emails that highlight important updates, success stories, and that reinforce the key messaging pillars.

Organic Social Media Posts: Post branded practice events, staff recognition programs, staff videos and promotions on your organic channels. Encourage employees to share branded content on their social media accounts, to foster organic growth and engagement.


4. Metrics to Measure Success

To gauge the effectiveness of the internal branding campaign, several metrics can be used: team members reached, engagement with campaign materials (measured by likes, shares, and comments), and analysis of employee participation in social media campaigns (indicated by follower growth and content sharing).

This structured approach ensures that the campaign not only aligns with business goals but also builds a cohesive, motivated, and engaged workforce.


Key Takeaway’s and Best Practices 

  • Use various communication channels to effectively reach all employees, ensuring a clear and consistent message throughout the organization. 
  • Acknowledge and reward staff who contribute to branding efforts.
  • Provide ongoing training to ensure all employees understand and can articulate the brand’s values. 
  • Bring the branding campaign to different locations within your practice. This reinforces the message, engages everyone, and demonstrates a deep commitment to each location. 
  • Make brand advocacy part of every employee’s job competency. Include it in performance evaluations to ensure alignment with branding goals. 


Uniting a Multi-Specialty Practice: A Case Study in Internal Branding 

When a regional multi-specialty medical group expanded from 2 provider locations to nearly 50, with over 1,800 staff members, they faced significant challenges in connecting all employees with the group’s core values, mission, and vision.  

During our discovery process, we found the enterprise lacked a core messaging platform, there was poor staff awareness for the depth and breadth of the services across the practices, weak internal communication channels, low levels of staff satisfaction with communications and a lack of alignment between the locations.  

To address these challenges, we launched an enterprise-wide internal branding campaign using the four-stage process designed to enhance team knowledge, motivate and educate staff, and align everyone with the group’s vision. 


Campaign Implementation 

In less than a year, we developed a comprehensive messaging guide and reached every team member through a variety of innovative communication touchpoints including: 

  • 100+ unique posters displayed monthly across 50 locations to reinforce core messages. 
  • 50+ campaign emails focused on regular updates and reinforced the key messages to keep staff informed and engaged. 
  • 30+ organic social media posts oriented to be staff focused to increase online engagement. 
  • 25 engaging quizzes designed to test team knowledge and reward participants with gift cards, event tickets, preferred parking, and a team day at a local venue. 


Results and Impact 

Our efforts yielded substantial short-term wins and long-term benefits:  

  • Increased participation and engagement, marked by a significant rise in online interactions and staff involvement.
  • Higher internal communication satisfaction scores. Levels increased by over 75%. 
  • High staff participation rates with close to 3,000 staff members engaging in contests, events, and quizzes. 
  • Increase in staff followers on organic social media channels by over 700.

By implementing this comprehensive internal branding campaign, we successfully connected a rapidly growing medical group, fostering a cohesive and motivated workforce aligned with the group’s mission and vision. 

Next Steps

Learn how we can elevate your medical practice with our Free Action Plan.

Mike Slusarz
Follow Mike Slusarz

Mike Slusarz is a seasoned healthcare marketing professional with 30+ years expertise in brand management, strategic planning, digital marketing, physician relations and corporate communications. As former VP of Marketing & Brand Strategy at Barnabas Health for 25+ years, leading the marketing operations for seven acute care hospitals, three cardiac surgery centers, four of NJ’s largest teaching hospitals and over 700 medical practices.

Mike’s leadership spans Cape Regional Health System, PRISM Vision Group, and the Marathon Group, his award-winning agency. A former President of the Health Care Planning & Marketing Society of New Jersey, he also teaches at Temple University.

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