The headlines shouted that Apple was no longer the world’s most recognized brand — Google had surpassed it. Apple, Microsoft and AT&T followed close behind. A 2016 survey ranked Google’s brand value at $229 Billion with Apple at $228 billion.

As a nursing leader, I rarely gave credence to branding and the value of a name, until I was sitting in a local coffee shop. I was interviewing for a new position at a nearby hospital in town when I observed an interesting group and their clothing. A hospital logo appeared on their jackets, vests and outerwear.

Person after person saw the brand and came over to the group to mention how much their hospital meant to them. One woman announced proudly that this was her hospital — the only one she opted to utilize. 

Fast forward to a time when I was assisting a family member to make a major life change. She needed to move from her home of 42 years into assisted living. As we moved from one setting to another, she kept determining that the one she wanted was the name she knew. It was not the newest, or most progressive utilizing technology, but it was the name she knew. 

In today’s healthcare environment, your brand is more critical than ever before. Leaders have to give thought to how to build their brand to where it is a recognized name associated with quality care and value. The value equation is more than a dollar amount; it is the value of trust of a community that will seek out your services. It also is the value equation when you negotiate contracts to be included in networks and partnerships with referral sources. 

Medline, for example, works with facilities across the continuum of care to help bring mission and vision to life for patients, residents and staff through customization. As much as we help tailor solutions that help drive improved outcomes, experts on staff also help provide consult on how to better connect with those you care for and serve.  

So ask yourself, “What would I hear in the local coffee shop about my organization?” If you hesitate for a moment, that is a signal that you need to give attention to building your brand. 

Martie Moore, RN, MAOM, CPHQ, is the chief nursing officer at Medline Industries Inc. and a corporate advisory council member for the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel.