Everyone bangs away at the brand drum nowadays. There are specialist companies that will reinvent your brand for you, business analysts that will convince you of the value of a brand, and marketing people telling you how to build it.
But the true value of a care home brand has to be measured by its truth. In a market where care and nursing homes are responsible for the wellbeing of other human beings 24/7, marketing hyperbole and the use of a specific typeface seem somehow peripheral and even unimportant.
But understanding how brand thinking applies to a particular market is the key to unlocking wisdom in behaviour and power in communication.
The idea of 'your brand' is powerful in this market when it pertains to a group agreement - a code of behaviour if you will - about how you go about your job of caring for others.
It has to be based in, yes, a vision about how things should be, but it also has to be based in truth. It is no good claiming superiority, looking superior as a brand when the visitor experience communicates something entirely different.
The most meaningful currency in THIS marketplace is trust. "Will you do your best to care for my mum unstintingly, no matter what? And are you resourced and organised enough to be sure that you can follow through as a group with this good intention?" This has to be at the heart of brand thinking.
So this is not a game of logos over the door: It means that everyone in the organisation has to understand, believe and stand for what the company states in terms of its brand. They have to believe it and believe in it. Because it should provide the symbol of their intention to serve others, directly and indirectly. And serve as a reminder of how all the company's team and staff will survive and do well at their chosen task.
You can see that brand thinking, if handled and understood in the right way could provide the catalyst for standing out against the competition in an authentic way. In a way that resonates and appreciated by prospective residents, residents and their family members.
Expressing your brand well in logoform, typefaces and style is a discipline that will support the company and its communication, but it will never replace its need for establishing the group agreement in the first place.