SMPL Q&A is a blog feature in which we interview our experts on all things relevant to brand experience and design. We connected with our colleague in Los Angeles, senior strategist Nick Miller, and spoke with him about the changing nature of the healthcare industry, how it will impact brand architecture, and how that’s an opportunity to innovate on customer experience in the future.

Healthcare is an industry in transition. How can insurance, pharmacy, and hospital brands deal with the massive changes happening across sectors and what are some of the key issues “brand” and healthcare branding can address?

Practically every business in healthcare is evolving their core offerings and brand is one of the best ways to demonstrate change. A well defined and executed brand sends a clear signal to people, inside and outside the company, about what you stand for where you’re headed.

It helps to:

  • Build relationships and inspire loyalty: As aspects of the industry become commoditized, brand plays a bigger role in business success.
  • Engage employees in cultural change: Healthcare organizations are becoming consumer-centric and brand can not only inform change but encourage participation.
  • Attract premium talent and partnerships: Healthcare jobs are in high demand, increasing the need for a strong employer reputation.

Why is brand architecture so crucial for the sector today?

A sound brand architecture strategy brings clarity to increasingly complex situations. Healthcare brands are transforming in many different ways—adding new products and services, divesting key offerings, mergers and acquisitions, etc. And brand architecture clearly explains why these decisions are made. It can show how the pieces fit together to provide new and better value.

Clearly outlining the structure of your portfolio also helps ease the fear and anxiety of change. When people know the plan and understand what to expect, it makes for a smoother transition.

How can it help healthcare brands innovate on customer experience?

Brand architecture is the strategic blueprint for how to deliver a customer experience. It communicates what people should expect when interacting with a company. Where can I buy this product? Who do I call for customer service? Why are they sharing my information? These are all questions a clear brand architecture answers.

And the simpler you make it, the more opportunity exists to add the creative layer of customer experience. When strategy and creativity works together, it delivers something that truly surprises and delights, every time.

Nick Miller is a senior strategist with Siegel+Gale. Follow him on Twitter: @nicknackmiller