Keeping a brand ahead of the curve
Strategic positioning and advertising that keeps a brand ahead of the curve
FabCom was hired to develop a comprehensive marketing, positioning, and branding strategy for a new outsourcing medical IT / business process management company being spun out of a $400MM company that now focuses primarily on science and engineering (S&E) and lab spaces.
This would be the genesis of an entirely new brand, including a new name. The name would have to deliver on the strategic positioning, not only effectively differentiating the client in their industry, but capitalizing on emerging trends to place them ahead of the curve, when it comes to relevance and the evolution of their arena, rather than back in the pack.
After a comprehensive 120-day process including input sessions with key client personnel to identify core issues and 360-degree drivers, and exhaustive primary and secondary research, and multiple layers of marketing business intelligence and creative consideration, the FabCom team presented its naming recommendation – a moniker using the acronym BPO – business process outsourcing.
At the time, the healthcare technology outsourcing market seemed to be going in various nomenclature directions including:
- HIM (Healthcare Information Management)
- HIS (Health Information Systems)
- HIT (Healthcare Information Technology)
- IT (Information Technology)
- ITO (Information Technology Outsourcing)
- ITS (Information Technology Systems)
- KPO (Knowledge Process Outsourcing)
But which of these would emerge as the industry standard setter?
It was just 41 days after FabCom presented its naming recommendation that an industry behemoth, Xerox, validated this agency recommendation over all the other options, by announcing that it was splitting itself into separate companies, one for document management and the other for, that’s right, business process outsourcing (BPO).
How did FabCom empower its mid cap clients with the naming and positioning that would anticipate this breakout trend before even the big boys could bring it to market?
The product of a uniquely rigorous process
This naming success was not a shot in the dark or the outcome of some off-the-cuff creative brainstorm sessions. Rather, it was the product of a rigorous, broad-based capture, exploration, and analysis of all the factors that needed to be identified, understood, and weighed in order to not only ask the right questions, but ultimately answer them correctly. These included:
- Bolster the in-house marketing analytics to harness divergent big data and microdata platform capabilities, by incorporating IBM Cognos into its strategic tool sets.
- A comprehensive review of internal and external data, programs and processes.
- A review of resources, internal organizational structure, strategic goals, aspirations, and current activities.
- An analysis of the current competitive market environment for outsourcing medical IT / business process management services for targeted audiences.
- An audience segmentation analysis
- A service segmentation analysis
- Brand attribute mapping
- An in-depth quantitative and qualitative study with key internal and external audiences, including officers, operations staff, sales personnel, and potential customers of the client, as well as clients of other similar companies in the healthcare business process outsourcing service sector.
- A comprehensive, competitive assessment of the capability, pricing, and sales practices of competitive business process outsourcing service companies.
- A comprehensive review of quantitative and secondary research sources including information related to issues in business process outsourcing and environmental factors, as well as economic data, trends, and related industry drivers.
- Comparative primary research conducted with the client’s existing and prospective customers, as well as primary research at industry-specific conferences.
- A comprehensive online market analysis of current and potential digital equity.
CORE BRAND ATTRIBUTES
Core brand attributes were defined tailoring the client’s central capabilities to the segmentations. These core attributes are multi-faceted in relation to the different context or the type of client engagement, deliverable, stakeholder group addressed or time and place in the client relationship cycles.
The new name and brand were then designed to align with and leverage these defined core attributes throughout all communications as a unified message. Capturing the right emotional resonance was critical in the brand and positioning development.
We understand that the client’s relationship-based sale truly comes down to a belief and trust that the brand will steward clients’ needs, and be accountable for better efficacy and less liability, and that’s personal. When something becomes personal, it becomes emotional.
BRAND SCALABILITY AND ELASTICITY
Scalability of the brand had to be accommodated within the brand naming and positioning for streamlined distribution including automated and market-triggered online processes, integrated with personal, one-to-one sales funnels, and augmented with cross-disciplined triage and relationship sales teams.
The new brand and name needed to provide direct simplicity, relevant nomenclatures, connective textures, and resonance with the embedded promise of stewardship. It was at this time in the market’s development that the brand and position be built online as believable and meaningful to maximize the capability of online reach. This would help eliminate awareness targeting and scalability deficiencies revolving around the expansion of the current sales and marketing processes.
VALUE PROPOSITION INTEGRATION
Our research highlighted existing perceptions regarding the shortcomings of the clients’ large competitors – that they treat customers like a number. So positioning as the alternative promising one-to-one accountable and verified communication posed an important opportunity.
After deep inside-out and outside-in research, the idea became central that our client can offer instantaneous, compliant processes with passionate facilitation that precisely navigates the healthcare enterprise through the maze of technology, systems, vendors, infrastructure changes, regulations and processes.
Another facet of the client’s value proposition was their ability to offer complete, trustworthy solution sets and the proxy ability for the interested customer to harness and leverage the efficiency of best-of-class business process outsourcing with a partner that is passionate and built to steward segmentation-relevant or specialist-level efficacy.
A BRANDING TRIFECTA – FIRST, BEST, ALTERNATIVE
Based on our deep research and analysis, the integrated marketing teams at FabCom were able to identify the opportunity to marshal a very coveted brand and positioning trifecta — the once in a lifetime opportunity to become a brand that is first to be a “best alternative” in the minds of its targets.
It is hard to over-estimate the importance, efficiency and power of being the first to effectively establish a particular position in a category. The easiest way to get into a person’s mind is to be first. What’s the name of the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic? Charles Lindbergh, right?
Now, what’s the name of the second person to fly solo across the Atlantic? Not so easy to answer, is it?
The first “anything” to occupy the position in the mind is very hard to dislodge. IBM in enterprise computers, Apple in personal computers, Xerox in plain paper copiers, Facebook in social media, Coke in cola, General in electric. In marketing, the first to establish the position has an enormous advantage. In marketing, it’s good to have the best product/ service/etc. But, it’s even better to be the first to own and communicate a specific position, and to be the ideal alternative to the competition – the big brands, current in-house solutions or what has been available in the local markets – along with being the first and the best is perhaps the most fundamentally sound positioning available.
TRENDS IN THE TECHNOLOGY OF BUSINESS
The known, the trending and the formulation in the arena of technology, hardware, software and support within the healthcare spaces are dynamic. The terms and nomenclatures, which imbue specific meaning in one area of the country, business segmentation, stakeholder cohort or stage of the buying cycle, are not consistent across regions or segmentations.
Most key industry acronyms and terminology have different relevance based on the variable context and use. At this point in the evolution of technology support markets, one thing that can be agreed upon as a term that has a common perspective or reference is “IT.”
There is a common reference of Information Technology (IT) and what it has meant for the past three decades. Owning the IT mind space for our primary targets was still a critical first step to secure known and existing best opportunities.
In addition, now forming in the healthcare sector as new sets of solutions and commonly trending as a new and emerging nomenclature and reference, is the old concept newly redefined for healthcare Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).
BPO can be defined as a subset of outsourcing that involves the contracting of the complete operations and responsibilities of a specific business process including support to a third-party service provider.
BPO is among the fastest growing sectors of the outsourcing industry. The concept of BPO is also expected to gain increased significance and momentum while playing a critical role in the emergence of contracted services in the arena of enterprise healthcare capabilities.
The term BPO included our client’s existing strengths of capability and marketability:
- Professional services
- Managed services
- Clinical services
It also provided the scalable ontology into a new category that this emerging brand would want to embrace as it continued to develop:
The BPO terminology also expanded their arena of operations to include all of what will develop that is not yet here. This is inclusive of telehealth progressions within this new and emerging category as well as providing blue-sky scalability of any emerging service niches or new technologies as they develop within the healthcare and IT sectors.
This market sector is experiencing convergence with the combination of existing IT references and the BPO mindsets or references within the healthcare industry. That “other” new and evolving reference is the term and phrasing of Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO).
ITO is a subset of BPO, which refers directly to end-to-end clinical and non-clinical application outsourcing. ITO also has a second meaning for Infrastructure Technology Outsourcing as a sub-segment of general healthcare ITO service categories.
The space is evolving quickly and creating its own atmosphere…and chaos. The currently developing acronyms and nomenclatures with the most relevant traction – matching search intent to the client’s services – are IT, BPO, and ITO. A company operating in these spaces that is forced to be one or the other will automatically rule themselves out of consideration of two-thirds of the trending search opportunities, since humans think and search one primary search reference at a time.
On the other hand, the organization that can harness the momentum and experiences of the past, the efforts of the present, and the promise of the future – by creating a brand that stands for unity in the midst of a perfect storm of change within this sector – is positioned to evolve and scale with each target audience cohort, this is due to the direct search intent of prospects and emotional appeal of the brand with its advertising messaging.
The BPO naming nomenclature was the recommended option that surfaced through our comprehensive research, analysis, and creative process. While we were thrilled to learn just a month later that an industry giant, like Xerox, had come to the same conclusion we had, we were not entirely surprised. They’d done their homework just like we had. They saw the same data points, industry trends, technological innovations and audience triggers, and how they combined to make the case for this naming direction. The difference: We executed in a fraction of the time and undoubtedly at a fraction of their cost as a midsized integrated agency working out of the Southwest serving the small to mid-sized market cap brands.
In order to pull together and communicate the essence of new naming and positioning, the marketing agency created a roll-out advertising campaign, Unity Within®, to clearly emphasize that partnering with the company would create unity within their operations.
Unity Within is a transformative technology approach creating the system that unifies an organization’s equipment, software, and operations. This approach provides internal and external connections of data, and process, and fosters relationships throughout hospitals, care facilities, and care delivery organizations.
To learn more about how FabCom works with naming and positioning chops for this client, see Predicting the Market’s Vector.
The services and methodology leveraged for this project.
Marketing Business Intelligence Marketing Research Strategic Marketing Planning SEO/SEM Corporate Identity Branding and Positioning NeuromarketingCross-Channel integrationOnline MarketingTransaction and Trigger MarketingMarketing Communications