Write a 4- to 5-page essay (This does not include the cover sheet or the reference page.) in
which you formulate a plan to brand a product or service associated with your health care
organization (or to brand the organization itself), and to market online. If there is currently
an existing branding strategy in place, then describe how you would improve upon it. If
branding is not currently used, then describe how it could be done. In either case, justify
why branding would (or would not) be appropriate or effective.
SLP Assignment Expectations
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VA Salisbury, NE should use branding to either build awareness among its customers or
to create customer loyalty towards the health care services that it offers. The organization should
implement a branding strategy that will enable it to connect effectively with their clients.
Furthermore, it should remember to use a more compassionate and educational message to serve
as a basis for its branding approach. Although VA Salisbury, NE has been a successful
organization for several years, the company has not done much concerning branding (U.S
Department of Veterans Affairs, 2015). The most appropriate way that VA Salisbury, NE can
achieve its mission is by developing a branding strategy that will enable it to attract both current
and new customers. For the organization to effectively implement a branding strategy, a clear
plan that details what needs to be done in every step should be formulated (Lake, 2016).
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The initial step in the formulation of a good branding strategy is a definition of its
purpose. According to Asbury, Wong, Price and Nolin (2008), a company should have a mission
with its strategy as this will provide direction on what should be done to achieve success from
the plan. VA Salisbury, NC should have a particular branding purpose that tends to differentiate
it with its closest competitors in the market. The company must ensure that it develops a
functional purpose for its branding strategy. As Evans, Blitstein and Nielsen (2015) explain, a
practical purpose is that which centralizes on the assessment of success based on its commercial
benefits. Although the primary goal of forming and utilizing a branding strategy is to make a
profit, VA Salisbury, NE must ensure that it selects branding strategy that does not undermine its
ability to become a socially responsible organization.
Currently, a large percentage of the veterans in North Carolina are aware of the specific health
care services that are offered by VA Salisbury, NE. However, the veterans who reside in those
areas where the organization just recently established small clinics may need additional
information concerning the specific services that are being offered by the organization. As the
company uses its branding strategy to communicate its activities to new customers, it should take
advantage of this opportunity to improve customer loyalty. VA Salisbury, NE can increase its
market share by implementing a branding strategy with a defined purpose right from the start
(U.S Department of Veterans Affairs, 2015).
The next step in the formulation of a plan to brand a health care service or product is
conducting a comprehensive market analysis to find out the specific customers needs that should
be fulfilled. With this knowledge, VA Salisbury, NE will be able to incorporate target audience
into its branding strategy before its implementation (Evans, Blitstein and Nielsen, 2015). The
next step involves the establishment of a brand that enhances customer preferences. Since VA
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Salisbury, NE has been a successful organization since 1953; the company should aim at
formulating a brand strategy that will promote long-term success in the chosen areas of service
delivery. Specifically, the organization should assess specific needs of veterans and their family
members, and identify only those aspects of the service that will fulfil those needs (Lake, 2016).
Moreover, VA Salisbury should pay attention to consistency for it to realise positive
results from its branding strategy. According to Asbury et. al., (2008), the success of every brand
strategy mainly depends on the effectiveness with which the spoken message is aligned with the
company’s mission. After establishing the right brand that enhances the preferences of
customers, VA Salisbury, NE should maintain consistency of the spoken message by only
talking about things that enhance the chosen brand. The organization must be sure to use a
cohesive message. Consistency during brand communication helps to create brand recognition
thereby improving customer loyalty (Lake, 2016). The Coca-Cola Company is a good example
of organizations that have benefited greatly by maintaining consistency when communicating
After maintaining consistency in communicating its brand, VA Salisbury, NE should
incorporate emotion into its branding strategy. Integrating emotion into the branding strategy
will be beneficial to the organization in the sense that, it will give the target customer an
opportunity to feel as if they are part of the organization. Emotion will allow VA Salisbury, NE
to position its services in a manner that will make it be preferred by customers. According to
Evans, Blitstein and Nielsen (2015), integration of emotion is a very important step in the
formulation of a branding plan for heath care organizations because it helps to create an interface
between customers and the organization.
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Once a branding strategy is formulated using the plan discussed above, VA Salisbury, NE
should be free to continue using the strategy to build awareness and create loyalty, with either
the services that it currently offers or will new ones that it may be preparing to offer in future.
The long-term success of the formulated branding strategy depends on its ability to communicate
the exact promise that the brand is creating to customers. When implementing the brand strategy,
VA Salisbury, NE should emphasize on its overall prestige, the clinical experience of its health
care providers, and the high quality of care delivered (Evans, Blitstein and Nielsen, 2015).
Although VA Salisbury, NE may be expecting to achieve positive outcomes from
implementing the formulated brand strategy, the organization may face a few unexpected
negative consequences from it. For instance, the organization may fail to record any positive
changes in sales even after implementing the branding strategy. Such an outcome may occur due
to the wrong choice of a branding strategy. In the health care industry, a branding strategy is
considered irrelevant if it does not focus on the patient and when it does not communicate how
best it can solve customers’ needs (Asbury, et. al., 2008).
In case unexpected negative consequences are experienced following implementation of
the formulated strategy, VA Salisbury, NE should assess the effectiveness of the strategy in
accomplishing the initially identified purpose. Specifically, the organization should revise
components of the strategy by ensuring that it focuses on the customer, the nature of competition
in the market, the relationship between the formulated strategy and the company’s strategic
mission. Equally important is the level of patient satisfaction which can be measured by
analyzing the number of patients who keep visiting the facility to obtain health care services
(Evans, Blitstein and Nielsen, 2015).
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In conclusion, VA Salisbury, NE currently lacks a clear branding strategy, and there is a
great need to formulate one which the company can use to market its brand to the public. The
branding strategy should be in a position to establish a brand that effectively targets the needs of
the audience. Ideally, the formulated branding strategy explains the promise of the actual brand
and points out the audience that will benefit most from utilizing the service being marketed. VA
Salisbury, NE should strive to improve the formulated branding strategy shortly for it to remain
customers’ most preferred brand.
Asbury, L., Wong, F., Price, S. & Nolin, M. (2008). The VERB campaign: Applying a branding
strategy in public health. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 34(6): S183-7.
Evans, D., Blitstein, J. & Nielsen, W. (2015). Systematic review of health care branding: growth
of a promising practice. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 5(1):24-36.
Lake, L. (2016). How to develop your brand strategy.
U.S Department of Veterans Affairs. (2015). W. G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center Salisbury,