Think of all the materials your marketing department has produced over the past, let’s say, three years. There are the big things, of course: social media campaigns, Covid-related outreach, print messaging to announce a new practitioner or service line.
But for healthcare, nonprofit and community-based organizations, there are countless other marketing assets under your oversight. We’re talking about all the small stuff, too: business cards, trifold leaflets displayed in practitioners’ or referral partners’ offices, name badges, branded polo shirts … the list goes on. And on.
Print, digital, environmental, and dimensional graphics all fall under your team’s purview. And if you’re like every organization we’ve worked with, you’d be hard-pressed to catalog every single item that carries your brand identity. Which isn’t necessarily a problem—until it is.
For healthcare, nonprofit and community-based organizations that connect with their stakeholders in lots of different ways, keeping track of and monitoring those touchpoints and the assets used to create them is essential.
It’s extremely difficult to make sure you’re communicating the brand consistently if you don’t have a full inventory of every place where the brand shows up. And consistency is so important, especially in the healthcare and nonprofit field. When the logo on the website matches the logo on the case worker’s name badge, when the brand’s voice on social media echoes the content of clinical materials—when the brand looks and sounds the same across every channel—people trust your organization and the care you deliver. Brand consistency signals your competence, expertise, and attention to detail. It solidifies your positioning in the market and elevates you above your competitors.
If you don’t currently have an inventory of everything you produce, now’s the time to start one. (And again, you’re not alone; this is common among healthcare brands and nonprofit and community-based organizations.)
Think of this inventory as having two buckets:
1) What we call brand touchpoints. This includes any interaction where your patients/clients/prospects are exposed to the brand—the website, one-sheets and brochures at referral locations, media kits you share with community partners, internal communications, rack cards in practice offices, landing pages created for a specific initiative that you’ve forgotten about, social media messaging, letterhead, and so on.
2) All the creative assets used to create those touchpoints. You likely have (or should have) a brand standards guide that documents logo specifications, brand colors and fonts, and guidelines for using them. This bucket also includes approved imagery and video footage, staff headshots, standardized copy, testimonials, locations and hours of operation, templates for generating communications that you’ve shared with internal teams and vendors, and the like.
When your organization undertakes a merger or acquisition or a rebrand for any reason, the need for a comprehensive brand inventory is acute. That’s because you’ll need to update every single touchpoint from building signage to lapel pins. For many of our clients, this is the very situation that prompts them to develop that list of touchpoints and assets. Sometimes organizations can’t afford to replace everything wholesale at once during a rebrand, but instead, set priorities and work through the list. A brand inventory makes sure you don’t overlook anything.
We’d suggest that it’s just as critical for your day-to-day marketing operations. Even without a major overhaul, your brand is never static. Perhaps you’ve decided to evolve your stock photo library as part of a diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative. Every touchpoint with a photo needs to be updated. Or perhaps there’s a new regulatory requirement for patient communications. Every form and treatment brochure needs to be changed. Maybe you’ve added a print vendor; they’ll need all the latest assets and templates. Or it’s time to update those 10-year-old patient brochures in doctors’ waiting rooms; you’ll need fresh copy and imagery (and you’ll need to purge the old content from your library so it doesn’t get reused).
Pretty quickly, you’ll see the value of maintaining a current catalog of both touchpoints and assets. Even for small organizations, there’s a ton of stuff to manage; for large regional networks, it’s a massive list.
So how do you begin getting a handle on it? The best case is to be proactive and just get started. We recommend that you assign one person on the marketing team to catalog all the touchpoints and assets and manage updating. This work is ideal for a junior staffer or a volunteer who’s eager to take on administrative tasks under your team’s guidance. Contact all your provider offices and external partners to figure out where your materials are circulating.
Your options for capturing and managing all of this stuff range from a simple spreadsheet shared to a centralized server, to a software solution like a full-featured asset management system. The complexity of your organization, the size of your library, and your budget will guide your choice here.
You’re constantly creating more touchpoints, so now’s the ideal time to take stock of all your marketing materials. We’re happy to support you as you get started; let’s talk about your needs.
Tenth Crow Creative is a brand marketing agency that creates, aligns, and promotes the external and internal messaging for organizations that support living healthier lives. Through insightful branding and compelling marketing campaigns, we help these essential organizations find their identities and effectively communicate to their stakeholders so they can fulfill their missions.
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