In today’s highly competitive medical tourism market, it is necessary for medical tourism destinations to create a brand name for themselves and stick to it in order to attract potential medical tourists. Given below are some reasons why branding is considered important for a medical tourism destination as well as ways in which it can be achieved.
What exactly is branding?
Contrary to the popular notion that branding is all about attending medical conferences and creating attractive adverts and brochures, branding refers to much more. These include advertising, online presence, marketing, reputation building and PR management, etc. which would help the company promote its services effectively to the target market.
Destinations in the medical tourism business would need to think further than just the expensive medical facilities they have or the number of JCI accredited institutions they collaborate with. Patients are not interested in these factors when choosing their preferred destination. As such, a medical tourism destination would need to think of other unique ways to promote itself throughout the stages of pre-purchase and purchase.
Pre-Purchase: This would include details like your website’s look, depth of information available, easy access of relevant information and transparency of the available information. Word of mouth positivity via friends, colleagues and family members would also be included here. A medical tourism destination would need to focus on these aspects to attract medical tourists.
Purchase: Medical tourism destinations would need to give extra focus to branding this part, which involves the process where the patient signs the agreement with the medical tourism facilitator or vendor. The company would need to be with the patient every step of the way at this stage, educating them about the type of treatment they would be receiving, the duration of the treatment and recovery period, the travel and accommodation arrangements and details of the holiday package if any, etc. These details would make the medical tourist more informed about his/her medical trip so that he/she can be more at ease with the destination and the medical tourism provider.
Blind Spots to Battle
When branding your medical tourism company, you would need to take into consideration several factors like the cultural understanding of patients from different parts of the world and work out appropriate solutions. Catering to the cultural as well as personal interests of medical tourists is a very important part of the branding process. Medical tourism destination should adhere to them strictly.
In order to carve a niche for itself in the market, a medical tourism destination would need to create a brand for itself and maintain it effectively. Medical tourism destinations would need to take branding seriously in order to attract more medical tourists to their facilities. This would be the only way to stay above the competitive market.