Mercy Health System’s Rebranding Efforts Come to Life on the Web
by Ben Dillon
The greater Philadelphia and Delaware Valley area is one of the country’s most competitive healthcare markets. There are dozens of acute care hospitals and hundreds of ambulatory and practice sites. Mercy Health System, the largest Catholic healthcare system in the area, competes with half a dozen community hospitals and is in the shadow of powerful academic medical centers. Although the health system has had a long-standing history in the area, it was struggling with both its brand identity and connecting to consumers through digital platforms.
In January 2011, Mercy’s CEO reached out to long-time healthcare marketing consultant Gabrielle DeTora to develop a branding campaign to cut through the over-saturated “noise” in the market and launch a website that attracts new patients.
DeTora, now the interim chief marketing officer at Mercy Health System, implemented a strategic brand marketing campaign aimed at improving awareness of the health system and its core service lines. Her rebranding efforts culminated in the launch of an award-winning new Web presence for Mercy Health System, which was the focus of a recent presentation at a healthcare Internet conference.
Research feeds the rebrand
DeTora began with a three-month brand discovery process and strategic analysis of Mercy Health System’s brand. She reviewed quantitative research, led consumer focus groups, interviewed executives, and conducted a competitive marketing audit and positioning analysis. The most useful information came from the focus groups.