Brand Physical: Key Findings
Inner Imaging was a start-up business conceived as a state of the art medical laser imaging facility to aid physicians in evaluating a patient's coronary artery disease, and other internal organ examinations.
The "body scanning" market had already been actively marketed and a certain degree of negative publicity in national publications had raised controversy regarding the accuracy and false alarms of certain diagnoses. Unfortunately, the public had not been educated to know that there are two types of laser imaging technologies: the lesser accurate CT scanning system, which most clinics offered, and the much more sophisticated 99% accurate EBT (Electron Beam Technology), which Inner Imaging would employ.
Despite the backdrop of occasional waves of bad publicity and the "pop-medicine" image of laser scanning, the founders of Inner Imaging felt they had a new business model that would lay the groundwork for solid brand growth while providing a vital life-saving service to patients, especially since Heart Disease is recognized at America's #1 killer of men and women.
• Research revealed that no one company was perceived to be the leading "authority" in medical laser imaging.
• Most insurance companies did not provide coverage for these new testing methodologies, which required high-income patients to personally pay for the procedures.
• All competitive laser scanning clinics were independent, and unaffiliated with trusted medical institutions
• These clinics also relied on direct selling to patients rather than building relationships with prescribing physicians, nor did they form strategic alliances with any leading cardiovascular specialists
• Many patients who could benefit from this type of medical service rejected the idea because so much of the advertising and marketing positioned the entire field as "commercial" rather than a serious diagnostic service
• Inner Imaging is only heart scanning facility affiliated with a leading national Heart Institute, the Continuum Heart Institute at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, and has one of America's leading cardiologist as its Medical Director.
Desired Brand Perception
• You can put your trust in Inner Imaging because we are the Heart Scanning Authority
Brand Sweet Spot
• Position Inner Imaging as the authority in the field
• Invest in, and only use, the most advanced technology - the branded Imatron Electron Beam Technology because it is 99% accurate, whereas the large majority of competitor's scanners had a 30% chance of misdiagnosis
• Create an affiliation with one of New York's leading cardiac facilities - the Continuum Heart Institute at Beth Israel Medical Center - as their "diagnostic partner." (This was the linchpin of the founder's business strategy).
• Specialize in heart scans and virtual colonography, leaving the tainted "body scanning" to others
• Market to physicians to prescribe the Inner Imaging procedure as a component of a patient's yearly physical examination
• Engage a highly respected Cardiologist to be the Medical Director of Inner Imaging to establish the company's credentials as an authority, and to leverage the professional standing of this Medical Director to create referring relationships with other physicians and cardiologists
Inner Imaging's Unique Touch Point Map
• The primary touch point for patients is their physician
• Satisfied patients are also Brand Ambassadors who share their positive experience with friends
• Because many unions and professional organizations would provide this type of specialized diagnostic treatment, the strategy for the Director of Inner Imaging has been to address large groups of employees, such as teachers unions, fire fighters and the CIA, explaining the benefits of such a medical service - especially to those who were approaching retirement age and are focused on the health issues common to those 60 and over.
"Influcencer-driven, buyer-directed" Communication Plan
• Extensive consumer research confirmed that men are very negligent about monitoring their health and making appointments with doctors for regular physical examinations... and that it is the woman who coaxes, nudges or forces the man to make medical appointments - or make them for the him.
• Therefore, our program leveraged the "influential" power of women to get men to have a diagnostic heart scan...and for themselves, since heart disease is also the #1 killer of women.
• Representatives from Inner Imaging also called on physicians to explain the advantages of heart scans as an invaluable diagnostic tool in a preventive cardiology regimen for patients. Many of these physicians became very influential Brand Advocates for Inner Imaging.
Strategic Creative Development
• The brand messaging focused on the distinctive difference that Inner Imaging was the only heart scanning facility affiliated with a Heart Institute - reinforcing the Desired Brand Perception of being "The Heart Scan Authority."
• Highly dramatic radio commercials established a frightening analogy to heart disease: "If there was someone hiding in your home waiting to attack you...possibly kill you, wouldn't you want to know about it? Of course you would. Well, heart disease can attack you in the same way, and Inner Imaging can help you find out about it in less than one minute..."
• The radio advertising encouraged women to have the men in their lives get a heart scan at Inner Imaging...and, to get a heart scan for themselves. A Special Valentines Month promotion promoting two scans at a specially reduced price proved so successful that the concept became an on-going marketing tactic
• The decision process pattern for prospective patients revealed that many would call for a brochure, or order it on the web site, before taking the next step. Thus, based on in put from focus groups, a brochure was carefully crafted to tell the complete Inner Imaging story in a 12-page brochure, with a strong focus on the Beth Israel Medical Center connection.
• The web site was also highly effective in imparting the desired brand perception of authority by leveraging insights and educational copy from the Medical Director, thus instilling consumer confidence in our brand.
The post branding program evaluation showed that Inner Imaging scored high in the areas of brand recognition and preference. The affiliation with the Continuum Heart Institute at Beth Israel Medical Center proved to be a key factor in the patient's confidence in Inner Imaging as an authority. The advertising program was highly successful in motivating the influentials (women) to encourage men to have a heart scan. During the flighting of the radio commercials, Inner Imaging often had to add appointment coordinators to take the bookings. Progressive referring physicians embraced their relationship with Inner Imaging as representative of their advanced patient care services, and as a result Inner Imaging expanded their rep force to call on physicians to explain and demonstrate the service. Perhaps most telling of all, while many national chains of body scanning clinics have closed their doors, Inner Imaging remains the Heart Scanning Authority in the Tri-State area.