Experts foresee healthcare branding thriving in 2024

The successes of 2023 serve as beacons for a future where healthcare entities build brands that resonate with consumers, foster trust, and deliver exceptional patient experiences

New Delhi: In a groundbreaking year for the Indian healthcare sector, 2023 witnessed a transformative wave of rebranding initiatives by key players such as Johnson & Johnson, Paras Hospitals, Narayana Health, and Ramesh Hospitals.
Notably, the world’s largest health insurance scheme ‘Ayushman Bharat’ also underwent a rebranding exercise. The Indian Government’s strategic decision led to the rechristening of Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres as ‘Ayushman Arogya Mandir,’ adorned with the empowering tagline ‘Arogyam Parmam Dhanam.’
Among these visionary transformations, Narayana Health emerged as a beacon of success with its rebranding campaign, standing out as one of the largest and most impactful health system overhauls in India. With the launch of the resonant slogan ‘Healthcare with a Heart’ and a meticulously crafted new brand logo, Narayana Health not only revamped its visual identity but also spearheaded a comprehensive brand rejuvenation across its extensive healthcare establishments.
“After about two decades of cultivating trust and expanding our reach, we embarked on a transformative journey to redefine our brand, recognizing the evolving healthcare landscape where patient empowerment is gaining prominence. This strategic endeavor allows us to articulate our fundamental values with clarity and make more impactful choices in a competitive marketplace,” said Dr. Ashish Bajaj, Group Chief Marketing Officer at Narayana Health.
“Our brand transformation, embodied in a new logo where three hearts converge to form a ‘plus medical sign,’ seamlessly integrates the essence of health and care into our Group’s visual identity. Much like our branding, or rebranding, healthcare branding should convey a commitment to providing healthcare with empathy and compassion—an influential catalyst for healing. This brand transformation must symbolize not only our dedication to contemporary excellence but also our forward-looking approach. This initiative builds upon our legacy of delivering high-quality healthcare while anticipating and embracing future horizons,” emphasized Dr. Bajaj.
Earlier in March this year, Paras Healthcare unveiled its new brand identity campaign along with the launch of its new logo. Paras Healthcare is now renamed ‘Paras Health’. Hence, 2023 witnessed massive brand transformation not only in healthcare but across industries.  Brand experts and healthcare leaders expect the trend to continue and 2024 is likely to witness more such rebranding and brand transformation.
“Strong nomenclature, compelling visual identity, a uniform brand experience, patient trust, prioritization of the patient journey, and the strategic leveraging of all marketing prowess are the essential components to build a robust brand. Through these, we can forge a resilient brand presence, standing as a beacon that navigates the competitive currents within the crowded marketplace of healthcare services,” said Mr. Rajesh Shukla, General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Paras Health, Udaipur.
“Indian Healthcare sector is in transition. In the rapidly evolving landscape of healthcare, the significance of developing a robust brand is on the rise. Branding, fundamentally, is the art of crafting a distinctive identity for a product, service, or organization,” added Mr. Rajesh.
This year, Aster DM Healthcare and Ramesh Hospitals also announced a collaborative brand transformation.  ‘Specialist Hospital,’ Bengaluru, underwent a transformative rebranding, emerging as ‘Trilife Hospital.’ The hospital’s new brand positioning, ‘Responsible Wellbeing,’ reflects its new journey and aspirations to redefine standards in patient care and medical innovation.
“Healthcare branding is fully aligned with patient experience. It surpasses the mere clinical aspect, as patients tend to recall the emotions and impressions cultivated during their interactions with healthcare facilities rather than the intricacies of treatments or procedures. By prioritizing a positive patient experience throughout this continuum, healthcare providers can establish a lasting connection with patients, recognizing that emotions and perceptions significantly shape the overall impact of healthcare interactions,” said Mr Alok Kumar, Chief Marketing and Branding Officer, Medanta, Lucknow.
American pharmaceutical behemoth Johnson & Johnson (J&J), with a deep presence in India, also unveiled its plans for a comprehensive brand image overhaul starting with a new brand logo. The company signaled its intention to consolidate its Meditech and pharmaceutical divisions under the renowned banner.
“Brand strategy needs to be aligned with perception.  However, we need to go beyond consumer perception and must incorporate a broader, purpose-designed essence, elucidating the organization’s core values. This extends beyond consumer-facing aspects, resonating with internal stakeholders,” according to Mr. Baldev Raj, Branding Expert and MD, Prius Communications.
Mr. Raj emphasizes that brands should not only resonate with consumers but also serve as drivers of business performance. “The synergy of consumer value for innovation and internal alignment can contribute significantly to the marketing and brand strategy’s success,” added Mr Raj.
Experts anticipate a flourishing landscape for healthcare branding in 2024 too. The successes of 2023 serve as beacons for a future where healthcare entities build brands that resonate with consumers, foster trust, and deliver exceptional patient experiences. The year 2024 holds the promise of further groundbreaking initiatives that will shape the future of healthcare in India.