Hands down, one of the most exciting moments in MedTech marketing is launching a new, innovative medical device. And even though preparing for a product launch is truly exhilarating, it comes with tremendous pressures and uncertainties. Whether the launch of a state-of-the-art diagnostic scope, a first-in-class insulin pump, or a cutting-edge dialysis machine is an incredible success or a complete flop largely depends on how strong your company's brand is. MedTech marketers often don't realize that a seamlessly executed medical device branding strategy is a prerequisite for launch success.
Why Branding is Critical to Your Medical Device Marketing Success
In today's competitive MedTech market, simply developing a medical solution to fulfill an unmet customer need is no longer enough to stay ahead of the competition. Take, for instance, a medical device that significantly reduces brain bleeds during surgery. Although in this scenario, it is critical to effectively communicate how your device helps Neurosurgeons achieve better outcomes, it is not the only ingredient for launch success. If the surgeons you target perceive your brand unfavorably or do not resonate with it, they will be more likely to pass on your innovation altogether.
Unfortunately, MedTech companies often make the mistake of becoming too product-focused and overlook the importance of defining their brand. As a result, they underestimate the need to create a strong MedTech brand strategy that paves the way to continued growth long after the product launch is over.
A well-developed medical device branding strategy will provide physicians with the tools to make informed decisions about why they should purchase your product. The following four steps can help you define your MedTech brand and set you up for sustainable success well into the future.
Building a MedTech Branding Strategy in 4 Steps
Start With Your Why
A strong brand will attract new customers and retain existing ones by reflecting your company's core values and providing a clear understanding of who you are as a business. If your mission is to serve Orthopedic surgeons better than anyone else in the space, communicate that in your brand messaging. You should never let your prospects wonder about who you are as a business and what you stand for.
Remember, every great brand has a story to tell. A captivating brand story told consistently across various marketing channels should be at the heart of your medical device branding efforts. You can leverage public relations, email, and content marketing to communicate how your product solves the most urgent needs of your customers.
Here are our tips to help tell your brand story:
- Clarify your company's essence by summarizing it in a consistent, easy-to-understand message.
- Create a brand style guide to define the language and graphic elements used to describe your product.
- Use consistent messages describing your product's differentiators - online and offline.
- Avoid unnecessary industry jargon that your customers may not understand.
- Make clarity the guiding principle for all your marketing activities. Keeping your brand messages clear and consistent will help your target audience understand what you stand for.
Be Perceived as a Problem Solver
Knowing your audience is by far one of the most important pillars of marketing success in any enterprise with a product to sell. However, due to the highly sophisticated customers of the MedTech industry, medical device marketers need to take this to a whole new level. Your brand messaging should reflect your profound understanding of your ideal customers' challenges and demonstrate your expertise in solving those very problems.
For instance, if your company manufactures wearable cardioverter defibrillators (WCD) to help doctors protect their patients at risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD), understanding the pain points doctors may have with implantable defibrillators is critical. Defibrillator devices implanted under the skin require surgery. If you find that many doctors are concerned with the potential bleeding or infection at the implantation site, a wearable device would be a clear win as it addresses a significant pain point. Since your device eliminates surgery-related complications, ensure your branding and marketing strategies emphasize how your device - and overall brand - focus on solving these specific customer problems.
Use Content Marketing to Build Trust with Your Audience
One of the biggest challenges facing medical device marketers is building trust with physicians and hospitals. This is especially true when dealing with complex products such as medical equipment. Many doctors and hospital administrators are skeptical of new technologies, so they often require additional evidence before making a purchase decision.
That's where content marketing comes into play, allowing you to build trust and relationships with your target audiences through digital channels. Keep in mind that trust-building does not happen overnight; it is a long-term strategy. The key is consistently demonstrating your expertise by creating regular high-quality content, such as blog posts, white papers, ebooks, and articles published in peer-reviewed medical journals.. Finally, establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche and work hard to be known by the time your prospect is ready to make a purchasing decision or be sure to attract clinical champions as physician endorsements are pivotal for success
If you properly execute your content marketing strategy, your target audiences will likely choose your device over another one from an unknown competitor.
Nurture Your Message to Stay Relevant
Developing a medical device brand strategy means taking an individualized approach consistent with your company's brand message and specific audience every time. Consistency throughout the entire brand means that every team communicates the same message, from customer service to sales. Without consistency, your branding strategy will fail, and your brand will never become as strong as you intend it to be. It takes time to become the go-to brand, so be persistent. One way to ensure this is by putting the effort and time in from the start by creating multiple customer personas with value propositions that demonstrate your device is the solution to their pain points whether it be a workflow issue or device functionality enhancement.
The best brands are always consistent with their messaging and visual assets. They repeat the same core message and engrave it in the minds of their target audiences. In addition, their brand message reflects the essence of the company and resonates with customers on an emotional level. These MedTech brands understand that while doctors and hospital administrators rationalize their purchasing decisions, they support their emotional connection with data - and not the other way around. Advancing patient outcomes is the universal goal.
Whether your company manufactures the best pacemaker, prosthetic hip device, or the highest resolution scanning system, simply telling your market that you have the best technology will likely not convince a large enough segment of your target doctors and hospitals to switch from your competitor to your device. Be sure to integrate your evidence and differentiators in your pitch decks and video content to capture your audiences attention the first time.
Building a medical device branding strategy is critical to staying at the forefront in today's hyper-competitive MedTech space. Remember, every leading brand has a story to tell, and they do so by marrying data with end-user and patient success stories. Share with your target audiences what your brand is about and how your device can eliminate their biggest problems. Next, develop a robust content marketing strategy and execute it flawlessly to build trust and authority with your audience. Finally, nurture your brand message by staying consistent and ensuring everyone across your brand communicates the same evidence-based, well-thought-out message every time through all online and offline channels.
Do you need support creating an effective medical device branding strategy? Schedule a Free Discovery Call with one of our marketing strategists!