Branding: the Silent Partner, Part I
When people think of architectural signage, they mainly think of it as a means of implementing a wayfinding solution for a facility. Yes, one of the crucial roles of architectural — whether it is interior signage, ADA signage, exterior signage or digital signage — is to be the end result of a wayfinding solution. However, there are other roles for architectural signage that should to be considered. One big role that architectural signage plays for businesses is that of brand promoter. In this series of posts, “Branding: the Silent Partner,” we’re going to examine the role of architectural signage in helping to brand businesses, using a hospital as an example. For the first post, we’ll look at how signage plays an important role in branding a hospital from the point of view of its patients.
Hospital patients have one main concern, and that’s their health. Whether they’ve come to the hospital to undergo tests or surgery or because of an emergency situation, patients – as well as their loved ones – need reassurance that they’re in good hands. Signage can be used to convey a reassuring feeling to patients, and in so doing, it reinforces the brand of the hospital as a facility that can be relied on to provide quality, compassionate care.
Exterior and Interior Signage
Both exterior and interior signage can be used to brand the hospital and work to let patients know that they’re entrusting their health to a caring facility. Exterior and interior signage, however, work differently from patients’ perspectives in their experience with the hospital: when they arrive at the facility, time spent there, and the feeling they take with them on leaving. When considering a signage solution for a hospital, the role of branding in the minds of patients should be taken into account for all these phases.
Role of Exterior Signage in Branding
The primary role of exterior signage in branding a hospital, from patients’ perspectives, is first to establish the location of the facility and to set a welcoming tone. Welcoming exterior signage that aids with wayfinding further reassures patients that they are on their way into a competent, caring facility whose medical staff will provide top-quality care. This role also extends to patients’ loved ones, who might be driving patients to the hospital. Signage that helps with parking and gives directions to various areas of a large hospital instills confidence in both the patients and their loved ones that the hospital cares about people’s well-being and is positioned to do everything possible to provide the best experience.
Role of Interior Signage in Branding
From the perspective of patients, the role of interior signage in branding rests in being expertly and efficiently guided to wherever they need to go in the hospital to receive treatment. When it comes to signage, branding and wayfinding go together to give an impression of caring competency. The hospital’s brand is thus promoted to patients, ideally to contribute to positive experiences for patients and loved ones at the facility. When patients leave the hospital, they carry with them impressions made by signage – both the message of its brand and the efficiency of the wayfinding system. Positive experiences mean that patients will be more likely to recommend a health care facility to their families and friends.
For patients, the importance of branding as the silent partner to a signage solution means that they carry with them the message, lent by the health care facility’s thoughtfully-designed signage and its implementation, that the hospital is one that prioritizes compassionate care and assistance to patients and their loved ones in any way they may require. In the next post, we’ll look at how signage plays an important role in branding a hospital from the perspectives of visitors and guests.
Look for Part II on July 13.