Branding: The Silent Partner, Part II
In the first post of this series, we looked at how architectural signage can work as a brand promoter, using a hospital as an example. In Branding: The Silent Partner, Part II, we’ll examine how this can work from the point of view of visitors and guests. There’s some overlap for visitors and guests with patients in how signage functions to brand a health care facility, but there are subtle differences, too.
Visitors and guests to a hospital want to know, first and foremost, that the health care facility can be counted on to provide compassionate care to all who need it. Visitors are often loved ones of patients, and as such, they need extra reassurance. Reinforcing the hospital’s role as a provider of compassionate care can be accomplished through high-quality signage that communicates the hospital’s brand and differentiates that brand, designating in people’s minds a facility that wishes to accommodate the needs of everyone who comes in. This kind of reinforcement of compassionate care is important in the minds of hospital guests, as well. Sometimes guests are people who might want to donate resources like time or money to the facility.
Wayfinding is a high priority in the minds of visitors and guests. When people come to a hospital to visit loved ones and friends, the most pressing thing on their minds is locating the right room. This is especially crucial when a friend or loved one is in an intensive care unit, in which visiting hours are usually limited. People don’t want to miss time with their loved ones, so good wayfinding systems make particularly positive impressions on visitors. Guests rely on good wayfinding, too. When people are pressured, worried, busy or all three, time is of the essence, and if they’re at the hospital to visit a loved one or if they’re at the hospital to participate in a special event, they don’t want to waste time getting where they need to go. By serving its obvious function for visitors and guests, wayfinding promotes and enhances a hospital’s brand when it is visitor-friendly and helpful.
Role of Exterior Signage in Branding
The role of exterior signage in branding essentially is that of demonstrating to visitors and guests that the hospital wants to help them get wherever they need to be. Exterior signage can also, in its design, colors and logo, make the hospital’s brand memorable in people’s minds. Memorability is important in branding. When visitors remember the hospital’s brand and recall, too, that its exterior signage made it easier for them to navigate the facility’s outer components, they’ll be more likely to recommend the hospital to their family and friends.
Role of Interior Signage in Branding
In a like manner, the role of interior signage in branding works, for visitors and guests, to help them get where they need to be while also reinforcing a memorable brand that represents the helpful ethos of the hospital. Visitors and guests value helpfulness in whatever form it might take: wayfinding signage that helps them save time, and an overall emphasis on caring that reminds visitors that their loved ones and friends are in good hands. Good branding via quality signage also helps emphasize to philanthropy-minded guests that the hospital is indeed deserving of their time, resources and support.
From the perspectives of visitors and guests, branding as the silent partner to a hospital’s signage works to promote the accommodating nature of the facility. Visitors and guests are impressed by helpfulness, which can be conveyed through signage that provides effective wayfinding and a reinforcement of compassionate care, then ties these two factors together in memorable branding that’s consistent throughout the facility.
Look for Part III on July 15