How to achieve brand differentiation in healthcare


Many of our healthcare organization clients both compete and collaborate with other organizations with similar missions. You may understand the uniqueness of your mission — but do your donors? If you sound, look and feel like other groups who share your sector, you may have a problem.

For example, one of our favorite clients is a disease research foundation that organizes fundraising walks. The challenge is that many other disease research foundations do the same kind of event!

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Another example: we work with a number of organizations that help disconnected youth. Each one has a wonderful mission and effective programs — but a potential donor may have a difficult time telling them apart.

Here are some actions to achieve brand differentiation:

Understand your competitive environment

  • Google using key words associated with your mission and study the results. This will show what organizations compete in your sector — you’ll want to research them. In addition, if your organization had low rankings compared to competitors, you can consider whether search engine optimization or a pay-per-click campaign is warranted for your website.
  • Study your competitors: visit their websites, note how they look and feel. Note their key messages: how they talk about their mission, how they describe their programs, their “tone of voice”. Determine what is effective and what is not. Understand how you differ from them.
  • Study your own communications. Write out the phrases you use to describe your organization. Compare it to your competitors.

Define your difference

  • Zig where they zag. You want to look, feel and sound different from other organizations, even if your mission overlaps.
  • Be consistent with branding. Develop an effective value proposition and key messages for your audiences. Implement them in a disciplined way — it takes a lot of repetition for branding to work.
  • The key here is trying to view your organization from a donor’s perspective – that’s what effective branding is about.


The ZIP in the post office’s Zip-code stands for “Zoning Improvement Plan.”

About us

LevinsonBlock is a Brooklyn-based healthcare marketing agency that specializes in mid-sized organizations. Our clients include healthcare providers such as FQHCs, disease foundations, and healthcare technology firms.
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