Building a strong services brand: Lessons from
Leonard L. Berry a,⁎, Kent D. Seltman b a b
Mays Business School, Texas A & M University, 4112 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843–4112, USA
Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA
Abstract A strong services brand is built and sustained primarily by customers’ interactions with the provider. A services branding model depicts the dynamics of brand creation. From the interrelationships among the presented brand, external communications, and customers’ experiences emerge brand awareness, meaning, and, ultimately, equity. The Mayo Clinic case study illustrates the services branding model by showing how one organization has created, extended, and protected a powerful brand through an unwavering commitment to the well-being of its customers. Managers outside of healthcare can benefit from three branding lessons embedded in the Mayo Clinic story: (1) attend to organizational values; (2) play defense, not just offense; and (3) turn customers into marketers.
© 2007 Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. All rights reserved.
1. Mayo Clinic: A brand to behold
Mayo Clinic has developed one of the most powerful services brands in the world and, arguably, the leading healthcare brand in the United States. In a
2003 national study, primary decision-makers in US households were asked what healthcare institution they would choose for themselves or a family member if insurance or finances would enable them to go anywhere for a serious medical problem such as cancer treatment, heart surgery, or neurosurgery.
Responses were unaided and Mayo Clinic was not identified as the study sponsor. As shown in Table 1,
Mayo Clinic was mentioned by nearly 19% of respondents, with an additional 8%
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