Hospital Branding Goes Retail

Reprint from July 2015 – CRAINs NY BUSINESS

Hospitals in New York routinely spend heavily on advertising.  Mount Sinai Health System for example, just ran full page ads in local newspapers as part of an expensive multimedia marketing blitz. The Hospital for Special Surgery also has a healthy ad budget but it is trying another way to raise brand awareness. The orthopedic power house rolled out its new online store and clothing line linked to its Back in the Game campaign and online patient forum. More than 800 patients have posted their recovery stories on the hospital’s website. With the click of a button, each one can be shared with the #backinthegamehashtag- and patients can now buy athletic apparel featuring the slogan.

“A brand can pivot from standing for what you do to standing for what you mean”, said an HSS spokesperson. It’s something mature brands frequently do in other categories, but rarely if ever done in the hospital industry, he added.
The store is not meant to be a major source of revenue.  Still, plans call for going beyond T-shirts and hoodies to selling apparel related to such activities as cycling and gardening,



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