Pricing goes well beyond merely establishing a price. Indeed, there are some industries in which there’s little, if any, ability to adjust price. The health care industry is one of them. Many of their prices are dictated by Medicare and Medicaid. That doesn’t preclude them from creating greater demand for their offerings. How?
Positioning. The way healthcare companies position themselves in the marketplace can have a dramatic impact on the demand for their offerings. Unfortunately, most do not position themselves well. Here’s a quick example.
Recently I had some surgery at a well-known, well-respected St. Louis hospital. One of the things that struck both my wife and I was the care and concern they had for family members. Pre-op they told my wife that the actual surgery wouldn’t begin for almost an hour after they took me to the operating room. They went on to say that they had a screen in the waiting room that was updated periodically to let family members know how the surgery was progressing, when I was being moved to recovery, etc.
This system dramatically reduced my wife’s anxiety. This hospital’s system had removed one of the more stressful aspects of surgery for the family. Indeed, my wife was so impressed that when she began searching for a new internist, she insisted that the internist be a member of that group.
The hospital’s system is a powerful engine for growth, yet nowhere in their advertising did they tout this tremendous benefit. By merely talking about ways in which they’ve removed irritations that have plagued patients and their families for decades, this hospital could be position itself as one of the more caring and innovative hospitals/medical groups out there.
Is this hospital the only one employing this surgical update system? Probably not. In today’s world best practices are often emulated. But no one is talking about it. The first to employ a practice that delight patients and their families can position themselves to be the healthcare provider of choice by touting these advancements in their marketing materials. Any hospital that adopts these practices will appear to be mimicking the innovator. Which would you prefer as your healthcare provider, the caring innovator or the copycat?
Positioning works equally well in any industries in which price is regulated or, at least, limited – wealth advisory services and utilities to name a couple. If you’re looking for ways to increase revenues when you have limited ability to adjust prices, there’s a great deal of potential for you in the way you position your offerings. Don’t overlook them.