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Kantar BrandZ lesson 4 of 7: Netcare on giving customer experience a digital heartbeat

Netcare stood out in the most recent Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable South African Brands ranking for delivering superior experience across all branded touchpoints. Zero in on how the brand has embraced the three global megatrends of customer-centricity, data, and digitisation as core differentiators and how they're measuring the pulse of healthcare excellence in the era of discerning customers...
Kantar BrandZ lesson 4 of 7: Netcare on giving customer experience a digital heartbeat

Time and again, the global Kantar BrandZ data has proven those brands that continue to invest in building a strong brand are the ones that grow faster. Kantar BrandZ valuations take this a step further, isolating the value generated by the strength of the brand alone in the minds of consumers.

Explaining how to influence consumer perceptions to build on that brand equity, Graham Staplehurst, director, thought leadership, Kantar BrandZ, explains: “The four fundamental areas of brand building that drive consumer demand in the digital-first era are:

1. Experience: Strong brands meet expectations of new users and continually deliver a superior experience to regular users. The memories laid down by these experiences are one of the key foundations of a brand’s relationship with its customers.
2. Function: Ensure you offer a product or service that is seen as well-designed with a suitable range of options – and innovate as necessary.
3. Convenience: In a consumer-led environment, brand choice should be habitual and easy, without the need for conscious thought from busy consumers.
4. Exposure: The best brands are created in the mind of the consumer through great communications, which define the brand and ‘frame’ the actual product or service experience. Messaging needs to be relevant, memorable, creative, and consistent.”

Kantar BrandZ lesson 4 of 7: Netcare on giving customer experience a digital heartbeat

As the proportion of brand equity driven by these is 62% in SA, we’ve taken this global insight and added a South African perspective, so brand managers can pick up sticky tips to unlock the elements of brand growth from those that rose to the top of the most recent Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable South African Brands ranking…

Injecting personalised care into the whole-bodied Netcare experience

Coming in #28th in the Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable South African Brands 2021 with a brand value of $314m, Netcare stood out for delivering superior experience across all branded touchpoints.

Globally, it’s retail and airline categories where brands excel in delivering a great experience, increasingly from online shopping environments. Even more so in South Africa, Kantar BrandZ data shows strong brands need to both meet the expectations of new customers and continually deliver a superior experience to existing ones, as the memories laid down by these experiences are the foundation of brand equity.

Sonja Winter: group head of marketing and person-centred engagement, Netcare, explains: “Traditionally, healthcare organisations have been very ‘transactional’ and focused on managing the episode-of-care only, excluding key components of the patient’s journey and experience of what happens before an event, as well as after.” Instead, Netcare has found a winning strategy of compassion, expertise, and technology to support every patient with the best and safest care, while also attending to their wellness and well-being.

As such, Netcare’s patients are considered partners, encouraged to actively participate in managing their own health and care needs. Their brand strategy is therefore premised on person-centred health care that is digitally enabled and data-driven, recognising every patient’s journey as unique.

Measuring the pulse of healthcare excellence in the era of discerning customers

Sonja Winter: group head of marketing and person-centred engagement, Netcare
Sonja Winter: group head of marketing and person-centred engagement, Netcare

Winter explains that the introduction of electronic medical records (EMRs) across all Netcare’s service platforms is the backbone of this approach, enabling doctors to remotely access patient charts and test results, improve collaboration across disciplines and operations, enabling quicker and more informed decision-making to optimise treatment. But their customer engagement platform (CEP) is what’s truly revolutionising how the brand engages with patients. “It gives them seamless access to their Netcare electronic health records through multiple digital channels, allowing for the delivery of an exceptional, intuitive, and personalised experience.”

That’s crucial because more than ever before, businesses need to connect the brand and experience to build real relationships. While traditionally, marketers kept control of a brand’s image and identity through sales and advertising, the move from one-way brand communication to two-way dialogue has opened an opportunity for brands to create stronger emotional connections and relationships with customers than ever before. But this also means that brands must work harder to understand and meet the needs of their customers. And as digital channels play an increasingly dominant role, brands that create a seamless experience can increase emotional engagement and make it much harder for consumers to switch brands.

“By building a brand that is seamlessly connected, consistently expressed, easily recognised, and powerfully communicated, we can more effectively deliver on our objectives. We recognise that healthcare brands have the capacity to play a uniquely powerful role in people’s lives, in the communities we serve and the society we live in. As a result, creating deliberate social, economic, and environmental value has been a priority for Netcare for many years. Patients are becoming increasingly discriminating, and healthcare companies need to distinguish themselves by providing exceptional experiences. Our values and our strategy make care for people and society intrinsic to all our decisions and actions. This is how we create value for our stakeholders and for the society of which we are an integral part.”

It’s a strategy that’s clearly paying off for Netcare, especially with the acceleration of technology and digitisation having changed the way they do business. “Our electronic prescription system has established the new industry standard for e-scripting, and our world-class, integrated and fully mobile patient care system CareOn includes full digital integration of data from patient observations, medical equipment in wards and theatres, and laboratories.”

“Our cloud-based data analytics platform harnesses the full potential of machine learning, AI, predictive analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) to unify data from across the Group in real time. By integrating patient data digitally across the Netcare ecosystem, healthcare practitioners will have a comprehensive, holistic view of their patients’ history and context on a mobile platform, whether they are on-site or accessing the information remotely,” explains Winter.

What is your brand’s growth formula for 2022?

Kantar BrandZ lesson 4 of 7: Netcare on giving customer experience a digital heartbeat

Learn more from South Africa’s most valuable brands, with a focus on how to build strong brands and engineer for growth in 2022 and beyond. Also reflect on SA’s most valuable brands from 2018 to date and what the top brands have been up to in the last year.

Bonus lesson: Download our comprehensive guide to brand equity and growth.

Read up on the rest of the our Kantar BrandZ series:

About the Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable South African Brands Ranking

Kantar BrandZ is the global currency when assessing brand value, quantifying the contribution of brands to business’ financial performance. Kantar’s annual global and local brand valuation rankings combine rigorously analysed financial data, with extensive brand equity research. Since 1998, BrandZ has shared brand-building insights with business leaders based on interviews with 4 million consumers, for 18,000 brands in 51 markets, including opinions from 31,335 South African consumers on 660 brands in 47 categories.

The ability of any brand to power business growth relies on how it is perceived by customers. Grounded in consumer opinion, Kantar BrandZ analysis enables businesses to identify their brand’s strength in the market and provides clear strategic guidance on how to boost value for the long-term. The eligibility criteria are:

  • The brand must originally have been created in South Africa and be owned by an enterprise listed on JSE or a credible stock exchange.
  • For private brands originated in South Africa, their complete financial statements must be available in the public domain.


Kantar
Kantar is the world's leading evidence-based insights and consulting company. We have a complete, unique and rounded understanding of how people think, feel and act; globally and locally in over 90 markets. By combining the deep expertise of our people, our data resources and benchmarks, our innovative analytics and technology we help our clients understand people and inspire growth.
Read more: Netcare, Kantar

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