“…a strategic inflection point is a time in the life of a business when its fundamentals are about to change. That change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights. But it may just as likely signal the beginning of the end.”
— Andy Grove, Former Intel CEO
In his book Only the Paranoid Survive, former Intel CEO Andy Grove discusses “strategic inflection points” – crucial events that cause an organization’s identity to shift significantly, such as a change in product offering, merger or a corporate crisis, which in healthcare are often associated with binary events. For most companies, these events can be sink or swim moments. If managed correctly, inflection points present an opportunity to win in the marketplace and emerge stronger than ever. But, if not, they can lead to confusion about strategy and a loss of confidence amongst important stakeholders.
It is precisely at this type of moment where a company’s brand can be an incredible asset in not only surviving, but thriving, through the transition.
Risk and Reward
Whether voluntary or involuntary, positive or negative, inflection points have the power to catapult your organization into the spotlight, prompting your stakeholders to question what’s next. Your corporate brand is one of the most powerful tools in your toolbox to ensure perceptions are positive.
If your fundamental narrative and image are sharp, your brand can:
- Project confidence and direction — beginning from within,
- Effectively reduce misconceptions in the market,
- Disassociate your organization from negative connotations,
- Positively shape what people are saying about you,
- Demonstrate that not only can your company proudly recognize and signal change, but that you can embrace it wholeheartedly.
Granted, when the stakes are high, it may not be your first choice to reassess your company’s brand. But, is there really a better time? When in a state of flux, it can be easier to take a step back and determine, as a team, if your strategy and mission are still accurate and aligned. After all, change is already occurring so why not embrace it and use it to your advantage?
Anticipating change is coming your way?
Using a few of the more common inflection points healthcare companies encounter, we’ve outlined a few mission-critical questions that will help you determine if a rebrand is right for your company at this time. Start by asking yourself these questions and then let us know if it’s time to leverage your current situation to reshape and positively elevate your company’s reputation.
Inflection Point #1 – IPO & Financing
Whether raising a late series round or on your way to IPO, you are likely out there sharing your company’s story and strategy for success again and again. Read below to see if your brand can be a bigger asset in helping you bring in the dollars.
Inflection Point #2 – Merger, Acquisition, In-License, or Partnership
Initiating a merger or acquisition has the ability to change the very fabric of a company’s identity overnight. Less transformational, but still important to acknowledge, are the effects of an in-license or partnership deal. Ask yourself the questions below to identify if your brand can play a positive role in navigating the transition.
Inflection Point #3 – New Product Launch
The road to product approval is long for most healthcare companies and there’s rarely a moment more exciting than when a new product hits the market. However, it can be easy for a company to neglect its corporate brand in favor of its product brands. Read on to learn if your corporate brand needs to become a more valuable asset to support your commercial efforts.
Inflection Point #4 – Leadership Change
Management transitions can be a time of great uncertainty for your employees, customers and investors. The questions below can help identify if you can better leverage your brand to increase confidence in your new team and set a clear path forward.
Inflection Point #5 – Corporate Crisis
Healthcare companies unfortunately see their share of crises situations – from binary data to adverse events – and it is at these times that mission, strategy and leadership are most strongly tested. Read on to learn if, at this time of crisis, your brand can help your company survive the swell.
It is never too soon or too late to consider how your corporate brand can play a valuable role in helping your company navigate great change. If you are interested in reassessing your brand, seek out a trusted and unbiased brand partner to support your efforts.
Now is as good of a time as any.