Case Studies

Making a Master Brand Work for Different Audiences

Developing audience-specific value propositions for a complex medical association


One of the largest and most respected medical associations had developed a new brand strategy to help it advance its specialty in light of healthcare reform. While powerful at an enterprise level, little traction would be gained if the brand’s overarching message was not leveraged in ways to enhance relevancy for different audiences, often with very different needs and contexts with the specialty. To accomplish this, an effort was undertaken to interpret and translate the high level brand concept in ways that enhanced meaning for six priority audiences required to achieve long-term transformational objectives of the association and the specialty it represented, including: healthcare executives, physicians, policy influencers, customers, members, and employees.


A qualitative research methodology was employed to understand how each audience viewed the specialty and its association, and the distinctive value provided to that audience. In addition, insights around overarching priorities for those audiences were uncovered – which the specialty and/or association could assist in addressing. As these external learnings were gained, a simultaneous effort was underway with internal leaders and the association to define, with a high degree of clarity, what the specific objectives were with each of the external audiences. Rather than framing these objectives as “what the specialty/association wanted to accomplish with these audiences,” more actionable and meaningful objectives were framed around “what the specialty/association wanted the audience to think and do,” in order to achieve transformation objectives. This subtle, but important, distinction helped to organize developments around the audience-specific value proportion work.

For each audience a benefit statement was crafted and continuously refined with internal experts most knowledgeable of the audience. As the benefits became clear, the brand and its key elements were integrated into “conversation frameworks” that demonstrated how the benefit would be delivered in a way that only the specialty/association could do – in essence, how the brand could not only come to life, but actually guide promise/deliver experiences. While each conversation framework was unique to the specific audience, the common thread became the utilization of the brand as a means of delivering benefits.


The methodology and content of the audience-specific value propositions were approved and embraced by the association’s board as an elegant way to instill and dimensionalize the brand with a diverse set of stakeholders. Going forward, the association is using this strategic foundation to guide everything from communications to experience to perception tracking.


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