As a follow-up to yesterday's post about making the word "blueprint" cool again, I saw this article in the San Francisco Chronicle talking about how the public much prefers the word "hospital" over the marketing-speak term "medical center" which is so in use these days. Here are some excerpts:
"a national survey of 1,027 American adults...showed that way more consumers prefer the term “hospital” to “medical center.
Considering that swarms of U.S. hospitals have transformed themselves to medical centers over the last few years, that’s pretty funny.
Marketers, business gurus, consultants, and others with big contracts and fancy suits convinced hospital executives that “hospitals” were old fashioned, quaint, and way too 20th century. "Medical centers” were cutting edge, high-tech and truly trendy.
The survey...found that U.S. consumers think a “hospital” would have a wider range of services, would provide better care, would be more up to date and would have more physicians...who are experts in their fields, according to the survey, often by lopsided margins.
“The conventional wisdom for years has been that the word ‘hospital’ was tired and old-fashioned,” said Steve Rivkin, founder of Rivkin & Associates, a marketing and communications consultancy. “As a result, hundreds of hospitals have dropped the word and renamed themselves medical centers.”
"The conventional wisdom is wrong,” said Sandra Bauman, founder of Bauman Research & Consulting, noting that it shows that consumers favor ‘hospital’ across the board, and that results were consistent across lines of gender, age, income, race, region, household income, household size and educational level."
This is exactly what I was talking about. The industry is tired of being called a hospital, so it invents a convoluted two-word phrase to replace it, yet the consumers think much more highly of the old-fashioned term than the new fangled one.
That to me is the biggest take-away from this article. The end-users themselves attributed more and better services to the name they knew best, not the name that was created by the hospital industry.
Was anyone ever really convinced that "reprographics" was the better term?
Here's a link to the article: http://bit.ly/jtNtGy
Here's a link to the study: http://bit.ly/kA0s6k