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VNA of Western Pennsylvania

Case Study

The Client

For over 40 years, The VNA has provided home care services to Western Pennsylvania, growing to one of the largest providers in the state. As a result of this growth, the VNA evolved into a group of loosely affiliated, independent businesses, including home health and hospice care, companion care and medical equipment and supplies.

The Challenge

Due to the depressed real estate market, many seniors were reluctant or unable to sell their homes and relocate to a retirement community. Additionally, the Charlotte market was saturated with an abundance of senior housing options. The key to success hinged on Walker Marketing’s ability to differentiate Brightmore from its numerous competitors and position it as the preferred senior living option.

The Strategy

Walker Marketing embarked on a strategy that leveraged the numerous advantages to living in a full-service community located within a mile of the many amenities of the Ballantyne area. Showcasing its primary benefits, the creative campaign was rooted in the assertion that Brightmore’s residents would “Live at the Center of Attention,” promoting both the advantageous physical location of the community and a service-oriented mindset.

Tactics

Walker Marketing’s interpretation and analysis of the research results led to a new brand position and marketing communications program. Designed to launch the new brand, the program also introduced new products and services intended to help offset declining Medicare reimbursements. In addition, final recommendations suggested all VNA business segments operate under a single umbrella brand name resulting in a corporate-wide name change.

Master Brand Strategy and Tagline

Internal communications programs and collateral were created to roll-out a master brand strategy which effectively combined VNA’s independent companies into one brand identity. A tagline repositioned the company as a vital community resource and wellness provider beyond home care and nursing.

Customer Call Center

To support the new positioning, a single, convenient customer call center was launched to serve as an access point for patients, caregivers and referral sources to coordinate and manage care. The toll-free number was promoted across all customer touch points including new vehicle graphics for additional exposure in the community.

Community Wellness Programs

In support of the new brand strategy, community wellness programs were implemented to emphasize VNA’s commitment to community health and wellness.

Capital Campaign

A fundraising program was supported by a new logo and website to help raise the $1.2 million dollars needed for VNA’s new inpatient hospice facility. For the first time in the company’s history, digital efforts resulted in raising a significant portion of funds needed to break ground on this facility which was subsequently opened in 2010, further diversifying VNA’s service offerings to the community.

Newsletters and Collateral

Internal and external newsletters and collateral were distributed to help gain buy-in among employees and referral sources and create awareness of VNA’s new services among various audience segments.

Advertising

The creative strategy used in advertising reinforced the idea that VNA provided much more than nursing, but would “take the worry out of managing care.” The concept included “worry-free health care” as a primary message and theme to connect to caregivers’ emotions and influence the decision making process.

Website

The VNA.com website was designed to communicate the advantages and services of VNA as well as provide specific navigational paths based on audience type and needs. The cover page featured blogs and videos to keep content fresh and relevant to caregivers.

The Result

Despite nationwide census decline among small to medium-sized home health providers, VNA has successfully diversified both its market position, identity and service offerings. Strategies such as the customer call center and website enabled a more streamlined admission process while retention tools successfully kept patients within the VNA family of services. Diversification of both image and programming enabled reach to new audiences and facilitated more touch points to interface with prospects far earlier in the continuum. More recently, efforts have shifted focus to hospice inpatient services, yet consumer awareness remains strong and census goals continue to be met.